Outside the Huddle is breaking down each area sectional, giving you a detailed look at the field and what to expect this week, culminating in crowning sectional champions on Saturday night.
We continue our breakdowns with a visit to the Class 4A sectional at Carroll.
While the Panthers fell short of an SAC championship and had some shaky moments down the stretch, they still enter this sectional as the favorite in Bounce’s mind.
It should come down to Snider and Carroll, with the teams splitting a pair of matchups in the regular season.
What puts Snider over the top is the relative health of the roster. The Panthers are expected to have both Michael Eley and Jayshawn Underwood available this week. Meanwhile, it is unsure whether Carroll will have leading scorer Jalen Jackson back.
The aforementioned Chargers finished the regular season with a 2-2 record over the final four games, but close losses to Carmel and North Central likely did more to prepare Coach Marty Beasley’s team for the postseason.
Again, the question regarding Jalen Jackson’s health is a big one. Carroll did play exceptional without him in a late-season victory at Homestead, but there is no doubt that the Chargers are a better team with the sophomore in the lineup.
In a sectional with some solid offenses, Carroll’s ability to keep teams in check on the defensive end to the tune of 46 points per game could loom large.
The Bruins are better than their record indicates after beginning the season 1-6 with leading scorer Qualen Pettus working back from a football injury. That said, Northrop lost two games to Carroll in the regular season by a total of 37 points.
What changes for the Bruins if they meet Carroll in Friday’s first semifinal? Northrop will have to shoot better and open up opportunities around the rim to have a chance. That could put the focus on senior Nick Haines, who can be extremely streaky in shooting from the perimeter.
EAST NOBLE (11-11)
Eleven wins is nothing to scoff at, but the Knights were blown out by both Snider and Carroll in the regular season.
Hayden Jones and Nate Dickson are two experienced seniors who lead the way offensively for East Noble.
The draw is favorable in the opening round against DeKalb, but Snider looms in the semis.
The Barons have won just two games in 2020, which is not a good recipe for success when entering a sectional that has four teams with double-digit victories.
NORTH SIDE (1-20)
Victories by the Legends in 2018 in the postseason = 3
Victories by the Legends in the last two seasons combined = 3
CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 5 AT CARROLL
Northrop (11-12) vs. North Side (1-20), 6 p.m.
East Noble (11-11) vs. DeKalb (6-16), 7:30 p.m.
Carroll (17-5) vs. Northrop/North Side, 6 p.m.
Snider (17-6) vs. East Noble/DeKalb, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 7
Final, 7 p.m.
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