Throughout the weekend, your favorite amphibian is going to be checking in on the sectionals that will most interest our area teams and readers. The favorite team listed, well that is my pick to walk out of Saturday, February 8 with a trophy.
We started out in Class 1A where the field starts with a single Tuesday game at 7 p.m. at Blackhawk Christian.
Note: Records are as of the morning of Saturday, February 1
BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN (15-7)
The Braves are in the midst of their best season ever in total regular season wins. Sophomore Hailee Kline is now scoring 20 points per game and has been on a roll lately. She is one of the best scorers in the lower classes in Northeast Indiana and arguably the scorer in this Sectional. Sammie Miller and Hallie Vander Dussen are quality seniors in the lineup and sophomore Lily Helmuth can provide scoring too. The Braves last won a Sectional in 2017.
The Braves open against Bethany Christian at 7 p.m. Tuesday and the winner will play Fremont in the second game on Friday. At home, on a three game winning streak, is exactly where the Braves want to be going into the postseason.
The Eagles will follow a sophomore into battle too with Jada Rhonehouse continuing to be their best player this season. Averaging 10.5 points per game, she helped lead Fremont to a title in this Sectional a year ago. There is plenty of experience for the Eagles, with seven seniors who all have appeared in 16 or more games, including a recent upset over Garrett.
The NECC has prepared this group for the postseason as well as any other Class 1A conference could. Fremont ran through a gauntlet and are actually considered by John Harrell’s website as the favorite by a pretty big margin in this Sectional.
LAKEWOOD PARK (10-11)
What will the Panthers put out there other than Chloe Jolloff? She has been unstoppable quite a bit, but the Panthers have still lacked consistency. They need to get help from Taylor Gerke and hope she can assert herself into scoring scenarios. They will play Elkhart Christian on Friday.
ELKHART CHRISTIAN (12-10)
With a good mix of players from a variety of classes, they have a similar balance as Lakewood Park, which makes their semi final match up solid. Abbey McKibbin can fill it up, coming off a 25 point game this past Friday night.
BETHANY CHRISTIAN (5-16)
Led by the winningest coach in this Sectional, the Bruins have struggled to score this year with just 30 points per game, led by Mariah Miller’s 6.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. They are shooting just 28 percent from the field as a team.
Sectional 51 at Blackhawk Christian Schedule
Tuesday, Feb. 4
Blackhawk Christian (13-7) vs. Bethany Christian (5-14), 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 7
Elkhart Christian (10-10) vs. Lakewood Park (10-9), 6 p.m.
Fremont (11-10) vs. Blackhawk Christian/Bethany Christian winner, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 8: Finals, 7:30 p.m.
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