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IHSA Archives Provides March Madness In December

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The IHSA Archives project is serving up an early treat for high school basketball fans this holiday season. On Sunday evening (Dec. 21) the Illinois High School Association will release video recordings of 145 boys and girls basketball state championship games, covering tournaments from 1947 to 2007. The videos, available free of charge to anyone using a computer, tablet, or smartphone, will be posted on the IHSA Archives channel on YouTube.

"We've been looking for an opportunity to make our old films and tapes available to the public," said IHSA Assistant Executive Director Scott Johnson. "It doesn't make much sense for us to save them if no one gets a chance to watch them."

Included in the collection are many memorable contests, including Carver's last-second win over Centralia in 1963, the great Thornridge team putting up 104 points in 1972, and the unbridled joy of the first girls championship game in 1977.

"There is something to see in every one of these videos," said Johnson. "You might need to set some time limits."

There are still a few holes in the list of championship games, but Johnson is hopeful some of them will be filled as word of the project spreads.

If the videos prove popular, many more could be posted. According to Johnson there are about 1,600 state final games and meets covering all IHSA sports still in the pipeline. "Digitizing our archives is a multiyear project", he said, "but it's well worth the effort to share and preserve the history of our tournaments."

The IHSA Archives channel on YouTube is at www.youtube.com/IHSAArchives. A comprehensive index of currently posted videos can be found on the IHSA Web site at www.ihsa.org/archives. More than 120 championship videos from other IHSA fall and winter sports have already been posted.
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