Sectional realignments have been officially announced by the IHSAA with several area teams moving around in both girls and boys basketball. When the class realignments were announced, Bounce made some assumptions on changes to Sectionals. I was wrong.
Was I using too much common sense? Perhaps. But here are all of the official new look Sectionals for boys basketball and what they could mean.
Class 4A Sectional 5
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS: Northrop
OLD SECTIONAL FIELD: Carroll, DeKalb, East Noble, Bishop Dwenger, North Side, Northrop, Snider
NEW SECTIONAL FIELD: Carroll, DeKalb, East Noble, North Side, Northrop, Snider
WHAT IT MEANS: This field will go back to what it was two seasons ago with no team moving in to replace Bishop Dwenger going back down to Class 3A. What will it mean in far of competition? That remains to be seen but Carroll, East Noble and Northrop will all face significant changes in personnel.
GAME TO WATCH FOR: Carroll versus Snider
Class 4A Sectional 6
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS: Huntington North
OLD SECTIONAL FIELD: Columbia City, South Side, Wayne, Homestead, Huntington North, Jay County, Muncie Central
NEW SECTIONAL FIELD: Columbia City, South Side, Wayne, Homestead, Huntington North, New Haven
WHAT IT MEANS: New Haven will bump up to Class 4A to face an advance challenge with only two Sectional titles (2013, 2017) in the last 20-plus seasons. The big change here will be the loss of Jay County and, more importantly, Muncie Central. The Bearcats were a physical and athletic team that didn’t make too many waves in this Sectional but were constantly capable of doing so. Muncie Central’s Victor Young is having a great summer and would have been one of the best players in this Sectional. Lets face facts, this all benefits Homestead.
GAME TO WATCH FOR: Homestead versus South Side
Class 3A Sectional 21
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS: Tippecanoe Valley
OLD SECTIONAL FIELD: Fairfield, Lakeland, NorthWood, Tippecanoe Valley, Wawasee, West Noble
NEW SECTIONAL FIELD: Lakeland, NorthWood, Tippecanoe Valley, Wawasee, West Noble
WHAT IT MEANS: Again, no additions just subtractions in this Sectional. Fairfield will move down to Class 2A making this a five team Sectional and potentially a wide open one.
GAME TO WATCH FOR: Lakeland versus West Noble
Class 3A Sectional 22
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS: Angola
OLD SECTIONAL FIELD: Angola, Concordia Lutheran, Garrett, Leo, New Haven, Woodlan
NEW SECTIONAL FIELD: Angola, Bishop Dwenger, Bishop Luers, Concordia Lutheran, Garrett, Leo, Woodlan
WHAT IT MEANS: This field will lose New Haven up to Class 4A and replace them with both Bishop Dwenger and Bishop Luers. The Knights will move over from another Sectional and Dwenger just returns to this Sectional after two years playing up a class.
This is going to be a better overall fit for the Saints, even if their old Sectional was mostly SAC teams. While many of these teams lost quality players to graduation, this is going to be a very even and interesting Sectional come next Spring.
GAME TO WATCH FOR: Bishop Dwenger versus Woodlan
Class 3A Sectional 23
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS: Marion
OLD SECTIONAL FIELD: Bellmont, Bishop Luers, Heritage, Marion, Mississinewa, Norwell
NEW SECTIONAL FIELD: Bellmont, Eastern (Greentown), Heritage, Mississinewa, Norwell, Oak Hill
WHAT IT MEANS: A season removed from a Class 2A state title, Oak Hill will join the area fray by joining Eastern as new teams in his Sectional field. Nobody could be happier than the teams returning to this Sectional as they’d take any replacement for Marion, who moves up to Class 4A (Bishop Luers also exits this Sectional). Both of these teams are coming up from sub-.500 seasons in Class 2A with Greentown returning second leading scorer Ethan Wilcox and Oak Hill returning second leading scorer Tahj Johnson.
Heritage and Bellmont also lose a lot of graduation, so Bounce expects this realignment to mean the most to Norwell, who will return a lot led by one of the area’s toughest interior scorers in Will Geiger.
GAME TO WATCH FOR: Norwell versus Oak Hill
Class 3A Sectional 24
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS: Delta
OLD SECTIONAL FIELD: Blackford, Delta, Hamilton Heights, Muncie Burris, New Castle, Yorktown
NEW SECTIONAL FIELD: Jay County, Delta, Hamilton Heights, Muncie Burris, New Castle, Yorktown
WHAT IT MEANS: This means a small sigh of relief for Jay County and long needed shipment down in class. It also means less of a draw for attendance with the loss of players from Delta and New Castle to graduation and Luke Brown and Blackford headed back down to Class 2A.
The Patriots will graduate a lot from the 2018-19 ACAC champion team, but it is a system program and there is always another batch of players coming in that fit that system well. A chance to finally compete in the postseason will be good motivation for Jay County.
GAME TO WATCH FOR: New Castle versus Jay County
Class 2A Sectional 35
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS: Westview
OLD SECTIONAL FIELD: Bremen, Central Noble, LaVille, Prairie Heights, Westview, Whitko
NEW SECTIONAL FIELD: Bremen, Central Noble, Churubusco, Eastside, Fairfield, Prairie Heights, Westview
WHAT IT MEANS: It means we have an NECC Tournament Part II. LaVille and Whitko are out, Fairfield moves down from Class 3A and Churubusco and Eastside move over from the other area Class 2A Sectional. This is a lot of change and means last season’s statistically toughest Sectional in the state will feature the likely top 5 teams in the NECC. This Sectional also likely leads to the toughest Regional in the state.
There is a lot of potential star power here with Westview’s Charlie Yoder being an Indiana All-Star candidate and fellow NECC players like Jackson Paul, Nolan Sharick and Elijah Malone also in this Sectional. No matter where it takes place, this is likely a must see Sectional from Tuesday through the weekend.
GAME TO WATCH FOR: Westview versus Central Noble
Class 2A Sectional 36
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS: Bluffton
OLD SECTIONAL FIELD: Adams Central, Bluffton, Churubusco, Eastside, Fort Wayne Canterbury, South Adams
NEW SECTIONAL FIELD: Adams Central, Blackhawk Christian, Bluffton, Canterbury, Manchester, South Adams, Wabash, Whitko
WHAT IT MEANS: There are not many eight team Sectionals in the state of Indiana, so why not have one here. In fact, this is one of just two eight team Sectionals in the state where last season had zero. Out are Churubusco and Eastside, who will move to the other Class 2A sectional and that takes away the Churubusco and Blackhawk Christian meeting that I was hoping for as well as last season’s host site.
The big story will be the move of defending Class 1A state champion Blackhawk Christian, who will immediately be the favorites here but have a lot of pieces to replace too. Also joining this Sectional will be Manchester, Wabash and Whitko and that means some really strong offensive talent coming in with Manchester’s Weston Hamby and Thane Creager, Wabash’s Trenton Daughtry and Whitko’s Brett Sickafoose. Wabash won their sectional last year by beating Manchester.
GAME TO WATCH FOR: Blackhawk Christian versus Manchester
Class 1A Sectional 51
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS: Triton (technically), Blackhawk Christian (reality)
OLD SECTIONAL FIELD: Sectional 51 consisted of Argos, Culver Community, Elkhart Christian, Oregon-Davis, South Bend Career, South Central (Union Mills), Triton — but, 51 is now home to team mostly from the old Sectional 52. That Sectional consisted of Bethany Christian, Fremont, Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian, Hamilton, Lakeland Christian, Lakewood Park Christian, Smith Academy.
NEW SECTIONAL FIELD: Bethany Christian, Elkhart Christian, Fremont, Hamilton, Lakewood Park
WHAT IT MEANS: A chance to win. No offense to any of the participating teams, but Blackhawk Christian’s exit means more than anything here too. So who becomes the favorite in this completely rehashed Sectional? Lakewood Park returns arguable the best two players in the bracket with Caedmon Bontrager and Josh Pike.
GAME TO WATCH FOR: Lakewood Park versus Hamilton
Class 1A Sectional 53
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS: North Vermillion (technically)
OLD SECTIONAL FIELD: Sectional 53 consisted of Attica, Faith Christian, North Vermillion, Parke Heritage, Riverton Parke.
NEW SECTIONAL FIELD: Lakeland Christian, Smith Academy, North Miami, Northfield, Southern Wells, Southwood
WHAT IT MEANS: Another totally rehashed Class 1A Sectional. Southern Wells has been able to win back to back titles is lesser Sectionals, but can Kyle Penrod, in his second year, be able to duel as strongly with long time coaches like Cliff Hawkins (North Miami) and John Burrus (Southwood)? This should be a tough Sectional to call.
GAME TO WATCH FOR: North Miami versus Southwood
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