By GREG MENGELT
> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
My yearly basketball wish list is a long one.
It starts with adults in the stands acting like adults. For the life of me, I don’t understand usually rational adults acting like spoiled children in the stands when things don’t go their way. Don’t like a call an official makes, he must be screamed at. Don’t like a move a coach makes, he must be publicly humiliated by fans who clearly know better how to run a basketball team.
A distant second on my wish list will never happen — the return to single-class basketball. So I’ll move on.
Since class basketball is clearly here to stay, one of my wishes is that basketball giants like Jeffersonville and New Albany give chances to the little guys in the area during the regular season.
I would love to see Christian Academy get a chance to play in The Doghouse every year. In the late 80’s and early 90s, New Wash gave Jeffersonville everything it could handle. Now — for whatever reason — the Mustangs don’t even get a shot at the Devils.
Some of my favorite games of the year are when the Davids take on the Goliaths. When Silver Creek gets a shot to take down Jeff or Providence gets a crack at the Bulldogs.
This year, unbeaten and Class 2A No. 4 Clarksville believes it has the best basketball team in Clark County. On Friday, it will get a chance to prove it.
Jeff has won 27 of the 30 meetings between the two sides, but Clarksville’s three wins — the last coming in 1996 — proves it can be done.
With no more single-class sectionals, players at Borden, New Washington, CAI and Clarksville deserve a shot at saying they knocked off the bully on the block.
It’s good to see that Clarksville will at least get its shot.
GAMES TO WATCH (WEEKEND)
GAME OF THE WEEKEND
BOYS — Clarksville at Jeffersonville
• Time/Day: 7:30 p.m. Friday
• Records: Clarksville 5-0; Jeffersonville 4-1.
• Rankings: Clarksville, Class 2A No. 4 AP; Jeffersonville, Class 4A No. 12 AP, No. 16 coaches.
• Last year: Did not play.
• All-time series: Jeffersonville 40-7.
• Assessment: Clarksville has won a lot of games over the past three years. A win Friday would be the biggest yet. The Generals are more experienced and, early in the season, that could offset Jeff’s athletic advantage. Clarksville’s Aidan McEwen and Jeff’s Darryl Baker are the superstars, but this game may come down to which player’s teammates have the bigger night. It’s hard to image Clarksville will be intimidated — even at Johnson Arena — so this one should be tight.
• Greg’s Pick: Jeffersonville 82, Clarksville 75.
GIRLS — Providence at Charlestown (Charlestown Holiday Tournament semifinal)
• Time: 6 p.m.
• Records: Providence 6-4, Charlestown 2-7.
• Last year: Providence 41, at Charlestown 30.
• Last 10 years: Charlestown leads 14-5
• Assessment: This should be the best game of the night and perhaps of the tournament. The Pirates are looking to end a five-game losing streak, while Providence continues to make a push for its first winning season in a decade. I like the way Charlestown has been playing, even in close losses.
• Greg’s Pick: Charlestown 44, Providence 37.
GIRLS — Silver Creek vs. Clarksville (Charlestown Holiday Tournament semifinal)
• Time: Approximately 7:30 p.m.
• Records: Silver Creek 6-2, Clarksville 3-7.
• Earlier this year: At Silver Creek 56, Clarksville 24.
• Last 10 years: Silver Creek leads 13-3
• Assessment: The Dragons should get off to a good start in their quest for a three-peat.
• Greg’s Pick: Silver Creek 62, Clarksville 36.
BOYS — Scottsburg at Floyd Central
• Time/Day: 7:30 p.m.
• Records: Scottsburg 2-5; Floyd Central 1-4.
• Last year: Floyd Central 65, at Scottsburg 61.
• Last 15 years: Tied, 6-6.
• Assessment: This is one the Highlanders have to have. Otherwise, with a really tough schedule in the second half of the season, the current three-game losing streak could balloon to a much bigger number.
• Greg’s Pick: Floyd Central 66, Scottsburg 60.
BOYS — Christian Academy at Switzerland County
• Time/Day: 7:30 p.m.
• Records: Christian Academy 3-4, Switzerland County 5-1.
• Rankings: Switzerland County, Class 2A No. 18 AP.
• Last year: At Christian Academy 66, Switzerland County 53.
• Last 15 years: Have not played.
• Assessment: Switzerland County is off to a surprising 5-1 start. Christian Academy is probably better than its 3-4 record after losing some tight games. So this is a tough one to pick. In this case, I have to lean toward the team that’s learned to win early in the season over the one taking a 70-mile bus ride.
• Greg’s Pick: Switzerland County 58, Christian Academy 57.
GIRLS — Charlestown Holiday Tournament Championship
• Time/Day: Approximately 7:30 p.m.
• Last year’s champion: Silver Creek.
• Assessment: Having picked Silver Creek to face Charlestown in the championship, I’ll start there. The two teams played a game that went down to the wire just two weeks ago. There no reason to believe that it won’t go that way again. The teams have about equal talent, but the Dragons have more experience and the Pirates have the homecourt advantage. So what I’m trying to say is, this could go either way. As the two-time defending champions, I’ll give the slight edge to Creek.
• Greg’s Pick: Silver Creek 54, Charlestown 49.
GIRLS — Jeffersonville at Evansville Memorial
• Time/Day: 6:30 p.m.
• Records: Jeffersonville 5-5, Evansville Memorial 4-4.
• Last year: Did not play.
• All-time series: First meeting.
• Assessment: Just a couple of years ago, both programs won a state championship. After struggling through losing seasons as defending champions, the Red Devils and Tigers appear to be rebounding this season. Bruce Dockery has been winning at Memorial for 25 years, but even with the homecourt advantage and the coaching experience edge, I love the way the Red Devils are playing.
• Greg’s Pick: Jeffersonville 52, Evansville Memorial 47.
BOYS — Lanesville at Rock Creek Academy
• Time/Day: 7:30 p.m.
• Records: Lanesville 4-3; Rock Creek 4-3.
• Last year: At Lanesville 77, Rock Creek 62.
• Last 15 years: Lanesville 12-2.
• Assessment: Borden appears to be a significant Sectional 62 favorite in March, but if the Braves stumble, these are two of the teams that could contend for the title. Both teams will be looking to prove they are that team.
• Greg’s Pick: Lanesville 68, Rock Creek 61.
BOYS’ PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ian Hughes, New Washington
Hughes has been instrumental in the Mustangs’ improvement from 1-20 a year ago to 3-3 this season. On Friday, the New Wash senior finished with 14 points, six rebounds and four assists in a 61-48 victory over Rising Sunday. On Saturday, he nearly had a double-double with 10 points and nine boards as the Mustangs fell to Silver Creek, 65-49.
BOYS’ POWER POLL
Team Record Last
1. Jeffersonville 4-1 1
2. Providence 6-0 2
3. Clarksville 5-0 3
4. Borden 7-0 4
5. New Albany 4-3 5
6. Charlestown 3-2 6
7. Rock Creek 4-3 8
8. Floyd Central 1-4 7
9. Silver Creek 2-5 9
10. New Washington 3-3 —
Note on the Power Poll: The poll isn’t based solely on which teams would beat which. Factors like team records and how they are expected to perform in their respective class sectional are also taken into account.