SB Central Bears honored at Adams-Riley; Marian tops Penn
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - There's a long history of high school basketball in South Bend, and a piece of that history made a comeback Friday at the game between South Bend Adams and Riley high schools.
The two met at the Adams' "Hadaway Shack" to celebrate a school in the city's past - South Bend Central.
The Eagles and Wildcats donned the home and away uniforms of the Central Bears. Although the high school closed in 1970, there is still a clear impact even beyond the 14 athletics state championships (two in boys basketball).
Many in the city have strong ties to the Central Bears, and want to keep their story going.
"Our kids are smart enough to understand that history plays an important part in our lives," said Seabe Gavin, the athletic director of the South Bend Community School Corporation. "There's not a day that goes by that those kids don't pass that building over there - South Bend Central. That history is not going to die. We compete on a competitive level, but we're still South Bend. So we have to walk in spirit to keep that legacy alive."
South Bend Schools History: @IHSAA1 1957 State Champions - South Bend Central Bears - Tonight @Adams_Eagles will face off against @SBRileyhigh wearing South Bend Central Bears jerseys! #SBhistory #TeamSouthBend pic.twitter.com/U4XqTc6gIo— South Bend Schools (@SouthBendCSC) February 15, 2019
That legacy did have an impact on the players of both teams.
Riley senior Gabe Johnson even wore the No. 50 jersey, which his grandfather wore as a member of the Bears.
In the game, Adams and Riley battled back and forth in the first half, but eventually the Wildcats pulled away for an 85-70 victory.
Over in Mishawaka, Marian topped Penn 70-53 to cause a logjam at the top of the NIC.
SB Riley and Penn are now tied for first-place, while Marian still has a path to earn a share of the title.
View highlights of both games and the Central tribute in the video above!