Sectional pairings present tough road for area clubs
When the 92nd IHSAA Boys Basketball Tournament opens its three-week run next Tuesday night across the state, 381 teams will begin the chase for a state title.
Pairings for the 64 sectionals were announced late Monday night. Winners will advance to regional play on March 9 and losers will be left to wonder what might have been.
In Class 3A Sectional 29 at North Harrison, the draw could not have made for a more wide-open tourney.
Corydon Central (14-4) kicks off play on Tuesday at 6 p.m. against Scottsburg (11-8), a team that beat them in overtime on Dec. 1.
“We would have liked the bye, but you can’t get it every year,” Corydon coach Randy Gianfagna said. “I don’t think you need to look for motivation this time of year. Both teams are playing well now.”
Following that matchup, host North Harrison (9-10) entertains Madison (11-8), a 70-51 winner over the Cougars on Jan. 26.
“It’s going to be a great high school sectional. We drew a team in Madison that currently is on a five-game winning streak and playing outstanding basketball,” North coach Rick Snodgrass said. “They are a veteran team that everyone thought going in to the season would be the team to beat in our sectional. We have had a chance to win most of our games this year against a very tough schedule. It is a tough draw for us but an exciting challenge for our team.”
On Friday, the winners from Tuesday night play at 6 p.m. and then Silver Creek (10-9) and Providence (13-5) take to the hardwood.
The championship will be Saturday night at 7:30.
At Southridge, Crawford County will get a chance for revenge as the No. 7-ranked Wolfpack takes on Forest Park, which tilted Crawford 69-55 on Jan. 22, in the second game on Tuesday.
The sectional kicks off with South Spencer (7-14) playing Tell City (6-12).
After Tuesday’s winners play at 6 p.m. on Friday, Perry Central (6-13) will face No. 15-ranked Southridge, which sports a 14-6 record.
In French Lick, No. 4 South Central (16-4) gears up for what will, hopefully, be its first championship since its last — and only — sectional title in 1974.
In Tuesday action, Medora (2-16) plays Springs Valley (3-16) at 6 p.m. with South set to step into the ring with Orleans (14-7).
The “darkhorse game” will take place in the second game Friday as Lanesville (11-8) takes on West Washington (9-10). Lanesville was clipped by WW on Jan. 5, 86-77, as the Senators’ Ronnie Ragains scored 30 points. Both teams are playing well towards the end of the season.
South coach Greg Robinson said his team knows Orleans will likely be the toughest team the Rebels face in the sectional.
“We’d more than likely play them at some point. We’re the ranked team with the best record, and the target is on us. I think we’ll be just fine with that come tournament time,” Robinson said. ” It’s all about ‘survive and advance.’ We’ll approach it the same way as we did for Super Hoops. Survive and advance.”
The Rebels have lost their first game of sectional play each year since multi-class basketball began in Indiana in 1998.
In ’98, the team fell to New Washington. In 1999, it was Henryville. In 2000, South got the bye but fell to New Washington. Last year, the Rebels were stymied by the Mustangs again in the bye game of the Henryville Sectional.
This year, South was moved to the Springs Valley 1A Sectional with Lanesville, so there is no New Washington or Henryville.
With Friday’s huge matchup against Corydon Central looming as the final game of the regular season, is Robinson expecting a possible letdown?
“Not as much. Those (South Central) teams in the past probably haven’t played the same caliber as this team has. Our speed is very hard to simulate. Having to play us for the first time is always a shock, I think. I think that might have been an advantage for other teams in past years because everyone had already played us. We’ve played some pretty good schools, and we’ve done pretty well playing teams we’ve not known a lot about, too,” Robinson said.
Sectional tickets on sale now
Tickets for the boys basketball tournament are on sale now at each school. The cost for a season pass is $9 at all sectionals.
All seats are general admission.
At Corydon Central, tickets will be sold in the athletic director’s office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily until next Tuesday at noon. They will also be sold tonight (Wednesday) from 6 to 8.
Sectional tickets for North Harrison boys basketball season ticket holders will go on sale tonight, Feb. 20, from 7 to 7:30 p.m. Then, from 7:30 to 8 p.m. tickets will go on sale to the general public.
At South Central, tickets will be distributed in the following manner:
Feb. 20 — 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Immediate families of sectional basketball team, JV team, varsity cheerleaders, JV cheerleaders and dance team; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. — All-sports ticket holders, season ticket holders and family pass holders (one sectional ticket per each ticket holder); Feb. 21 — 8 a.m. to noon — South Central students (one per student); noon to 4 p.m. — Complimentary pass holders, senior citizen pass holders; Feb. 22 — Remaining tickets will go on sale.
For ticket sales at Lanesville, call 952-2555, ext. 207, and at Crawford County, call the athletic office at 365-2125.