Throughout the last few days, your favorite amphibian has been checking in on the sectionals that will most interest our area teams and readers.
We conclude today with Class 4A Sectional 6, where Homestead is the heavy favorite. This sectional begins Tuesday.
This is obvious.
While the Spartans have struggled at times against the elite teams around the state this year, they have owned northeast Indiana. The Spartans beat every local opponent by double digits except for one, a 62-54 win over Norwell in December.
The improvement over the course of the season by Ayanna Patterson has been nothing short of impressive. The freshman showed her inexperience in November and December, but has steadily gotten better and more comfortable. She has vastly improved her finishing ability around the basket and has looked like the best player on the floor for the team the last few weeks.
To beat Homestead is to find a way to stop them from getting four different scorers in double figures and that is not easy. Patterson, Sylare Starks, Sydney Graber, Rylie Parker, Haley Swing and Kara Gealy are all more than capable of putting up game leading numbers each night.
SOUTH SIDE (14-7)
The Archers were competitive in both losses to Homestead this season, showing that Coach Juanita Goodwell’s team has the confidence that they can play with the Spartans. Expect more of the same when the two, barring a crazy upset, meet up in Saturday night’s final.
South Side’s ability to play physical and disrupt Homestead’s finesse-type style will be big if the Archers are to beat the Spartans for the second time in two years in the postseason. Junior Alaya Chapman may be the key as she commands quite the presence in the post and could make things difficult for Homestead around the bucket.
There is also the idea to try and keep Jaci Jones hot throughout this tournament after she set a school record by hitting nine three pointers last Friday in a win over Bishop Dwenger. If Jones gets rolling, teams are going to have to figure out how to stop it pretty quickly.
HUNTINGTON NORTH (7-14)
The Vikings open the sectional against South Side, a team that beat them by 49 points just last week. That’s not good. Any hope for HN to pull the upset comes down to protecting the basketball, especially outside of the hands of Madalyn Robrock. The Vikings struggled mightily with the Archers’ aggressive defense, turning the ball over close to 20 times in last week’s 80-31 loss.
MUNCIE CENTRAL (5-17)
Heading in to the postseason with a two-game winning streak is good for the Bearcats, despite those two wins coming against sub-par teams in Muncie Burris and Kokomo. Central is led by a pair of seniors – Dakoyta Sloss and Ayala Wilson. Together the duo averages over 26 points a contest.
The first year for Coach Lacia Gorman has been a struggle, with the Generals’ lone victory coming against a winless Canterbury team that is only playing a partial schedule. The team averages just 28 points per game and was defeated 78-20 by Homestead in November, the very team Wayne plays on Friday at 6 p.m.
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