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 […]
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, March 7 with a trophy.
In Class 3A, Norwell will head to the postseason ranked in the state and with a good chance statistically to be one of the best teams in this class in the northern part of the state with games starting Tuesday.
It was a long time between Norwell losses (12 games, in fact) so we will need to see how they can rebound from ending their regular season with a loss. That said, they are the overwhelmingly best team in this Sectional. Their length has been great, but it is the work ethic of Norwell that has really separated them as one of the best teams in Class 3A. They went 9-1 against Class 3A this season and nobody in this Sectional has been able to beat them. Up front, we should all know by now how strong Will Geiger is. Even in their recent loss to Homestead, Geiger put up 20 points against significant double and triple teams.
This is a gritty group that doesn’t slow down whether they are winning or losing games. Coach Mike McBride has been a great leader coaching his team up and they have responded. Connor Torson is playing the best basketball of his career and if Norwell is shooting the ball well with Eli Riley and Luke McBride at the forefront, they are tough inside and out.
They went toe to toe with Norwell earlier this season, losing by three. In fact, only one of their four losses has been by more than five points. This is a team that really could give Norwell a run if the Knights aren’t bounced back to form or even if they are. The Indians have solid depth, pretty comfortably going eight guys deep and their scoring balance is something unique. Bolstered by three guys who all basically provide the same thing. 0.7 points is what separates the three scoring averages of Landen Swanner, Tai Mcclung and Anthony Horton. You just don’t see three guys that close in scoring at the top of a team, all averaging more than 14 points per contest.
As a team, the Indians shoot 54 percent from the field and all three of those guys shoot 53 percent or better individually.
This is a team that is tough defensively and are still on the winning side of average scoring per game. That starts in a major way inside with Kade Fuelling, who uses his long and winding frame to work around anchored defenders in the post. Fuelling is arguably the best player in the area that we don’t talk about enough because he is a big double double threat. Nic Ellsworth really helps handle that load and Bellmont can rebound with the best team in this Sectional, which puts them very near contender status.
OAK HILL (13-9)
The biggest struggle for Oak Hill continues to be consistency, with just one three game win streak this season. They are a solid shooting team, hitting 51 percent from the field and when your best scorer is your best shooter (at 68 percent), you have a good head start on a lot of games. If they can win on Tuesday, they should get to Saturday and in the championship round with a consistent team, they have a fighting chance.
The Patriots are a team that was hit hard by graduation and have had to crawl in their rebuild but still have some good potential in their younger core, especially with Luke Saylor, who has been able to flex his scoring muscle later in the season as he has gained experience. Hunter Teichman can be a strong presence for them and few can match the energy and enthusiasm that Parker Tracey brings on both ends of the floor.
They will need to be more of a defensive stopping team to win some games in this Sectional. Eastern struggles to win in close games and they will need some young guys to step up. Eastern is led by junior Evan Monize.
Class 2A Sectional 23 at Norwell Schedule
Tuesday, March 3
Bellmont vs. Eastern, 6 p.m.
Oak Hill vs. Mississinewa, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 6
Norwell vs. Bellmont/Eastern, 6 p.m.
Heritage vs. Oak Hill/Mississinewa, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 7
Final, 7 p.m.
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