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Boys basketball sectional draw & reaction

February 22, 2013
Hancock County Sports



Class 4A at New Castle
Tuesday, Feb. 26
6 p.m.:
Pendleton Heights (12-9) vs. Connersville (11-11)
7:30 p.m.:
New Castle (11-9) vs. Anderson (16-5)
Friday, March 1
6 p.m.:
Richmond (15-7) vs. PH/Connersville winner
7:30 p.m.: Greenfield-Central (5-15) vs. NC/Anderson winner
Saturday, March 2
7:30 p.m.:
Championship
Flash analysis:
This sectional features five teams with at least 10 wins, and some of the state's blue-blood programs -- four of the teams possess seven state championships, and play in some of the biggest gyms in the world. G-C has been improved -- the Cougars have won three straight games -- and will face either a solid New Castle team led by Steven Bennett on the Trojans' home floor, or an Anderson squad that's 16-4 and enjoying an renaissance. Anderson beat New Castle by six points at the Teepee last Friday. Richmond is another favorite, with a 14-7 record, and benefits from drawing the bye. The Red Devils are 3-0 against sectional foes, including a 12-point win over Anderson. Never count out a Pendleton Heights team that plays a tough schedule and features one of the area's biggest scorers in Brogan Gary. 

Class 4A at Center Grove
Tuesday, Feb. 26
6 p.m.:
Greenwood (7-13) vs. Franklin (14-6)
7:30 p.m.: New Palestine (15-5) vs. Center Grove (8-12)
Friday, March 1

6 p.m.: Franklin Central (9-10) vs. Greenwood/Franklin winner
7:30 p.m.: Whiteland  (8-13) vs. NP/CG winner
Saturday, March 2
7:30 p.m.:
Championship
Flash analysis: New Palestine and Center Grove played one of the season's best games back on Nov. 30 -- a 95-89 CG victory. The two teams will want to run and score a lot of points, and both are capable of doing it. NP will have to beat three pretty good teams to get to the sectional final. The Dragons have been even against the sectional field -- beating Franklin Central and Whiteland in close games, falling to CG and Franklin in games decided in the last second. They'll play a fifth sectional foe, Greenwood, on Friday. Much like last year, there's no clear favorite -- NP and Franklin are both 14-5 and have the best records among the sectional field, but CG, FC and Whiteland have some good results and Greenwood has been rapidly improving. NP has become a very confident team come sectional time, and has won two straight sectionals.

Class 3A at Mt. Vernon
Tuesday, Feb. 26
6 p.m.:
Arlington (9-11) vs. Howe (9-10)
7:30 p.m.: Mt. Vernon (19-1) vs. Brebeuf (11-9)
Friday, March 1
6 p.m.:
Chatard (7-14) vs. Arlington/Howe winner
7:30 p.m.:
Guerin Catholic (17-5) vs. MV/Brebeuf winner
Saturday, March 2
7:30 p.m.: Championship
Flash analysis: Two things stand out about this bracket. First, it's loaded. Second, all of the teams that make it loaded are in the same half of the bracket. Mt. Vernon gave Guerin Catholic its toughest game of the tournament en route to Guerin's state title last year. Brebeuf has one of the area's most dynamic players in P.J. Thompson and has played a loaded schedule. For MV to win this sectional, it will have to earn it -- having to get through the three toughest potential foes to get to the title. The other thing that stands out is that little is known about how the sectional teams match up with each other. The only sectional team MV has played is Howe -- a team the Marauders beat 56-41 on Jan. 12. Brebeuf has only played two teams in the sectional -- Guerin and Chatard -- and beat both. Home court should be to MV's benefit, as should the fact that the Marauders are one point away from being undefeated. C.J. Coleman and Stephen Turner lead a balanced, well-coached and outstanding Marauder team. The winner of this sectional will be a favorite to go to the State Finals, but the southern half of the 3A draw is loaded.

Class 2A at Hagerstown
Tuesday, Feb. 26
7 p.m.: Knightstown (6-14) vs. Union County (15-6)
Wednesday, Feb. 27
6 p.m.:
Cambridge City Lincoln (12-8) vs. Centerville (9-10)
7:30 p.m.: Hagerstown (19-2) vs. Eastern Hancock (6-14)
Friday, March 1
6 p.m.:
Northeastern (11-9) vs. Tuesday winner
7:30 p.m.: Wednesday's winners
Saturday, March 2
7:30 p.m.: Championship
Flash analysis: Hagerstown is the clear favorite here, having been unbeaten for much of the season. But the Tigers are not invincible -- they've been beaten by potential sectional foe Northeastern. Eastern Hancock is a dangerous team -- the Royals are 6-13, but have been battling injuries for much of the season. The Royals have done a lot of things right, but have been snakebitten in a lot of close games. Centerville is 8-10, but they always seem to play their best basketball this time of year. Northeastern has an advantage with the bye. Union County lost a 55-53 decision to Hagerstown earlier this season and is a 14-win team. The Patriots are obviously a contender.


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