Region Photographs
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SLUGFEST FUNDRAISER FOR THE MAKE A WISH FOUNDATION BY JOHN SMIERCIAK

  • 9 photos
  • HAMMOND | They held a boxing card at the Hammond Civic Center Saturday night and a love-in broke out. Nearly 3,000 fight enthusiasts, friends and family members filed into the old barn at 5825 South Sohl to cheer the inaugural 9-1-1 Slugfest which pitted region firemen against policemen in three one-minute rounds. Proceeds went to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Porter County Sheriff David Lane got the crowd pumped and ready to rumble with his stirring rendition of the National Anthem. Fire wore red, police blue. And rumble they did. It should be noted these were not chubbies who couldn't touch their toes or throw a punch without a chiropractor present. Firemen and cops are in great shape. The lives of others depend on that. They all fought as if they hated each other but afterward, exchanged hugs and handshakes that came from the heart. I think.
  • 4/6/2014
  • Album ID: 1785328
  • Photos by John Smierciak

HAMMOND BOYS BASKETBALL SECTIONAL SEMIFINALS BY JOHN SMIERCIAK

  • 23 photos
  • HAMMOND | Bowman Academy has speed, athleticism and quickness that can't be duplicated. Just ask Gary Hayes. The Griffith coach thought his team was prepared to play the Eagles in Friday's sectional semifinals. Then the Panthers turned the ball over 26 times in the first half and went 6 of 14 from the free-throw line. Bowman, who used 12 players with 11 of them scoring, will face Lew Wallace for the Class 3A Clark Sectional title at 7 p.m. today at the Hammond Civic Center. The Eagles beat Griffith 80-44 and Wallace topped Gavit 66-58.
  • 3/7/2014
  • Album ID: 1775265
  • Photos by John Smierciak

BISHOP NOLL VS ANDREAN IN BASKETBALL BY JOHN SMIERCIAK

  • 15 photos
  • MERRILLVILLE | Although he’s not planning to play basketball in college, Larry Crisler still has the clutch gene deep in his DNA. Tough times don’t last and tough people do, and Crisler proved Friday night that in any given scenario, he’s probably going to be the toughest dog. Crisler took over the game at both ends of the floor in the fourth quarter and scored the winning basket with 22 seconds remaining as Times No. 4 Bishop Noll beat Andrean 50-48. It was Noll’s first win in the parochial matchup, which on this night included a pre-game prayer by Bishop Dale Melczek, since Crisler’s freshman season and the regular-season finale for both teams.
  • 2/28/2014
  • Album ID: 1772597
  • Photos by John Smierciak

TF NORTH VS BREMEN IN BASKETBALL BY JOHN SMIERCIAK

  • 11 photos
  • MIDLOTHIAN | Not that an exclamation point was needed for T.F. North's first quarter against Bremen on Thursday night, but Sadiq Salisu provided one anyway. His banked-in 55-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Meteors a 10-point lead and reinforced the idea that it would be his team's night. T.F. North romped to a 59-23 victory over the Braves, and it was that close only because Meteors coach Tim Bankston took it easy on his South Suburban Blue lodge brothers after scooting to a 39-8 halftime lead.
  • 2/27/2014
  • Album ID: 1772345
  • Photos by John Smierciak

MARIAN CATHOLIC VS LINCOLN-WAY EAST IN CLASS 4A BASKETBALL SECTIONAL BY JOHN SMIERCIAK

  • 12 photos
  • CHICAGO HEIGHTS | The sequence might have gone unnoticed by many, but not by Marian Catholic's Spartans. The Times' No. 2 squad, playing a team it had beaten by 30 to open the season, trailed Lincoln-Way East after the first quarter of their Bloom Township Class 4A Sectional semifinal. After finally knotting the score at 26 with 3:12 to play in the half, Marian's defense then frustrated the Griffins for 58 seconds, denying their outside shooters and sealing off the lane, until East turned the ball over on a traveling call. "That's the best feeling in the world," Spartans guard Gabby Cooper said. "It was a big momentum boost," Marian coach Dan Murray said. "To be honest, Lincoln-Way outplayed us most of the first half. That enabled us to take a lead into halftime. That was huge." Eventually, Marian (25-4) posted a 61-51 win to advance to Thursday's title game opposite Oak Lawn (28-1), a 61-56 winner over Marist. Marian will play for its 10th sectional crown in 13 years, Oak Lawn for its first in school history.
  • 2/25/2014
  • Album ID: 1771315
  • Photos by John Smierciak

NWI COMIC CON BY JOHN SMIERCIAK

  • 7 photos
  • SCHERERVILLE | Stormtroopers roamed the Villa Cesare on Sunday alongside the grim reaper, princesses and a man donning a Spider-Man Snuggie. Organizers for the first NWI Comic Con transformed the banquet hall hidden behind Schererville's strip malls into a community where fantasy and role-playing were encouraged. Artists filled tables with their comics and sketches as local filmmakers showed previews of their movies during a panel discussion. Vendors sold action figures and players of Heroclix battled each other. The event was described as a dream for Brian Grabinski, who organized NWI Comic Con with his wife, Kelly Grabinski, and 25 volunteers. Grabinski, of Schererville, said he has been a fan of comic books since he was 12. Now as an adult, he travels with his children to comic cons around Chicago and is friends with many local comic book owners. "I just wanted to bring a family-friendly event to Northwest Indiana," he said. Grabinski said about 200 people bought tickets in advance, but he expected 500 to 1,000 people to show up.
  • 2/23/2014
  • Album ID: 1770159
  • Photos by John Smierciak

LAKE CENTRAL VS CROWN POINT IN DUNELAND CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP BY JOHN SMIERCIAK

  • 12 photos
  • CROWN POINT | As he prepared to exit the game and sit with the rest of his deep senior class, Lake Central point guard Tye Wilburn smiled and motioned to the press table to make sure the statisticians from his school knew he had assisted on the latest bucket. His sixth and final helper of the game was not a major bookkeeping point because by that point in the fourth quarter the Indians had firmly secured a lopsided 77-43 win over host Crown Point and their second Duneland Athletic Conference championship in the last three seasons.
  • 2/21/2014
  • Album ID: 1769653
  • Photos by John Smierciak

MUNSTER SWIM SECTIONALS PRELIMS BY JOHN SMIERCIAK

  • 12 photos
  • MUNSTER | It’s no secret to fans of Indiana high school swimming that Munster’s tradition of success in sectional competition dates back a long time -- well before any of the Seahorses swimmers were born. Therefore, it’s no surprise the Seahorses will head into Saturday’s Munster Sectional finals the favorite to win their 29th consecutive championship after earning No. 1 seeds in five of 11 events in Thursday’s preliminaries. “We saw some really great swims pretty much throughout,” Munster coach Matt Pavlovich said. “I’m really pleased with the way they swam. We’re set up to have some nice races (Saturday). It’s going to be tough to repeat those times again.”
  • 2/20/2014
  • Album ID: 1769274
  • Photos by John Smierciak

MUNSTER VS CHESTERTON BOYS BASKETBALL BY JOHN SMIERCIAK

  • 10 photos
  • MUNSTER | Mike Hackett doesn't buy all that talk about a "good loss" to get teams back on track. In fact, it makes him cringe. "Me, personally, I don't like to lose," the Munster coach said. "Every coach, after you lose, hopes the team learns from it and gets better. "But I believe you can win games and still learn lessons." Hackett came into Tuesday's game with Chesterton having the same approach he's had in 14 seasons and a 267-61 record: Execute, work the ball, defend and don't beat yourself. Saturday's loss at Valparaiso, which snapped Munster's 11-game win streak, had more to do with the Vikings playing great ball. "The last decade, we seem to get everybody's best game," Hackett said before his team's nervous 65-59 win.
  • 2/18/2014
  • Album ID: 1768098
  • Photos by John Smierciak

THORNWOOD VS ANDREW BOY BASKETBALL BY JOHN SMIERCIAK

  • 12 photos
  • SOUTH HOLLAND | By most standards, the last of Donzel Vinson's five 3-point baskets Friday was from way, way outside. But Vinson, one of a squadron of gunners for Times No. 2 Thornwood, doesn't think in terms of those standards. "When I had 17 to get to 20?" he asked. "Yeah, that was pretty deep." At perhaps 27 feet, was it on the edge of his range? "I don't really have a range," he said. "When I start hitting them, I hit them from anywhere." And the Thunderbirds, extending a brilliant season with a 75-48, SouthWest Suburban Red win over Andrew, are developing a knack for finding the hot hand.
  • 2/14/2014
  • Album ID: 1766814
  • Photos by John Smierciak
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