> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
CLASS 2A EASTERN SECTIONAL
• FIRST ROUND, TUESDAY: Henryville (11-9) vs. Paoli (14-7), 6 p.m.; Clarksville (4-17) vs. Crawford County (7-13), 7:30 p.m.
• SEMIFINALS, FRIDAY: Providence (13-8) vs. Paoli or Henryville, 6 p.m.; Eastern (10-9) vs. Clarksville or Crawford County, 7:30 p.m.
• CHAMPIONSHIP, SATURDAY: Semifinal winners, 7:30 p.m.
• 2013 CHAMPION: Paoli (beat Eastern 57-38 for the program’s third sectional championship, including its second straight, before falling to Evansville Mater Dei 64-42 in the first round of the regional).
• 2014 FAVORITE: Paoli. There are three teams that appear to be about even and another that could be considered a contender, but until the Rams are beaten, they have to be considered the frontrunners.
• SERIOUS CONTENDERS: Eastern and Providence. The Rams were nearly unbeatable last year, but this year they may be vulnerable. The Pioneers are playing for their first sectional title ever. Eastern hasn’t won one since 1996.
• DARKHORSE: Henryville. If the Hornets can recapture how they were playing earlier in the season, they could give Paoli some trouble in the opening round.
• BEST DRAW: Eastern. The Musketeers drew a bye and should breeze into the championship game at home.
• TOUGH LUCK DRAW: Henryville. With the right draw, the Hornets may have gotten into the “serious contender” category.
• BEST FIRST-ROUND MATCHUP: Henryville vs. Paoli. If the Hornets shoot well, they will be in this game — and they’re definitely capable of shooting well.
• BEST POTENTIAL SEMIFINAL MATCHUP: Providence vs. Paoli. The Pioneers’ best years are ahead of them, but they don’t want to hear that. They want to win now.
• CHAMPIONSHIP GAME PREDICTION: Eastern 66, Paoli 62. With the best draw and the homecourt advantage, this is the Musketeers’ time to overcome the past two years’ championship game losses.
Note: Champion goes to the Paoli Regional and will face the Forest Park champion in the opening round on Feb. 22.
CLASS A NEW WASHINGTON SECTIONAL
• FIRST ROUND, TUESDAY: Rock Creek (0-19) vs. Lanesville (6-13), 6 p.m.; South Central (7-14) at New Washington (10-8), 7:30 p.m.
• SEMIFINALS, FRIDAY: Borden (15-2) vs. Rock Creek or Lanesville, 6 p.m.; Christian Academy (5-14) vs. New Washington or South Central, 7:30 p.m.
• CHAMPIONSHIP, SATURDAY: Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.
• 2013 CHAMPION: New Washington (beat South Central 69-39 for the program’s sixth sectional title before falling to Vincennes Rivet 56-42 in the opening round of the regional.)
• 2014 FAVORITE: Borden. The Braves beat every team in the sectional by at least 20 points except for last week’s 52-51 win at South Central.
• SERIOUS CONTENDERS: South Central and New Washington. The Rebels proved they can play with the favorites and New Wash has Ashley Johnson and both teams have legendary coaches on the bench.
• DARKHORSE: None. It’s going to be either Borden, New Wash or South Central.
• BEST DRAW: Borden. The Braves should have little trouble getting into the title game.
• TOUGH LUCK DRAW: South Central. After winning two of their final four games, the Rebels will have to go through the two teams to beat them in the past two weeks.
• BEST FIRST-ROUND MATCHUP: South Central vs. New Washington. The Mustangs beat the Rebels 48-37 just five days ago, but New Wash has been inconsistent.
• BEST POTENTIAL SEMIFINAL MATCHUP: None. Whoever wins the New Wash-South Central game will almost assuredly face Borden in the championship game.
• CHAMPIONSHIP GAME PREDICTION: Borden 58, New Washington 50. New Wash is the defending champion, has homecourt advantage and has Ashley Johnson, but Borden has the better team. The Braves should win their third sectional in four years.
Note: Champion goes to the West Washington Regional and will face the Loogootee champion in the opening round on Feb. 22.