Monday, March 4, 2013

This Wednesday night, Whitney Young's...

...Jahlil Okafor, considered by many to be the best junior in the nation, will face off in the Summit (Argo) Sectional semifinals against Curie's Cliff Alexander, the No. 4 junior according to Mike Helfgot, of the Chicago Tribune, says if you like basketball and haven't seen them play, shame on you. And he's right.

(What's more, No. 1 seed Simeon, which features Jabari Parker -- who requires no introduction -- will take on the dark horse DuSable on Tuesday night.)

Sounds like a great sectional, right? There's only one problem: the games are at Argo High School.

What do I have against Argo? Nothing; I've never been there. And that's the problem. It's too small for the semifinals. Last year, for example, I tried to see the Simeon - Marist game and was told it was sold out that morning. What?

(Oh, and good luck getting in to the final. Whom do you have to know to get a ticket, Mike Helfgot?)

And I'm not just picking on poor ol' Argo. On Tuesday, I'd like to see No. 1 Proviso East against No. 4 Glenbard East, at Schaumburg. But last year I was shut out of a playoff game there, too. (I'm beginning to get a complex.) On Wednesday, I'd like to watch No. 2 Benet and No. 3 Neuqua Valley at Bolingbrook. (That'll be one for the ages.) But I don't know how big that gym is, and I live a good 30 miles away. I don't want to take the chance of driving all the way down there only to get turned away at the door. What would I do then, go visit my sister in Naperville? (Have you ever met my sister?)

And don't even get me started on Marian Catholic, Stevenson, or that St. Viator - Zion-Benton game. Those are all teams I'd like to see.

No, I'll be at Glenbrook North tomorrow night for the Maine South - Niles North game, and the Notre Dame - New Trier game on Wednesday. GBN is only a few miles from my house, so if I can't get in it won't be the end of the world. (Yes it will.)

Now, I don't want to whine too hard. Those are four good teams and will both be good games. But I don't like basing my decisions on whether or not I can get into the gym. I want to watch the best game between the best teams. So, IHSA, how about scheduling the sectional semis and finals next year in larger venues? Fans like me want to see the games.

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