Throughout the weekend and start of the week, 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.
Things get started on Tuesday at South Side High School where I think we all know the projected endgame for Saturday’s final.
No surprise here, the Spartans are one of the best teams in the state and they haven’t lost in the confines of Indiana this season. Homestead is primed to repeat, but it is likely they will need to run through rival South Side again, a team that has kept it within 10 points in each of their two previous meetings.
The rise of the bench players has made this team as deep as they need to be and they are playing with monster confidence. Sydney Graber has made big strides in her game and is playing, arguably, the best basketball of her career. Alongside Amber Austin and Ayanna Patterson, the interior for this Spartan team is tough to handle for anybody because few have the depth to handle it even a little.
SOUTH SIDE (14-9)
Can the Archers get by Homestead? That is what this Sectional comes down to and we won’t be too naive in ignoring that. I stand by what I said with Homestead, this is about the interior. Alaya Chapman and Lamyia Woodson are going to have to barrel down on Huntington North and Homestead at the rim and limit point blank scoring opportunities. If South Side can get consistent stops, they are a very dangerous challenger.
COLUMBIA CITY (15-7)
The co-NE8 champions have had a hot and cold season but on the strength of just winning that title, they are going to have a lot of things going their way. The Eagles are going to have to play big and long around the rim to be a contender in this Sectional, which means Bekah Marshall and Brayden Lickey are going to be crucial.
HUNTINGTON NORTH (15-7)
The Vikings can stop a lot of teams, but what can they do to stop heavy runs? Both South Side and DeKalb were able to overcome that defensive pressure that makes the Vikings one of the best in the state defensively; their 30 ppg defensive average is second best currently. What did they learn from the first South Side meeting? That could be the difference between a quick exit and a finals run.
NEW HAVEN (4-18)
New Haven has played physical and well in spurts. They are still a ways away from being a contender and their move up to Class 4A doesn’t help. They will just be looking for a good showing on Tuesday agains the Homestead power.
You can’t hate the strides that Wayne has made this season and with a solid young core. Shabrea O’Quinn has shown strong signs of making impacts, can she play strong up and down the court against raised competition?
Sectional 6 at South Side Schedule
Tuesday, Feb. 4
New Haven vs. Homestead, 6 p.m.
South Side vs. Huntington North, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 7
Columbia City vs. New Haven/Homestead winner, 6 p.m.
Wayne vs. South Side/Huntington North winner, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 8: Finals, 7:30 p.m.
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