SECTIONALS UP FOR GRABS AFTER SUNDAY’S DRAW
StaceyPageOnline / Sports on Sunday, January 20, 2019
INDIANAPOLIS – A host of interesting matchups were revealed Sunday as the IHSAA laid the foundation for the 44th girls basketball sectional tournaments that start in just over a week.
A drastically improved collection in Class 4-A Sectional 4 at Northridge finds a very balanced group pretty well distributed. Six of the seven teams in the bracket will enter the tournament with a winning record, and those six have at least 12 wins heading into the final week of the regular season. Locally, Warsaw (13-7) drew the only team in the sectional without a winning record in Elkhart Memorial (6-14) in Wednesday night’s first game, a 6 p.m. opening tip.
Northridge (17-5) and Plymouth (14-5) open up play Tuesday in a very saucy matchup that has the two teams scheduled to close the regular season against one another Thursday. The regular season game matters more for Ridge, which is trying to close out its fourth straight Northern Lakes Conference crown. Game two on Wednesday will have Elkhart Central (15-6) take on Goshen (12-7) while Concord (12-8) will await the Ridge-Plymouth winner in Friday’s first semi-final. The Warsaw-Memorial and Central-Goshen winners will play in Friday’s second semi-final. The ‘ship is Saturday night.
Class 3-A’s Sectional 21 at West Noble is another sectional where teams won’t get any breaks. Wawasee (4-15) has played much better than its record, and will get a chance to make a statement right away when it takes on Lakeland (14-6). Fans from the sectional will remember a year ago when Wawasee stunned the field when it knocked out Tippecanoe Valley in the semis and nearly upset Fairfield in the final, both top-ten programs at the time. If Wawasee can manage to upset Lakeland, it would get Tippy (14-5) in the first semi-final Friday.
On the other side of the bracket, West Noble (14-5) and Fairfield (5-14) will meet in Tuesday’s game two, a rematch of what will be the final game of the regular season for the two teams this Friday. The Falcons, the defending sectional champion, has lost 12 of its last 13 games. NorthWood (15-6) awaits the winner of the West Noble-Fairfield game in Friday’s second semi-final. Title game in Ligonier is set for Saturday night.
Class 1-A’s No. 51 tourney at Oregon-Davis will have Triton (6-15) facing the toughest challenge right away when it takes on South Central (15-5) in the grid’s only Tuesday game at 8 p.m. The Satellites beat the Trojans by 13 points in early November. Wednesday’s matchups will have LaCrosse (10-9) take on Culver (7-12) ahead of Argos (8-11) meeting the host Bobcats (12-8). The two Wednesday winners will play in Friday’s second semi-final, which follows South Bend Career Academy (2-15) facing the South Central-Triton winner. O-D’s championship will take place Saturday night.
Class 1-A’s No. 52 tourney at Fremont will also see another area team play immediately, with Lakeland Christian Academy (12-8) meeting the host Eagles (11-8) in the first game Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The two teams did not meet in the regular season. Fort Wayne Blackhawk (9-12) and defending sectional champion Lakewood Park (6-11) will do battle in Wednesday’s first game, with Hamilton (1-7) and Bethany Christian (12-7) playing in Wednesday’s second contest. Elkhart Christian Academy (9-8) will play either LCA or Fremont in Friday’s first semi-final. Wednesday’s winners play the second Friday contest, and Saturday night at Fremont is the place to be to see championship basketball.