Boys sectional play begins tonight

Boys sectional play begins tonight

IHSAA Logo 1The regular season is excellent, but Indiana high school basketball fans and the players who play the game look forward to the tournament.

The wait is over, as the 106th-annual IHSAA boys hoops tourney tips off tonight throughout the Hoosier state.

The 19-5 Connersville Spartans won’t hit the court until 6 p.m. Friday when they square off against the winner between Richmond and Greenfield-Central in Class 4A Sectional 9 play at the New Castle Fieldhouse.

The Red Devils (11-14) and Cougars (19-4) get things started tonight at 6 p.m., with Pendleton Heights (13-10) and tourney-host New Castle (15-7) scheduled to tip off at 7:30.

In Friday’s 2nd semifinal (7:30 p.m.) Mt. Vernon (Fortville) (18-4) takes on the winner of the Pendleton Heights-New Castle game.

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Connersville beat both of Friday’s potential opponents during the regular season. On Dec. 19, CHS ended a 7-year losing streak to Richmond, beating the Red Devils, 52-47, in overtime at Spartan Bowl. Three nights later at the Bowl, the Big Red defeated Greenfield-Central, 47-40.

Connersville head coach Kerry Brown and his staff will scout tonight’s games and size up the Spartans’ next opponent.

“Both of them pose different problems for us. They both have a lot of talent and play good basketball,” said Brown. “Greenfield-Central is very similar to us and Richmond is playing better and they have a really good player back now who didn’t play against us during the season.”

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The player Brown refers to is forward Dominique Walker, who was averaging nearly 13 points and 5 rebounds a game when he was injured early in the season.

Walker has played in 4 games since returning to the lineup. He scored 14 points in Richmond’s final regular season game, a 56-43 win over Fort Wayne Wayne. Besides his inside play, Walker’s return gives the Red Devils an additional 3-point threat.

Greenfield Central has won 10 straight games. The senior-laden Cougars are led by 6-5 swingman Tate Hall, who averages 18.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.3 steals a contest.

Connersville hasn’t played since beating Class 2A No. 3 Northeastern, 69-56, on Feb. 23. Brown isn’t sure what affect the 10-day layoff might have for his team.

“I’ve never had the bye in a tournament draw so we’ll find out,” the coach said. “It’s a little bit of a concern but we’ll be ready for whatever team we play.”

In tonight’s 2nd game, New Castle will try overcome a disappointing end to the regular season that saw the Trojans lose 3 of their last 4 games, including a 69-63 overtime loss at Class 3A Hamilton Heights in the season finale.

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Pendleton Heights lost 3 of its last 5 games, but ended the season on a high note with a 61-60 overtime win against host Indianapolis North Central. North Central is 19-3 and rated 3rd in Class 4A.

Tickets for the games are available at the Fieldhouse doors.

Area sectionals

Class 4A Sectional 9 at New Castle
Tuesday
Game 1: Richmond (9-14) vs Greenfield-Central (18-4) (6 p.m.)
Game 2: Pendleton Heights (12-10) vs New Castle (14-6). (7:30)

Friday
Game 3: Connersville (18-5) vs Richmond-Greenfield-Central winner (6 p.m.)
Game 4: Mt. Vernon (17-3) vs Pendleton Heights-New Castle winner (7:30).
Championship game: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Class 4A Sectional 14 at East Central
Tuesday
Game 1: East Central (10-13) vs. Bloomington North (7-14)
Game 2: Columbus East (11-12) vs. Columbus North (9-13)

Friday
Bloomington South (19-4) vs. winner game 1
Shelbyville (8-14) vs. winner game 2
Championship game: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Class 3A Sectional 29 at Greensburg
Tuesday
Game 1: South Dearborn (1-22) vs. Batesville (5-17)

Wednesday
Game 2: Madison (10-12) vs. Lawrenceburg (14-9)
Game 3: Franklin County (12-10) vs. Rushville (7-15)

Friday
Game 4: Greensburg (14-7) vs. winner game 1
Game 5: winner game 2 vs. winner game 3
Championship game: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Class 2A Sectional 41 at Hagerstown
Tuesday
Game 1: Hagerstown (15-8) vs. Cambridge City Lincoln (8-13)
Game 2: Northeastern (19-4) vs. Winchester (14-8)

Friday
Game 3: Centerville (6-14) vs. winner game 1
Game 4: Union County (15-8) vs. winner game 2
Championship game: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Class A Sectional 60 at South Decatur
Tuesday
Game 1: South Decatur (3-20) vs. Oldenburg Academy (14-9)

Wednesday
Game 2: Rising Sun (9-14) vs. Jac-Cen-Del (17-6)
Game 3: Hauser (14-8) vs. Waldron (9-13)

Friday
Game 4: Southwestern (Shelby) (12-10) vs. winner game 1
Game 5: winner game 2 vs. winner game 3
Championship game: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Please Support Locally-Owned Businesses in Connersville!

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Photos by Doug Jordan, 265-1230

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