News and Tribune

January 15, 2014

10 TO WATCH: Clarksville, Creek looking to stay on top on big MSC Friday

Generals, Dragons both unbeaten in conference play

By GREG MENGELT
greg.mengelt@newsandtribune.com

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — No one will be crowned Mid-Southern Conference champion following this weekend. It could go a long way toward determining the 2013-14 kings of the conference, however.

There are four unbeaten teams left in the MSC. It will be no fewer than two after Friday. Brownstown Central (8-1, 3-0 MSC) travels to Silver Creek (6-3, 3-0), while Corydon Central (8-1, 2-0) hosts Clarksville (9-1, 2-0).

“I don’t think one game is going to win the championship,” said Silver Creek coach Brandon Hoffman, whose Dragons shared the title in 2011-12, “but if you do lose, it does put you behind the 8-ball.”

Brownstown tied with Silver Creek two years ago before going unbeaten in the league a year ago. The Braves have won the MSC or a share of it for the past four seasons and seven times in the past 10 years.

“For everyone around it, it really gets old, but they’re really good every year,” Hoffman said. “They’re a little bit different this year. In the past, they had guys who beat your up. Now they shoot the ball so well.

“We’re going to have to have our best performance of the year ... a quality team like [Brownstown] with the stakes being so high and coming off Saturday’s disappointment [in a 52-45 loss to Borden]. I can’t fathom us not coming out and playing with a lot of intensity and passion.”

Hoffman said winning the program’s second league crown in three years and its sixth in the last 20 is a big deal. In some ways, it proves more about a team’s prowess than winning a sectional crown, he said.

“It’s a huge deal,” he said. “[A conference title] shows that you are able to be good for a longer period of time, that you withstood a lot of battles within the season. Our conference is really stacked.”

Clarksville and Corydon meet in our Game of the Week. It’s a game that feature a pair of top-6 teams.

Both teams already have resumes to brag about. The Generals have beaten Class 4A Floyd Central and Jeffersonville, rival Providence twice and beat Creek 51-45 for the Silver Creek Holiday Tournament championship. Corydon earlier beat New Albany, Crawford County, Heritage Hills and won at Floyd Central by 31 points last weekend.

“No matter what happens in our game, that’s going to be a really good game,” Hoffman said. “Both of those teams are really playing well, for sure.”

Even with a win Friday, Clarksville isn’t guaranteeed an unblemished weekend. The Generals will face an improved Austin team on the road Saturday. Clarksville has seven conference games left in its final 10 regular-season contests, including home games against Brownstown Central (Feb. 7) and Silver Creek (Feb. 15).



GAME OF THE WEEK

BOYS — CLARKSVILLE (9-1, 2-0 MSC) AT CORYDON CENTRAL (8-1, 2-0 MSC)


• DAY/TIME: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

• RANKINGS: Clarksville — Class 2A No. 2 AP; Corydon Central — Class 3A No. 6 AP.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Tied 5-5 (Clarksville has won two straight).

• LAST YEAR: At Clarksville 55, Corydon Central 46 (OT).

• REASON TO WATCH: Clarksville is 2-0 in the MSC but hasn’t really been challenged. Although the Generals still have Brownstown and Silver Creek on their schedule, this would be a big win toward taking the MSC title.

• ANALYSIS: It’s impressive that the Generals have beaten bigger teams all year, but beating the bigger Panthers on the road is a seriously tall task.

• THE PICK: Corydon Central 67, Clarksville 64.

 

FRIDAY

BOYS — JEFFERSONVILLE (6-4, 2-1 HHC) AT FLOYD CENTRAL (1-8, 0-2 HHC)


• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RADIO: WXVW-1450 AM, WGTK-970 AM.

• SERIES ALL-TIME: Jeffersonville 48-18.

• LAST 10 YEARS: 15-1 (Jeff has won 14 straight).

• LAST YEAR: At Jeffersonville 59, Floyd Central 39.

• REASON TO WATCH: It’s a big rivalry game — and each team is desperate for a victory. Jeff has lost three straight after a 6-1 start. Floyd is 1-8 in Mark Lieberman’s inaugural season.

• ANALYSIS: Even at Floyd and with the Devils trying to reincorporate Myles Harvey after his head injury, Jeff should find a way to win and stay in the HHC race.

• THE PICK: Jeffersonville 61, Floyd Central 44.



BOYS — BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL (8-1, 3-0 MSC) AT SILVER CREEK (6-3, 3-0 MSC)

• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RANKINGS: Brownstown Central — Class 3A No. 8 AP.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Brownstown Central 8-3 (Brownstown has won three straight).

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

• REASON TO WATCH: While general consensus is that the Dragons are a year away from being championship contenders, a win over Brownstown could go a long way toward disproving that theory.

• ANALYSIS: Brownstown is probably the stronger team at this point and should earn a big MSC road victory.

• THE PICK: Brownstown Central 60, Silver Creek 55.



BOYS — NEW ALBANY (6-2, 4-0 HHC) AT MADISON (6-1, 1-1 HHC)

• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RADIO: WNAS-88.1 FM.

• RANKINGS: New Albany — Class 4A No. 16 AP; Madison — Class 3A No. 13 AP.

• LAST 10 YEARS: New Albany 10-0 (New Albany has won 14 straight).

• LAST YEAR: At New Albany 56, Madison 47.

• REASON TO WATCH: New Albany is two wins — against Madison and Jennings County — away from at least sharing the HHC title. Madison has seen a resurgence in 2013-14 and could be the biggest deterrence toward that end.

• ANALYSIS: The Bulldogs have been strong all season. Last week’s double-digit win over Jeffersonville was just the latest impressive performance. They’re not going to let the Cubs interrupt their success.

• THE PICK: New Albany 64, Madison 49.



BOYS — AUSTIN (4-4) AT BORDEN (9-1)

• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RANKINGS: Borden — Class A No. 2 AP.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Tied, 5-5 (Borden has won 2 of the last 3).

• LAST YEAR: At Austin 45, Borden 43.

• REASON TO WATCH: Borden’s on a roll. I know Doc Nash doesn’t want to hear it, but the 2013-14 Braves are playing every bit as well as last year’s state champions were at this point.

• ANALYSIS: Borden only lost three games a year ago. Silver Creek was one loss and the Braves avenged that one last weekend. On Friday, they’ll get a chance to avenge another.

• THE PICK: Borden 66, Austin 55.



SATURDAY

GIRLS — NEW ALBANY (4-9, 1-3 HHC) AT COLUMBUS EAST (7-6, 1-1 HHC)


• TIME: 1:30 p.m.

• RADIO: WNAS-88.1 FM.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Columbus East 8-2 (New Albany has won two of the last three).

• LAST YEAR: At New Albany 64, Columbus East 60 (2OT).

• REASON TO WATCH: Yes, New Albany is 4-9. However, the Bulldogs have played quit well since the calendar turned to 2014.

• ANALYSIS: I’m picking an upset in Columbus that could kick off a strong home stretch for the Bulldogs.

• THE PICK: New Albany 44, Columbus East 41.

 

BOYS — PROVIDENCE (7-2) AT JEFFERSONVILLE (6-4)

• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RADIO: WXVW-1450 AM.

• RANKINGS: Providence — Class 2A No. 8 AP.

• SERIES ALL-TIME: Jeffersonville 53-13.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Jeffersonville 7-3 (Jeff has won five straight).

• LAST YEAR: Jeffersonville 59, at Providence 56.

• REASON TO WATCH: The two teams have played some thrillers over the past decade. Saturday could be another one in what has become a competitive rivalry.

• ANALYSIS: Jeff just has too much experience to drop this one at home.

• THE PICK: Jeffersonville 49, Providence 41.

 

BOYS — CLARKSVILLE (9-1, 2-0 MSC) AT AUSTIN (4-4, 2-1 MSC)

• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RANKINGS: Clarksville — Class 2A No. 2 AP.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Clarksville 7-3 (Clarksville has won three straight).

• LAST YEAR: At Clarksville 63, Austin 56.

• REASON TO WATCH: After a big MSC game on Friday, Clarksville can’t afford to have a letdown on Saturday.

• ANALYSIS: The Generals has too much determination to have a letdown.

• THE PICK: Clarksville 75, Austin 56.

 

TUESDAY

BOYS — CRAWFORD COUNTY (9-1) AT PROVIDENCE (7-2)


• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RANKINGS: Crawford County — Class 2A No. 12 AP; Providence — Class 2A No. 8 AP.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Providence 3-0 (Providence has won four straight in the series over the past 18 years).

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

• REASON TO WATCH: There are four ranked teams in the Paoli Sectional field. These are two of them.

• ANALYSIS: This is honestly a game that could go either way, so I’ll take Providence at the Larkin Center.

• THE PICK: Providence 38, Crawford County 37.

 

GIRLS — SEYMOUR (9-6, 2-2 HHC) AT JEFFERSONVILLE (11-4, 2-2 HHC)

• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Jeffersonville 7-5 (Seymour has won three straight).

• LAST YEAR: At Seymour 51, Jeffersonville 47.

• REASON TO WATCH: The Red Devils should clinch their first winning season since the 2010-11 state champions Saturday against Jasper. Combined with a probably win over the Wildcats, Jeff could earn its first six-game winning streak since that championship run.

• ANALYSIS: Even after its first loss, Bedford North Lawrence is still the class of the Sectional 15 field. Jeffersonville and Seymour join New Albany, Floyd Central and Jennings County as teams trying to take that No. 2 spot heading into the sectional. It appears the Red Devils are that team.

• THE PICK: Jeffersonville 55, Seymour 51.

• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RANKINGS: Clarksville — Class 2A No. 2 AP.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Clarksville 7-3 (Clarksville has won three straight).

• LAST YEAR: At Clarksville 63, Austin 56.

• REASON TO WATCH: After a big MSC game on Friday, Clarksville can’t afford to have a letdown on Saturday.

• ANALYSIS: The Generals has too much determination to have a letdown.

• THE PICK: Clarksville 75, Austin 56.

 

TUESDAY

BOYS — CRAWFORD COUNTY (9-1) AT PROVIDENCE (7-2)


• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• RANKINGS: Crawford County — Class 2A No. 12 AP; Providence — Class 2A No. 8 AP.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Providence 3-0 (Providence has won four straight in the series over the past 18 years).

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

• REASON TO WATCH: There are four ranked teams in the Paoli Sectional field. These are two of them.

• ANALYSIS: This is honestly a game that could go either way, so I’ll take Providence at the Larkin Center.

• THE PICK: Providence 38, Crawford County 37.

 

GIRLS — SEYMOUR (9-6, 2-2 HHC) AT JEFFERSONVILLE (11-4, 2-2 HHC)

• TIME: 7:30 p.m.

• LAST 10 YEARS: Jeffersonville 7-5 (Seymour has won three straight).

• LAST YEAR: At Seymour 51, Jeffersonville 47.

• REASON TO WATCH: The Red Devils should clinch their first winning season since the 2010-11 state champions Saturday against Jasper. Combined with a probably win over the Wildcats, Jeff could earn its first six-game winning streak since that championship run.

• ANALYSIS: Even after its first loss, Bedford North Lawrence is still the class of the Sectional 15 field. Jeffersonville and Seymour join New Albany, Floyd Central and Jennings County as teams trying to take that No. 2 spot heading into the sectional. It appears the Red Devils are that team.

• THE PICK: Jeffersonville 55, Seymour 51.