In Class 2A, we will head to Bluffton as the host Tigers look to repeat as Sectional champions. The combined record of this sectional is 43-69 with winning records coming few and far between.
As a six game Sectional, games will be played Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at Bluffton.
Note: Records are as of the morning of Saturday, January 26
The Tigers have a lot on their side when trying to defend their title and the biggest thing on their side is just that: they know what holding the Sectional trophy feels like. Don’t ever disregard the momentum that feeling can give a team. It took a long time for Bluffton to be a championship program again and this group, many of whom are back from last year, likely aren’t looking to give that up.
Also, Bluffton had gone 3-0 against Sectional opponents, with the closest game being a 13 point win over Churubusco. Then there is that home court advantage. That always helps.
What shows Bluffton as the favorite in my eyes is my never ending ideal that to get through a one week tournament like this, you must have three legit scorers. Enter Emme Boots, Olivia King and then any number of Tigers who have stepped up throughout the year. But my favorite for a key player here is Grace Miller, who has been able to give her team whatever they need from her most nights.
Bluffton will face Eastside on Tuesday night.
SOUTH ADAMS (10-12)
The Starfires couldn’t be happier with their draw, getting a bye to Friday night to play the winner of Adams Central and Canterbury. They also couldn’t be a ton happier with their season after graduating so, so much after last season’s ACAC run. With just two seniors in Emilee Myers and Shae Bowman, they have found a modicum of success.
Myers (12.9 ppg) and Lydia Loshe (12.1 ppg) are a couple of the better players in this Sectional field and their January 8 win over Woodlan certaintly opened eyes that this team is capable of big wins. Their keys to contend will fall behind Loshe’s shooting prowess and Myers’ aggression.
ADAMS CENTRAL (12-10)
The Flying Jets will draw Canterbury in the late Tuesday game, which isn’t a huge challenge for them. They will need to string together three wins here, which has been difficult as they have exchanged wins and losses all season, save for a six game winning streak early on. First year Doug Curtis has Adams Central with their first winning record in 15 years and that is huge momentum for this group. They also finished their regular season with a big win and some big numbers behind Lexi Smith’s 20 points.
The Eagles’ win over South Adams last week was important and so is their first round bye to face the winner of Bluffton and Eastside. Their only wins against Class 2A teams come against three teams in this Sectional, but they were handled pretty easily by Bluffton and Adams Central. The Eagles are shooting just 29 percent from the field.
The Blazers sit just 1-4 against Class 2A teams and are winless against these other five teams. Two wins over Fairfield are impressive for them, but other than that, they are getting beat by 8.8 points per game and they are coming in to the postseason off four straight losses.
This has been a tough year from start to finish for the Cavaliers with a significantly reduced schedule while they figure out the next steps for the existence of this program. And while success hasn’t been a factor, kudos to the girls who came out for this team and kept Canterbury playing basketball in the face of possible extinction.
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