Region Photographs
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  • 14 photos
  • ST. JOHN | By halftime, Gina Rubino had set a personal mark for 3-pointers in a game and had the support of her Lake Central girls basketball teammates to keep shooting. In the other locker room, Merrillville's defense was hearing an earful for letting the Indians' best shooter stay wide open for the entire first half. Rubino had 24 first-half points and finished with a game-high 29 and she led Times No. 3 Lake Central to a 66-57 win over No. 1 Merrillville on Friday. The Pirates were ranked 15th in the state by the IBCA single-class poll, and the Indians were 20th.
  • 12/6/2013
  • Album ID: 1740202
  • Photos by John Smierciak

Jean Hulsey, 88, at her farm near Lowell.

  • 8 photos
  • Jean Hulsey, 88, raised her entire family on this farm in Lowell. The proposed Illiana Expressway will run just north of her land.
  • 12/5/2013
  • Album ID: 1744359
  • Photos by Jonathan Miano


  • 7 photos
  • GARY | Calumet College's men's basketball team is making quite a turnaround early this season, and a lot of that has to do with two local players. Hammond grad Robert Jackson poured in 24 points to lead the Crimson Wave to a 75-68 win over local rival IU-Northwest at the Savannah Center on Wednesday. “It was just the will to win,” Jackson said of his offensive firepower. “It was just the team getting into a rhythm."
  • 12/4/2013
  • Album ID: 1739209
  • Photos by John Smierciak

Valparaiso Tree Lighting

  • 6 photos
  • 11/24/2013
  • Album ID: 1741461
  • Photos by Kyle Telechan

Crown Point Veterans Day Ceremony

  • 18 photos
  • Veterans Day in Crown Point
  • 11/11/2013
  • Album ID: 1731070
  • Photos by Kyle Telechan


  • 15 photos
  • ST. JOHN | Gelen Robinson rightfully has no recollection of the last time Lake Central won a sectional because it was in 1999. His memory of 2002 isn’t much better, but that was the last time Lake Central beat Merrillville. After that sectional victory, the Indians went on to lose to the Pirates 16 times in a row. Robinson does, however, have a sharp recall of a play from the last time Merrillville and Lake Central met in the postseason. Two years ago Robinson picked up a fumble at midfield at Merrillville in the sectional opener and was running unimpeded toward the end zone when the whistle blew and the officials said the Pirates player was down before the fumble. Merrillville won that game 30-24. For an athlete that seldom takes a loss in any of his three sports, the loss stung. "That hurt real bad, it hurt for a long time," Robinson said. Now the hurt is gone. Robinson had two sacks and recovered two of Merrillville’s five lost fumbles, and Lake Central ended its Merrillville misery and sectional famine all at once with an emphatic 31-0 victory over the visiting Pirates Friday night in the Class 6A Sectional 1 final at the Burial Grounds. The Indians (9-2) host Penn (11-0) next week in the regional. "It doesn't hurt anymore,” Robinson said. “I can't put into words what this means, what this feels like. Our team won this championship and it's the greatest feeling in the world." The cold and rain played into Lake Central’s favor because it slowed Merrillville’s vaunted speed-based offense and allowed Lake Central’s defense to stymie the out-of-sorts Pirates and hold them to 42 net yards rushing and 71 passing “I didn’t want to go my senior year without beating Merrillville, and that would have been the 17th loss to Merrillville, consecutively, so we definitely did not want to go out on that note, and we didn’t,” Robinson said.
  • 11/1/2013
  • Album ID: 1726200
  • Photos by John Smierciak


  • 12 photos
  • TINLEY PARK | It was the worst possible ending, and the best possible message. After T.F. South trailed, 23-18, in the third set of its Andrew Regional final, and 24-21, and at 24-23 when Crystal Lee slammed home her 13th kill of the night following a heart-stopping dig by Cori Reynolds, after a timeout as a reeling Sandburg tried to gather itself, Justine Flores stepped to the line to serve for the tie. And floated the ball wide. "I was just trying to get it in," she said later. "It hit the wrong part of my hand." The Sandburg half of the crowd erupted over the 25-22, 17-25, 25-23 win that sent them to their own Class 4A sectional for a 7 p.m. Tuesday semifinal opposite Marist. The T.F. South half groaned. Flores collapsed to the floor. Her teammates ran to her, and picked her up. "That meant a lot," she said. "It said it wasn't my fault. … It said we are a team — we win as a team, and we lose as a team." Twenty-six times in 31 outings this season, the Rebels won. Against the Eagles (30-7), they won more points — 70-67 — but Sandburg eked out a win in the opening set and, after nearly getting blocked out of the gym in Set 2, another in the closer to advance. Seven different Rebels had kills on the night. Briana Lilly, Lee, Leah Lagestee and Jenna Pasko put up tremendous blocks. Ashtyn Kapovich, Reynolds and Flores, senior defensive stalwarts, anchored a back row that cleaned up what blocks didn't swat down.
  • 10/31/2013
  • Album ID: 1725587
  • Photos by John Smierciak


  • 13 photos
  • CROWN POINT | Bob Dylan sang about serving somebody back in the late 1970s. His crooning was unique and some would say awful. On Saturday at the Class 4A Crown Point Sectional, the host Bulldogs served like Dylan sang in the morning semifinal, then hit the notes better in the championship against Chesterton. In a exhausting win over LaPorte, C.P. had 20 service errors. In the final against the Trojans, only 11 bad serves occurred. The Bulldogs won 26-24, 25-19, 25-11, to win the program's first sectional championship since 1992. “It was much better tonight,” C.P. coach Allison Duncan said of her team's serving. “This means a lot. We've worked hard for the last four years. This was all about setting the tempo.” Crown Point (28-8) will travel to Munster for the regional Tuesday. Chesterton (23-13) was one point from winning the first game, but the Bulldogs roared back for the very emotional win. “We've been in tough games all year,” said C.P. senior Abby Kvachkoff, who had nine kills. Kvachkoff got most of her kills sliding behind the setters and finishing strong. “The slide was open against them,” she said. “This is a great feeling, because it hasn't happened in so long.” Junior Alyssa Kvarta had a monster game, with 10 kills, 27 assists and she was 12-of-12 serving with two aces. She said she cried after beating LaPorte in the semifinal because her team was that much closer to realizing a dream. She had a fabric heart in her sock that one of her club coaches, Troy Campbell, gave to her. “We like to cheer really loud,” Kvarta said. “If we make a mistake, we bounce back. Our main priority is to be loud and get in their heads. It totally works.”
  • 10/26/2013
  • Album ID: 1723593
  • Photos by John Smierciak


  • 7 photos
  • MERRILLVILLE | Andrean senior quarterback Matt DeSomer donned jersey No. 30 of injured teammate David Graham in Friday’s lopsided 58-6 victory over an outmanned Knox at Father Eckert Field in a Class 3A Sectional 25 opener. Graham broke his fibula late in last week’s game against Lowell and is out for the rest of the season. Andrean coach Phil Mason said Graham, a sophomore linebacker, has been playing great and always gives it everything he’s got on the field. “He’s a great kid, and Matt just gave him a little tribute tonight and wore his jersey for him just to keep some spirit out there,” Mason said. Graham’s jersey also had a little magic in it, as DeSomer was a perfect 10 for 10 passing for 141 yards and two touchdowns. DeSomer said he’s been inspired by the play of Graham and wanted to make him still feel part of the team. “I think he’s one of the best linebackers in the area,” DeSomer said. Graham was on the sideline on crutches wearing DeSomer’s No. 3 and said he was honored that DeSomer wore his game jersey. DeSomer aired it out early, connecting with Jamie Johnson on a 61-yard scoring pass to put Andrean (10-0) up 7-0 with 7:50 left in the opening quarter. Trevor Berg broke free from 28 yards out to put the Niners up 14-0 in the first quarter before DeSomer hooked up with Ramon Guerrero from 8 yards out, and Cam Bosak finished an Andrean drive with a 5-yard scamper for a 28-0 lead at the half. “We just kind of kept it simple,” Mason said. “I don’t think we made many mistakes, and I thought our defense played great. We got to play a ton of kids.”
  • 10/25/2013
  • Album ID: 1723266
  • Photos by John Smierciak


  • 10 photos
  • MUNSTER | Blaire Barnett and her Munster teammates never look past an opponent. However, Wednesday's Munster Sectional opener against Morton gave the Mustangs a chance to fine tune their games as the postseason unfolds. Munster received a dominant performance out of Barnett, a junior setter, in a 25-5, 25-4, 25-13 win over the Governors. "Blaire has an awesome sidespin serve that not a lot of players in the area have," Munster coach Tracy Summers said. "She can mix it up as well, which is nice. When she's on, it's pretty tough to stop." Barnett was certainly tough to stop. She led Munster with seven aces and the Mustangs compiled 21 as a team, catching Morton out of position several times on serves. "I always try hard to mix it up a little," Barnett said. "Tonight, it was fun to be able to try different things. I like serving because it's your own personal thing and you don't have to rely on other people." Morton gave Munster (31-3) a much tougher third set, but the Mustangs limited Morton's attacking overall. Amanda Colvin led the Governors with three kills and five digs, while three other players had two kills. Shannon Farrel had 10 digs and six aces for Munster, while Morgan Switalla led the Mustangs with 17 assists. "Tonight's match, we used to work on some things we need to get better at," Summers said. "I think that we are a really strong team." Munster advances to play Lake Central at 10 a.m. Saturday in one semifinal match. The last time the Mustangs and Indians met on Aug. 27, it was an instant classic, as Munster battled to a five-set win. "Every year it's a nail-biter, a great game to watch," Summers said. "We've been working the whole season for Saturday. I feel a lot of confidence going in. It's coming in with that game face and playing fearless, which has been our motto all year."
  • 10/23/2013
  • Album ID: 1722303
  • Photos by John Smierciak
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