News and Tribune

February 11, 2014

H.S. GIRLS’ SECTIONAL PREVIEWS: It's tourney time for the girls

Sectional titles are on the line starting tonight

By GREG MENGELT
greg.mengelt@newsandtribune.com

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Borden was the only local team to win a conference championship in 2013-14.

However, the Braves weren’t the only success story during the regular season.

Under the direction of first-year coach Mike Warren, Jeffersonville had its first winning season since claiming the 2011 state championship. The Red Devils finished second to defending state champion Bedford North Lawrence in the Hoosier Hills Conference.

In the past four years, Charlestown has gone from three wins to four to 10 a year ago to 13-7 in 2013-14 under first-year coach Michael Prichard. The Pirates finished third in the Mid-Southern Conference and won the Charlestown Holiday Tournament.

Henryville won the Henryville Tipoff Classic, Floyd finished second in the Floyd Shootout and Eastern was the runner-up in the Washington County Invitational.

Perhaps the best story of the regular season was Providence. The Pioneers closed at 13-8 for their first winning season since 2002-03. The .612 winning percentage is the best at Providence since the Pioneers went 15-9 in 2002.

Starting tonight, all 13 teams will get a chance to write another story, one that matters far more than what happened the regular season.

Below is the News and Tribune’s look at all four local sectionals:



CLASS 4A JENNINGS COUNTY SECTIONAL

• FIRST ROUND, TUESDAY: New Albany (7-12) vs. Seymour (11-8), 6 p.m.; Floyd Central (9-10) vs. Bedford North Lawrence (20-1).

• SEMIFINALS, FRIDAY: Jeffersonville (16-5) vs. New Albany or Seymour, 6 p.m.; Jennings County (9-10) vs. Floyd Central or BNL, 7:30 p.m.

• CHAMPIONSHIP, SATURDAY: Semifinal winners, 7:30 p.m.

• 2013 CHAMPION: Bedford North Lawrence (beat Floyd Central 54-34 for the program’s 22nd sectional title before going to win the state title).

• 2014 FAVORITE: Bedford North Lawrence. The Stars went 5-0 against the sectional field with the closest game being 16 points at New Albany on Dec. 17.

• SERIOUS CONTENDERS: Jeffersonville. There really aren’t any serious contenders to BNL’s throne, but if the Stars stumble, the Red Devils could be there to take advantage as the sectional’s second-best team.

• DARKHORSE: Floyd Central. The Highlanders have won five of their last seven with the only losses coming at Bedford (60-43) and at Columbus East (63-62). Floyd finished the regular season 8-5 after a 1-5 start.

• BEST DRAW: Jeffersonville. The Red Devils got the bye and will avoid Bedford until the championship game.

• TOUGH LUCK DRAW: Floyd Central. Just when the Highlanders started playing their best basketball of the season, they drew BNL in the opening round.

• BEST FIRST-ROUND MATCHUP: New Albany vs. Seymour. Seymour pulled away from the Bulldogs for a 63-55 victory in the regular-season meeting, but no one would be surprised by either team advancing to Friday.

• BEST POTENTIAL SEMIFINAL MATCHUP: Jeffersonville vs. Seymour or New Albany. All three teams were thrilled to wind up on the opposite side of the bracket from the Stars and all three feel like they’re capable of winding up in the championship game.

• CHAMPIONSHIP GAME PREDICTION: Bedford North Lawrence 63, Jeffersonville 44. As well as Jeff and Floyd are playing, it’s unlikely anyone will seriously push the Stars.

Note: Champion goes to the Columbus North Regional and will face the Evansville Central champion in the opening round on Feb. 22.



CLASS 3A CHARLESTOWN SECTIONAL

• FIRST ROUND, TUESDAY: Scottsburg (14-5) vs. North Harrison (11-9), 6 p.m.; Brownstown Central (16-2) at Charlestown (13-7), 7:30 p.m.

• FIRST ROUND, WEDNESDAY: Silver Creek (6-15) vs. Salem (8-12), 6 p.m.; Madison (13-2) vs. Corydon Central (12-7), 7:30 p.m.

• SEMIFINALS, FRIDAY: Scottsburg or North Harrison vs. Brownstown or Charlestown, 6 p.m.; Silver Creek or Salem vs. Madison or Corydon Central, 7:30 p.m.

• CHAMPIONSHIP, SATURDAY: Semifinal winners, 7:30 p.m.

• 2013 CHAMPION: Corydon Central (beat Scottsburg 55-52 for the program’s 17th sectional championship before falling to Rushville 52-32 in the regional championship).

• 2014 FAVORITE: Madison. After the seventh-ranked Cubs beat Charlestown 70-42 last week, they have to be considered the team to beat.

• SERIOUS CONTENDERS: Scottsburg, Brownstown Central, Charlestown and Corydon Central. While Madison is the favorite, there are at least five teams that could win this sectional.

• DARKHORSE: Salem and Silver Creek. The Lions have one of the most athletic teams in the sectional and the Dragons an inside presence in Kelsi Scott. Plus, both coaches have proven they can have teams ready at tournament time.

• BEST DRAW: Madison. Facing Corydon in the first round isn’t easy, but three of the sectional’s top five teams are in the other side of the bracket.

• TOUGH LUCK DRAW: Charlestown. In order to win the sectional, the Pirates will have to go through Brownstown, Scottsburg and Madison or Corydon Central. That’s just bad luck.

• BEST FIRST-ROUND MATCHUP: Brownstown vs. Charlestown. The Braves edged C’town in the regular-season matchup, but that was at Brownstown. This game could really go either way.

• BEST POTENTIAL SEMIFINAL MATCHUP: Scottsburg vs. Charlestown. This would be an interesting rematch after the Pirates beat up on the Warriorettes 76-62 on Dec. 17.

• CHAMPIONSHIP GAME PREDICTION: Madison 69, Scottsburg 63. This is a pure guess. There are about 10 possible championship game combinations and four or five potential champions.

Note: Champion goes to the Jasper Regional and will face the Vincennes champion in the opening round on Feb. 22.



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.