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 conclude our breakdowns with a visit to the Class 4A sectional at Huntington North.
NEW HAVEN (16-6)
The last time the Bulldogs won a 4A sectional, it was at Huntington North in 2013.
Could it happen again this week?
Coach Bruce Stephens’ team can beat you in a variety of ways. It can get physical close to the hoop with guys like Jakar Williams and Dre Wright. It can also hurt you from range with a host of shooters as well as slashers to the hoop. Donovynn Lewis fits both of those.
New Haven lost by 16 points to Homestead earlier in the season, but Bounce feels the Bulldogs have come a long way since.
As for the Spartans?
What a difference a week makes.
The Spartans laid an egg on the final Friday of the SAC season a few weeks ago, letting an opportunity to win at least a share of the league crown escape.
One week later, Homestead’s defense stole the show in handing Norwell just its second loss of the season.
So which Homestead team shows up in sectional week?
With more consistency, the Spartans would be the favorite in Huntington, but can this team play a week’s worth of solid hoops and win a title?
Point guard Zak Krueger is an unknown as he battles injury. Will he try and give it a go this week? If he does, how effective can he be? Can Homestead consistently make shots on the offensive end? Can it be as physical as it was against Norwell?
So many questions.
COLUMBIA CITY (10-12)
Before you get too excited about New Haven, consider that the Eagles lost by just five to the Bulldogs in January.
Coach Brett Eberly’s team needs to beat Huntington North on Tuesday first, but a semifinal rematch against New Haven could be compelling with the combination of Mason Baker and Mitchell Wilson an underrated area duo.
HUNTINGTON NORTH (8-14)
Unless something crazy happens, Coach Craig Teagle will finish a season with a losing record for the first time since 2000-01 when he was at Jay County.
That is astounding.
You can point to the defense as the reason for the Vikings’ sub-.500 record. Teagle preaches defense, yet Huntington North is allowing over 52 points a contest. That’s a lot as far as Teagle-coached teams are concerned.
Apart from senior Jordan Hollowell, no one in the Huntington North lineup averages double digits in points.
Coach Byron Pickens’ first season with the Generals has been up and down, although the team enters the playoffs having won four of five.
Seniors Quincy Miles and Michael Redding will have to take over offensively if Wayne is going to have a shot against first-round opponent Homestead, a team that beat the Generals by 22 points in mid-February.
SOUTH SIDE (7-14)
Injuries have cost the Archers dearly this season, turning a 3-1 start into a 4-13 finish to the regular season.
South Side does get a favorable draw with the bye into the semis, but will likely match up with a Homestead team that limited the Archers to 35 points on Jan. 10.
If Coach J.J. Foster’s team can hit reset and find some confidence, it could be a tough out.
CLASS 4A SECTIONAL 6 AT HUNTINGTON NORTH
Columbia City (10-12) vs. Huntington North (8-14), 6 p.m.
Homestead (14-8) vs. Wayne (8-10), 7:30 p.m.
New Haven (16-6) vs. Columbia City/Huntington North, 6 p.m.
South Side (7-14) vs. Homestead/Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
Final, 7:30 p.m.
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