News and Tribune

February 20, 2014

TEN TO WATCH: MSC on the line for Silver Creek


SELLERSBURG — The good news for Silver Creek’s boys’ basketball team is that it is 6-0 and the only unbeaten squad in the Mid-Southern Conference.

The bad news is, because of all of the delays caused by the winter weather, the Dragons still have to face the top three teams in the MSC.

Silver Creek (11-4) travels to Class 3A No. 4 Corydon Central (16-2, 7-1 MSC) on Friday before hosting Class 3A No. 8 Brownstown Central (14-3, 6-1) on Tuesday. Then the Class 3A No. 13 Dragons go to Class 2A No. 2 Clarksville (15-2, 7-1) on Thursday.

“It is what it is,” fourth-year Dragon coach Brandon Hoffman said. “Would we like to have more time to prepare for certain conference opponents? Yeah, but ... we’ve been playing pretty well and we have some momentum.”

With wins over all three MSC powerhouses, Silver Creek would earn its first outright conference crown since 1997. By going 2-1, the Dragons would assure themselves of at least a share of their second league crown in three years.

“The good thing is we control our own destiny. We don’t have to worry about what anybody else does. We just have to go take care of our business.”

Creek has another tough test in the middle of the conference race. On Saturday, the Dragons host 3-15 Floyd Central.

“Their record is deceiving,” Hoffman said of the Highlanders. “They’re a dangerous team and our focus is definitely on Corydon this weekend then Brownstown on Tuesday. They’re conference teams, plus you add the fact that Corydon and Brownstown are both sectional opponents — another reason why they are getting most of our attention this week.”



• DAY/TIME: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

• RADIO: WXVW-1450 AM, WNDA-1570 AM, WNAS-88.1 FM.

• LAST 20 YEARS: New Albany 17-10.

• LAST YEAR: New Albany 58, at Bedford NL 49.

• REASON TO WATCH: With a win, New Albany will clinch at least a share of the Hoosier Hills Conference championship. The Bulldogs haven’t won a league title since 2010. They could get some help from rival Jeffersonville next week. If New Albany wins Friday and the Red Devils beat Columbus East at home next Wednesday, New Albany would claim the HHC title outright.

• ANALYSIS: New Albany has struggled on the road at times this season, but it is 8-1 at home. If the Bulldogs play well on Friday, they should have no problem claiming a piece of the HHC championship.

• THE PICK: New Albany 68, Bedford North Lawrence 53.




BORDEN (14-3) at CLARKSVILLE (15-2)

• TIME: 7:30 p.m.


• RANKINGS: Borden — Class A No. 9 AP; Clarksville — Class 2A No. 2 AP.

• LAST 20 YEARS: Clarksville 13-8.

• LAST YEAR: At Borden 56, Clarksville 55 (OT).

• REASON TO WATCH: If it wasn’t enough that both teams are ranked, both are considered state championship contenders and both could be conference champions, there’s also a precedent that this will be a classic. The two teams have gone to overtime the past three years and the last four meetings have all been played to within four points.

• ANALYSIS: Clarksville is the better team. The homecourt advantage should make them a pretty clear favorite.

• THE PICK: Clarksville 68, Borden 64.


SILVER CREEK (11-4, 6-0 MSC) at CORYDON CENTRAL (16-2, 7-1 MSC)

• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RANKINGS: Silver Creek — Class 3A No. 13 AP; Corydon Central — Class 3A No. 4 AP.

• LAST 20 YEARS: Corydon 12-11.

• LAST YEAR: Corydon 35, at Silver Creek 34.

• REASON TO WATCH: Silver Creek could put itself within a game of another MSC title. Corydon would clinch a share of the conference championship in its final league game.

• ANALYSIS: Silver Creek is playing very well but probably not well enough to beat Corydon on the road.

• THE PICK: Corydon Central 69, Silver Creek 61.



• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RADIO: WXVW-1450 AM.

• LAST 20 YEARS: Jeffersonville 7-0.

• LAST YEAR: Jeffersonville 85, at Castle 65.

• REASON TO WATCH: It seems like we’ve been saying this the entire second half of the season, but Jeff could use a quality win. The Devils got one over Bosse on Saturday before losing a second-half lead at Corydon on Tuesday. Jeff is still clearly capable of beating good teams, but with three home games left, it could use a strong conclusion to the regular season.

• ANALYSIS: As much as Jeff has struggled of late, its still been pretty tough at home.

• THE PICK: Jeffersonville 73, Castle 70.


• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RANKINGS: Silver Creek — Class 3A No. 13 AP.

• LAST 20 YEARS: Floyd Central 14-6.

• LAST YEAR: At Floyd Central 55, Silver Creek 50.

• REASON TO WATCH: Floyd Central has lost six straight, but it would be a mistake to believe the Highlanders can’t beat a good Silver Creek team — even on the road.

• ANALYSIS: At Floyd, I’d call this a tossup. It can still go either way, but I have to lean toward the Dragons in Sellersburg.

• THE PICK: Silver Creek 62, Floyd Central 56.


• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• LAST 20 YEARS: Rock Creek 8-3.

• LAST YEAR: At Rock Creek 58, New Washington 45.

• REASON TO WATCH: The Lions and Mustangs are Class A sectional rivals and the sectional is right around the corner.

• ANALYSIS: New Wash is coming off of a nice win over rival Charlestown on Tuesday, but Rock Creek is better than its .500 record. The Lions, who were considered the preseason sectional favorites, need some wins to get some momentum for tourney time.

• THE PICK: Rock Creek 63, New Washington 54.



• TIME: 7:30 p.m.


• RANKINGS: Brownstown Central — Class 3A No. 8 AP; Silver Creek — Class 3A No. 13 AP.

• LAST 20 YEARS: Silver Creek 12-11.

• LAST YEAR: At Brownstown 39, Silver Creek 23 (regular season); Brownstown 49, Silver Creek 37 (sectional).

• REASON TO WATCH: Both teams have a chance to clinch at least a share of the MSC crown on Tuesday night. Both will also be contenders at the Class 3A North Harrison Sectional in a couple of weeks.

• ANALYSIS: While Brownstown may be a slightly better team, the Dragons will be tough to knock off in their home gym.

• THE PICK: Silver Creek 53, Brownstown Central 52.


• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RANKINGS: Crawford County — Class 2A No. 8 AP.

• LAST 20 YEARS: Providence 4-2.

• LAST YEAR: Providence 47, at Crawford County 34.

• REASON TO WATCH: The Wolfpack and Pioneers are two of the contenders in the local Class 2A sectional.

• ANALYSIS: This could be an interesting game of matchups, but I like the way Providence is playing late in the season. No one — even rival second-ranked Clarksville — is going to want to see the Pioneers pop up in their side of the bracket during Sunday’s IHSAA tourney draw.

• THE PICK: Providence 44, Crawford County 42.




BORDEN (17-2) vs. VINCENNES RIVET (19-4)

• TIME: 10 a.m.

• RANKINGS: Borden — Class A No. 9 ICGSA; Rivet — Class A No. 4 ICGSA.

• LAST 10 YEARS: No meetings.

• ANALYSIS: Rivet has dominated the southern half of Class A for a half-decade, making four trips to the state finals — including a championship in 2011 — in the past six years. It may be the favorites in the South again. Borden has had a memorable season. Beating the bigger Patriots may be too much to ask.

• THE PICK: Rivet 63, Borden 55.


EASTERN (12-9) vs. NORTH POSEY (18-7)

• TIME: 10:30 a.m.

• RANKINGS: Eastern — Class 2A No. 17 ICGSA; North Posey — Class 2A No. 13 ICGSA.

• LAST 10 YEARS: No meetings.

• ANALYSIS: North Posey got off to a slow start against a tough schedule. Since the calendar flipped to 2014, the Vikings are 12-0 while the Musketeers are 5-6. Like Eastern, they also ended a long sectional draught. It was quite an accomplishment the Musketeers to win their first sectional in 18 years. It’ll take an even bigger effort to get by Saturday’s opener.

• THE PICK: North Posey 49, Eastern 35.

Read more about each of the girls’ regionals in Friday’s News and Tribune.