News and Tribune

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November 30, 2012

GREG'S PICKS: Big early tests for several local teams

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Less than two weeks into the boys’ basketball season, we are about to find out what many of the local teams are made of.

Jeffersonville, New Albany, Charlestown, Borden and Providence face huge tests, not to mention Clarksville going to Silver Creek.

All of the above teams have high expectations for the 2012-13 season. This weekend, fans of those teams will know of the expectations are warranted.

TOP GAMES OF THE WEEKEND

BOYS — New Albany (1-0, 0-0 HHC) at Columbus East (0-0, 0-0), Friday

New Albany already passed a big test, beating Bloomington South in the opener.

However, that game was at home. The Bulldogs face their first road test on Friday. And it’s a big one.

Led by junior Bryce Leinhoop and a gritty, veteran senior class, most expect this to be the best East team since the Hoosier Hills Conference championship team of 2002-2003.

New Albany was one of the toughest teams to predict heading into the season. The addition of Josh Rogers and his 3-point range appears to be just what the Bulldogs needed to go along with their superior athleticism.

The win over South showed that the Bulldogs should be improved after last year’s 14-8 season. A win over the Olympians on Friday would be even further prove that New Albany is once again ready to compete for HHC and sectional titles.

THE PICK: New Albany 60, Columbus East 57.

BOYS — Clarksville (2-0, 0-0 MSC) at Silver Creek (1-0, 0-0), Friday

The Generals and Dragons are both off to excellent starts.

Clarksville posted an impressive road win over Floyd Central on Tuesday. The Dragons have yet to face a huge test, but won by 51 points in their opener. For a team with almost no returning varsity players, the lack of experience could be a big deal heading into a game against one of the best teams in the Mid-Southern Conference and Class 2A.

The homecourt advantage is always big in Sellersburg, but it won’t be enough to make up for the Generals’ experience advantage in both teams’ MSC opener.

THE PICK: Clarksville 81, Silver Creek 68.

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