97th boys basketball state tourney starts Monday
A field of 396 teams are entered as the 97th Annual IHSAA Boys Basketball State Tournament Series tips off next week at 64 sectional sites across Indiana.
Pairings were announced on Sunday.
The sectional championships will be played at all sites (excluding those with a girls basketball team still alive in the state tournament) on March 3 at 7:30 p.m.
In Class 3A at Madison, where the defending champion hosts remain undefeated on their home court this season, play begins Tuesday as Corydon Central (12-7) takes on rival North Harrison (3-17) at 6 p.m.
Game Two that night pits Madison (16-3) squares off against Silver Creek (8-10).
Tuesday’s winners will play in the first game on Friday, March 2, at 6, followed by the bye pairing of Scottsburg (12-7) and Salem (10-9).
The Class 2A sectional at Southridge will kick off action with one game on Tuesday at 7 as Tell City (12-7) takes on Perry Central (12-7).
Play continues Wednesday with North Posey (6-13) battling Southridge (12-7) at 6, followed by a matchup between South Spencer (5-14) and defending 2A state champ Forest Park (18-1).
Crawford County (7-12) drew a bye and will play the Tell City-Perry victor on Friday at 6, followed by a scrum between Wednesday’s winners.
In Class 1A at Henryville, defending champion and No. 7-ranked Lanesville (18-3) will look into the eyes of Restoration Christian (7-12) on Tuesday at 7, with the winner move on to face South Central in Friday’s first semi-final.
The host Hornets (10-9) face West Clark-rival and last year’s runner-up, Borden (10-8), in Wednesday’s opener at 6 p.m, with New Washington (10-8) battling Christian Academy of Indiana (6-12) in the second contest.
Lanesville has history on its side.
Since the four-class format was used in the 1997-1998 season, only once as the ‘local’ 1A sectional champion not repeated.
Those winners were Christian Academy of Indiana (known then as Graceland Christian) in 1998 and 1999; New Washington in 2000 and 2001; and Henryville in 2004 and 2005.
While South Central and Lanesville were shipped west during a two-year reconfiguration by the IHSAA, Shawe Memorial claimed the 2004 and 2005 sectional championships.
South Central won a sectional in 2002, but Orleans came through with an upset in 2003 (kicking off a string of four straight sectional titles).