south side, stand up! (or lay down)

Saturday was a south side day in Peoria.

Both Hillcrest from south suburban Country Club Hills and Simeon from 82nd and Vincennes captured state championships in the IHSA Boys’ Basketball State Tournament.

As a photographer a state title game is all about the emotion.

I prefer shooting the jubilation.

I took opposite approaches to photographing the two victory celebrations yesterday.

After Hillcrest defeated Peoria Richwoods 58-55, I ran willy nilly out onto the court with a wide angle lens.

The best reaction was on the other end of the court but luckily I got there in time. In fact, a little too early.

Seconds after making the image of Herbert Offord laying on the court emoting, a wave of Hawks’ players ran over knocking me onto the pile. Oops!

For the night final between Simeon and Whitney Young, I decided to stay back and shoot the react with my 70-200mm zoom.

The risky thing about this approach is the possibility of getting blocked by tv camera men, cable pullers or a dejected player from the losing squad.

So when the game ended, like the first final, the jubi happened on the far end of the court.

I fired off a volley of frames, trying to keep my focus as other people crossed through my frame.

My best image had good emotion but wasn’t without flaws.

I not only cropped off the feet of the Simeon players but also half of a dejected Young player.

I honestly didn’t see the Young player until I was editing my take.

Overall, I was very satisfied with my photos and, of course, being born and raised on the south side, very pleased with the winners.

For more pix go to the Chicago Tribune website- HERE.

©2010 Scott Strazzante/ Chicago Tribune

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