Sectional play wrapped up around the state this weekend, and several area high school teams have advanced to regional action. Let’s take a look at how they got there.
Sectional 9 at Carmel High School (Carmel, Indiana)
In the first game of the sectional Noblesville High School had to face #8 Zionsville High School, a team that had beaten them 59-53 earlier in the season. Noblesville avenged that loss, and moved on to play #10 Hamilton Southeastern High School (Fishers, Indiana). Like Zionsville, HSE had beaten the Millers during the regular season, and as they did against the Eagles, Noblesville avenged that loss by beating the Royals 43-42.
In the finals, the roles were reversed, as it was Noblesville who had beaten Westfield High School during the regular season. Led by Jeff Howard’s 17 points and eight rebounds, the Shamrocks kept within reach for much of the game, and after back-to-back three pointers, were trailing by three with 34 seconds left to play. That was as close as they’d get though, eventually falling 47-41. Leland Brown led the way for the Millers with 18 points and six rebounds. Noblesville, making their first regional appearance since 1997, will play Perry Meridian next weekend at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Sectional 10 at Lawrence Central High School (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Indianapolis basketball fans were hoping to see a rubber match between #3 North Central High School and Lawrence North in the Sectional 10 finals, and that’s exactly what they got. The Panthers bested the Wildcats in two previous meetings this season, but Lawrence North came out in the first quarter and dominated their MIC rival, holding a 22-8 lead with a little over four minutes to play in the first half.
North Central rallied to cut the margin to 24-17 by intermission, and then came out in the second half and completely stifled the Wildcats offense, forcing them into 1-for-17 shooting and only six total points. Purdue University recruit Terone Johnson led North Central, who plays the winner of Pike/Ben Davis in the regionals, with 15 points.
Sectional 11 at Greenwood High School (Greenwood, Indiana)
Southport High School delivered the shocker of the tournament by beating #5 Center Grove High School on Tuesday night, opening up the field for a surprise champion. Perry Meridian High School, Franklin Central High School, and Franklin High School all displayed flashes of potential throughout the season, and it was left to those three schools to determine who would represent Sectional 11 in the regionals.
After beating Whiteland High School in the first round, the Perry Falcons squeezed past Franklin Central 33-31 to advance to the championship game. There they faced a Franklin team that they’d recently beaten 63-47. It was a much closer game the second time around, with Perry clinging to a narrow lead the entire second half. The Grizzly Cubs cut it to two points with 27 seconds left, but steady free-throw shooting helped the Falcons secure a 54-50 victory, and their first sectional title since 2003. They’ll face Noblesville next weekend in the regionals.
Sectional 12 at Arsenal Technical High School (Indianapolis, Indiana)
As expected, Pike High School and Ben Davis High School are squaring off for the second consecutive year in the sectional finals. Pike won last year’s battle 73-54, and they’re the favorites heading into Monday’s title game. Ben Davis survived a double-overtime game against Avon in the opener just to reach this point, while Pike manhandle Manual High School by 22 points in their lone tourney game.
The two teams met in the first round of the Marion County Tournament earlier this year, with Pike winning 65-54. Ben Davis is as hot as any team in the state of Indiana right now though. Winners of eight straight games, and 10 of 11, the Giants won’t be intimidated by Marquis Teague and the Pike Red Devils. Monday night’s winner will move on to face the Indy area’s top team, North Central, in the regionals.
Sectional 13 at Plainfield High School (Plainfield, Indiana)
Martinsville High School entered sectional play with a 4-16 record, and had the unenviable task of playing sectional favorite Terre Haute North in the opener. Surprising everyone, they beat the Patriots 33-31 and advanced to the championship game to take on Terre Haute South.
In the finals, Terre Haute’s John Michael Jarvis hit 7-of-7 shots, including two 28-plus foot three-pointers, on his way to 18 points in the first quarter. Trailing by 10 at the end of the first quarter, Martinsville began to meticulously mount a comeback. They finally pulled even near the end of the third quarter, and surged ahead early in the fourth. The Braves narrowed the lead to three with under a minute to play, but a layup by Seth Dow and two free throws by Derek Krebs secured the win. The six-win Artesians will take on Jeffersonville in the regionals.
Sectional 25 at Danville High School (Danville, Indiana)
Danville did what it was predicted to do, making easy work out of Crawfordsville and Western Boone (Thorntown, Indiana) in the first two rounds. They faced a frisky Lebanon High School team in the finals, but the 23-1 Warriors were simply too talented for the Tigers to contend with. Jordan Weidner scored 23 points to lead Danville, and Travis Carroll, who’s signed to play for Matt Painter next year, finished with 16 points of his own. The Warriors match up against Brebeuf Jesuit in the first game of the Shelbyville regional.
Sectional 26 at Beech Grove High School (Beech Grove, Indiana)
Not much love was given to the Brebeuf Braves entering the tournament, but they sport an experienced group of five seniors who played in the sectional finals last season. Reaching the championship game again this year, the Braves turned to that experience when they found themselves trailing ultra-talented T.C. Howe High School 51-46 with 3:27 left in the game.
Brebeuf senior Evan Kroot hit a three to cut the lead to two points, and then after an exchange of baskets, hit another three-pointer to give the Braves a 54-52 lead with a minute and a half left. Free-throws down the stretch helped them hold onto to a 56-55 win, and a berth to next weekend’s regionals, where they’ll face #1 Danville.
Sectional 27 at Mount Vernon High School (Fortville, Indiana)
#3 Mount Vernon cruised in their much anticipated game against Indiana University recruit Austin Etherington and the Hamilton Heights Huskies, ending a seven game sectionals losing streak. In the finals, the Marauders — who’ve won 17 consecutive games — made easy work of Shelbyville, jumping out to a nine point first quarter lead and never looking back. Daniel Turner paced the extremely well-balanced Marauders with 23 points. Greensburg will be the first round regional opponent, with a possible matchup against Danville looming in the night cap.
Sectional 40 at Taylor University (Upland, Indiana)
Tipton squeezed by Taylor, and then demolished Sheridan 85-48 to reach the championship game, while Guerin Catholic beat Oak Hill, and then Madison-Grant to advance to play the 20-3 Tipton Blue Devils. Guerin Catholic trailed by four after the first quarter, but outscored Tipton 16-2 in the second quarter to eventually take home a 66-53 victory. After losing six straight games during the middle of the season, the Golden Eagles have now won 10 in a row. They’ll take on Carrol High School in the regionals.
Sectional 43 at Washington High School (Indianapolis, Indiana)
After upsetting the heavily favored Washington Continentals in the opener, Park Tudor beat Ritter in the second game and advanced to take on Heritage Christian in the finals. Heritage Christian took out Indian Creek High School and Indianapolis Scecina to earn the right to advance to regional play for the second time in three years, but it was not to be. Park Tudor got 27 points from standout sophomore guard Yogi Ferrell, and J.B. Rapp added 17 to propel the Rebels to a 66-50 victory over the Eagles. They’ll face South Ripley next weekend.
Sectional 58 at Edinburgh High School (Edinburgh, Indiana)
Edinburgh rallied from a 14 point deficit to beat Morristown 55-54 in order to advance to the finals for the second straight year. This time, they faced off against #11 Irvington High School, and escaped with yet another one-point victory, 52-51. The Lancers hadn’t won a sectional championship since 1972. They’ll play Shawe Memorial in the first game of the regionals.
Sectional 59 at Crispus Attucks High School (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Lutheran won four games — more than any team in the state — on their way to capturing the sectional title. The Saints got a game-high 20 points from Andy Denecke to beat Fall Creek Academy 62-49 in the finals. Lutheran advanced to the state championship game in 2008, before losing to Triton. They’ll begin their quest to get back to Conseco Fieldhouse against North Central (Farmersburg) in the first game of next week’s regional.