Three of the same four teams from last season will return to this Regional, where Westview is the defending champions. Interestingly enough, the matchups have only changed because Bluffton is coming out of their Sectional instead of Canterbury.
Games will be played at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. with Andrean and Marquette Catholic kicking things off on Regional Saturday.
The teams are a combined 27-9 against Class 2A competition, but 12 of those wins come from Westview and zero of the losses come from Westview. So are they the favorite again?
Of course Westview is the favorite here as all five of their losses have come to Class 4A teams and no loss has been bigger than seven points and in that loss to East Noble, they were still pretty even in terms of talent. The Warriors are tough and Charlie Yoder is one of the best players in Class 2A and a heavy contender to be an Indiana Junior All-Star. Yoder is coming off a Sectional week averaging 27.3 points and being the Warriors’ leading scorer every night. Teammate Elijah Hales was an Indiana Junior All-Star last season, so we know that he is fully able to step up big time as he did last season in the Regional round.
With a Sagarin rating of 29th, the Warriors are ranked significantly higher than any other team in this Regional. They were ranked top 5 in Class 2A all season, in first place for a while before four straight close losses to four quality Class 4A teams at the end of 2018. They have the best Sagarin of anyone in Class 2A, but Andrean’s schedule is considered stronger.
With the 63rd toughest schedule in the state, according to Sagarin and regardless of class, Andrean has won back to back Sectional titles and are 5-2 against the other remaining 63 teams playing this weekend. The Fighting 59ers have a pretty solid core of five players who see the most time, led by sophomore Kyle Ross (16.9 points, 9 rebounds per game). He and John Carrothers each play more than 30 minutes per game and three other play 24 or more minutes per night. That could get exhausting on a Regional day and it is important to note that Andrean only won by an average of five points per game in their Sectional. They are battle tested in lot of ways this season with a good schedule, but not overall as four of those five primary players are sophomores. The experience of seniors Carrothers and Matt Lelito is critical if they want another shot at Westview this season.
MARQUETTE CATHOLIC (16-8)
They already have a loss to Andrean on their schedule, so have they done enough in the past two months to make up the 14 points of that game? Senior Colin Kenney is one of the best scorers in Class 2A, averaging 25.8 points per game, shooting at 44 percent from three point range where he has hit 80 shots this season. They will look to go to him often in one or both games, depending on what Marquette gets. Joe Andershock will be a secondary help, and comes in as the team’s leading rebounder (6.3 per game).
Chris Benedict’s eighth Sectional added to a legacy for the Tigers that dates back to their first Sectional in 1915. The Tigers have an uphill battle in facing Westview as the only remaining Class 2A team with a losing record and less than 10 wins. Johnathan Irwin has the ability to be one of the most prolific scorers in this tournament, but can he do that against Westview? The Sectional title was a great feel good moment for the Tigers, but that could easily be the end of the road.
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