When Connersville and Southport tangle Saturday in the semifinals of the Class 4A regional, the teams will be playing in one of the nicer high school gymnasiums in the state.
Southport Fieldhouse, which opened in 1958, has a seating capacity of 7,124, making it the 10th largest gym in Indiana, according to John R. Harrell’s Homestead.com website.
Like Spartan Bowl, the Fieldhouse is a fan favorite and considered a special place to play by most high school hoopsters.
The facility has played host to numerous IHSAA boys’ and girls’ regionals over the years as well as other events.
Spartans fans will recall a memorable and heart-breaking game that took place in the Fieldhouse in March 1999.
The Connersville Lady Spartans, led by Miss Basketball April McDivitt, saw an incredible season come to an end in the semistate when they fell to eventual state champion New Albany, 66-61, in double overtime.
McDivitt — now April Schilling, whose husband Ed is a former Spartan and currently an assistant coach to Steve Alford at UCLA — scored 25 points and made three long game-extending 3-pointers.
But CHS, which finished 25-2, could not stop forward Kennitra Johnson, who scored a career-high 47 points for the Lady Bulldogs, who outscored Connersville, 9-4, in the 2nd overtime.
Below are Indiana’s 10 largest high school gymnasiums. Spartan Bowl checks in at No. 16, with a seating capacity of 5,847.
1) New Castle 9,314
2) East Chicago Central 8,296
3) Seymour 8,110
4) Richmond 8,100
5) Marion 7,560
6) Elkhart 7,373
7) Michigan City 7,304
8) Gary West 7,217
9) Lafayette Jeff 7,200
10) Southport 7,124
Southport Fieldhouse is located at 971 E. Banta Road in Indianapolis. Check the Stadium Journey website to learn more about the facility.
Semistate tickets: Tickets will be available at the CHS Athletic office, beginning Tuesday at 7:30 a.m.
The cost is $7 for an individual session and $10 for an all-day pass. Tickets also should be available at the Fieldhouse door, according to Southport officials.
The Spartans (21-5) and Cardinals (20-6) game begins at noon. Indianapolis North Central (22-3) and Terre Haute South (21-6) get the regional started at 10 a.m. The championship game tips off at 7 p.m.
(A heads up thank you to Adam P., who provided correct information about the Lady Spartans 1998-99 season record)
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