Marquette boys basketball coach praises Triton community

By Ed Scherer-Berry

BOURBON — It was high praise for Triton Jr.-Sr. High School Tuesday night as the Triton School Board met in regular session. Superintendent Carl Hilling shared a letter head basketball coach Jason Groves had received from his counterpart at Marquette Catholic High School.
“I first want to congratulate you on a great victory,” said Donovan Garletts, head boys basketball coach at the Michigan City school following its sectional defeat by Triton. “Your boys showed amazing resilience and I’m pretty sure we made it fun for the crowd,” he continued.
Then came the shocker, according to Hilling: “I went in with a pessimistic view of your school/town/players and came out with a totally different one,” said Garletts. “ I cannot express how kind and thoughtful not only your players, but your fans, staff, and administration were this evening.”
Giving examples to support his contention, Garletts reported that many fans, including one elderly man and one 10-year-old, congratulated him on his team’s efforts. “Your students were taking pictures with my players and your fans were talking to my coaches,” he related. As to the Triton players, he said: “…your players were not so much worried about cutting down nets as they were shaking the hands of the young men that they had just defeated.”
Finally, Garletts praised the Triton community for its attendance and support of its team. He said that only in movies [like “Hoosiers”] does the whole town come out for a high school game. “That is clearly not the case with you guys as it is a reality in Bourbon,” said the visiting coach. “I am very happy to have been a part of a game that people can look at and say, ‘that is Indiana High School basketball at its best,” he concluded.
Hilling said that it is very unusual for a coach to take the time following a game to express thanks, much less expend the degree of effort coach Garletts did. “It speaks well of Triton and of its composite communities of Etna Green, Tippecanoe, and Bourbon,” said the superintendent.