News and notes from around the county:
Sectional draw announced: The Frankfort boys’ basketball team now knows the road it will have to navigate in order to defend its Class 3A Sectional 25 title.
The pairings for the 103rd Annual IHSAA Boys Basketball State Tournament were announced on Sunday evening for the 403 teams participating this year. The Hot Dogs (16-4) take on Crawfordsville (4-14) in one of the quarterfinals on Feb. 27, a team Frankfort beat 65-43 on Jan. 25. The winner gets the Southmont (14-5)-Western Boone (9-10) winner in the sectional semifinal on Feb. 29. In the top half of the bracket, 10th-ranked Lebanon (14-5) plays North Montgomery (3-15) in the Feb. 26 quarterfinal. The winner plays North Putnam (8-11), which drew the bye, on Feb. 29
There’s a Clinton County flavor at the bottom of the Class A Sectional 54 boys’ basketball sectional bracket at Tri-Central. Rossville (10-10) takes on Tri-Central (8-11) in the sectional quarterfinals on Feb. 26, with the winner playing Clinton Prairie (2-17) in the semifinals on Feb. 29.
At the top half is the 10-time defending sectional champion, Class A No. 10 Lafayette Central Catholic (11-8), which plays Frontier (7-13) in the quarterfinals. The winner takes on Faith Christian (3-16) – which is competing in its inaugural state basketball tournament – in the Feb. 29 semifinal.
The draw sets up a potential Rossville-Central Catholic sectional final. The two teams just played last Friday, with the Knights edging out the Hornets, 58-52.
In Class 2A Sectional 38, Clinton Central (1-18) drew a bye to the semifinals. The Bulldogs play the winner of Delphi (14-5)-Sheridan (13-6) on Feb. 29. In the other half of the bracket, defending champion Fountain Central (16-3) takes on Seeger (11-8) in the quarterfinals with Carroll (12-8) awaiting the winner there.
Bulldogs play rare weekday game tonight: Scott Leighty went into the Faith Christian and Bethesda Christian games confident his Clinton Central boys’ basketball team could pull out victories.
Unfortunately, that’s not the way it played out as the Bulldogs lost to Faith, 62-46, and 76-48 to Bethesda. But it wasn’t without effort – Central (1-18) only trailed Faith Christian by two points entering the fourth quarter. But Central’s inability to come away with victories doesn’t have the Bulldogs on a positive streak as they enter the final week of the season.
Tonight, Central plays host to Delphi (14-5). The Bulldogs are catching the Oracles at perhaps the wrong time. The Oracles are coming off a stunning 69-40 loss at the hands of Class A No. 4 Pioneer on Saturday, and could be playing with a chip on its shoulder.
In Saturday’s loss to Bethesda, the Bulldogs turned the ball over 20 times and shot 16 of 46 (35 percent) from the field, including 1 of 7 from 3-point range. The Patriots also locked down on Central’s leading scorer, sophomore Jake Burton (12.3 ppg), only allowing him five shots (which he missed all of). Burton did finish with four points from the free-throw line.
Delphi is led by Cole Murray (19.3 points per game), who’s heading to Division I Northern Kentucky University. Murray’s had strong games against the Hoosier Heartland Conference teams from Clinton County, scoring 43 points in two games against Rossville and 19 against Clinton Prairie.
Regular season ends this week: The boys’ basketball season began the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the three-month campaign concludes Friday night with all four local teams playing games on the road.
Frankfort travels to Tri-West (12-7, 3-3 Sagamore Athletic Conference), Prairie’s at Western Boone, Central is at Frontier and Rossville takes on West Lafayette (15-5).
State finals wrap: Frankfort senior Hugo Perez (132 pounds) and Clinton Central junior Jeff Scott (170 pounds) saw their seasons end at the Indiana High School Athletic Association state finals last weekend.
Perez (42-4) finished fourth in his weight class and Scott (37-4) lost in the first round on Friday.
Perez became the 13th Hot Dog to medal at the state finals, the first since Cody Martin was fifth in 2004. Perez’s finish was the highest for a Frankfort grappler since Chase Thompson and Felipe Perez (no relation) were first and third, respectively, in their weight classes in 2003.
Morris scoring buckets: Three weeks ago, it was Austin Martin who was scoring points at a ridiculous clip for Clinton Prairie. As defenses geared to slowing down Martin – he’s averaged 10.8 ppg the last five games after averaging 19.2 ppg over a nine-game stretch – freshman teammate Kale Morris has picked up the slack.
Morris had a big weekend, scoring 16 points against Tri-Central on Friday and 21 points against Attica on Saturday. Through 19 games, Morris is averaging 11.5 per contest. Like most freshman he’s had his ups-and-downs in the scoring department, scoring seven points or less six times. Morris scored 20 against Fountain Central, 16 against Carroll, 27 against Clinton Central and 17 against Faith Christian.
Prairie had two of its three closest losses this past weekend, falling to Tri-Central 66-61 in overtime and 64-62 to Attica.