News and Tribune

Floyd County Sports

November 27, 2013

TEN TO WATCH: Questions could be answered early

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — As the boys’ basketball season gets underway this week, there are a ton of questions that need answers — as there are before every season.

Many of those questions could get at least partial answers as early as the first week.

Here are some examples:

• Is New Albany good enough to compete for a sectional championship? If the young Bulldogs go up to Bloomington and are competitive with South in their opener, the clear answer is yes. South has probably one of the best four or five Class 4A teams that feed into the Seymour Regional. If the Panthers win comfortably, then the answer would be left incomplete.

• Will Lou Lefevre work his magic in 2013-14? Lefevre’s ability to make the most out of less than ideal situations is unquestioned. The Pioneers lost all five starters. A rebuilding project is in Lefevre’s wheelhouse. If Providence puts a hurt on 2011 Class A state champion Metropolitan on Friday, perhaps the Pioneers could be a sleeper.

• Is Rock Creek the Class A sectional favorite? The preliminary assessment is that it is. However, a lot could be told when the Lions go to Loogootee for an early-season tournament on Saturday. They face Attica, which his coming off a 12-10 campaign, in the opening round. With a win, Rock Creek would likely face ninth-ranked Loogootee. Perhaps no team has a chance to reveal its true identity more than the Lions will in the opening week.

• Is Silver Creek a legitimate threat in the Mid-Southern Conference and in Sectional 30? The Dragons have as much coming back as anybody from a team that won six of its last eight games to end last season. Creek can make a statement on the road against a rival in its conference opener at Charlestown on Saturday.

• Borden doesn’t figure to be a threat to repeat as a state champion in 2014, but is there any doubt the Braves could win a third straight sectional title for the first time in school history? It’s not likely we’ll learn much from Borden’s trip to Shoals, but the Braves are certainly an interesting team headed into the season.

• While Eastern doesn’t appear to have the pieces to be a threat in the MSC or in the Sectional 46 field, try telling them that. Can the Musketeers be a sleeper in 2013-14? They believe so. Wins over Borden and Scottsburg would go a long way toward that end.

• Can Henryville get off the scneid? The Hornets have lost 25 in a row. A win in their season opener against Silver Creek doesn’t seem realistic. A win at a rebuilt Christian Academy team doesn’t appear likely, either. However, if Henryville can be competitive with one or both, it will give the Hornets hope against teams like Southwestern, New Washington, Crothersville and Indianapolis Herron down the road.

• Then there’s Clarksville, which meets Floyd Central on Tuesday at home. Despite continuing the drum beat from Clarksville coach Jason Connell that his Generals lack respect from outside of Clarksville, I’ve heard few doubt Clarksville is the favorite to repeat as sectional champions, even after losing some key pieces. Is Clarksville going to continue to be a top-notch Class 2A program without the elder McEwen? A win over a 4A Floyd team that appears headed in the right direction would be a big step.

 • Finally, there’s Floyd Central. The Highlanders have upgraded personnel and their athleticism. They have a new coach who, having visited practice once for about 10 minutes, is clearly an impressive leader. I truly believe Floyd Central will become a Class 4A and Hoosier Hills Conference powerhouse if Mark Lieberman sticks around. Will that start to show this season? Tuesday’s opener at Clarksville will certainly tell a story, one way or another.

Here’s a look at this week’s “Ten to Watch:”




DAY/TIME: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

LAST 10 YEARS: Silver Creek 11-7.

LAST YEAR: At Charlestown 57, Silver Creek 50 (regular season); Charlestown 70, at Silver Creek 63 (Silver Creek Holiday Tournament championship).

REASON TO WATCH: The game was moved up a couple weeks and is now the Mid-Southern Conference opener for both teams. It’s the actual opener for Sean Smith and the Pirates. While the Pirates appear to be in rebuild mode — something at which Smith has thrived in the past — Creek appears to be an outside contender in the league. Brownstown and Clarksville are the clear favorites, but the Dragons believe they are a player in the race. Charlestown may be tough to beat later in the season, but for now, even on the road the Dragons have to be the favorites.

THE PICK: Silver Creek 65, Charlestown 56.

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