Regional week has begun, leading into Saturday’s always popular Regional round on the boys side of the IHSAA Tournament. In our area, six teams will play with hopes to advance to semi state. Of our six area teams, only two will play each other in the morning round, meaning there are a lot of opposing teams to learn more about this week.
For complete breakdowns of all three Regionals, visit Outside the Huddle later this week.
To lead into that, we are going to take a look at the biggest star on each of the other six teams who will play in the same Regionals as our area teams.
JK THOMAS, MARION
vs. Snider, 10 a.m. at Logansport
If you want to know what makes JK Thomas (pictured) so striking, you need not look back any further than Saturday’s Sectional title win. Thomas brought the Giants back from the dead against Harrison behind 32 second half points. In the past, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some label him as a feisty shooter/tough defender and that is probably fair. But in his senior season, Thomas has ramped up his offensive aggression and become a much more reliable finisher. Averaging 22.9 points per game, is still leading the team in three point makes, but looks smooth scoring from all over the floor.
BRIAN WADDELL, CARMEL
vs. New Haven, Noon at Logansport
A Carmel team without a heavy senior presence leaned on Waddell a lot last week to win their sixth straight Sectional. He is an enthusiastic player who thrives in pressure and high adrenaline situations. He, like most to the players on this list, thrives in different areas of the floor and is no one trick pony. He shoots the ball well but puts an added focus on getting to the basket, to get to the free throw line if nothing else. In Saturday’s Sectional title win over Westfield, he hit 9-of-10 from the stripe and will really make you pay if you play him too aggressive. He finished with 26 points in that Sectional final.
TRENT EDWARDS, NORTHWOOD
vs. Norwell, 10 a.m. at New Castle
This is a tricky one as Edwards’ status is currently unknown. He left Saturday’s championship in the Sectional round fairly early and no comments were given to the media on his injury. When he is healthy, Edwards is an absolute playmaker with the ball in his hands and a smart enough player to know when to give it up and where to put it to lead to an assist.
BRADY HUNT, DELTA
vs. Leo, Noon at New Castle
Hunt is a solid go between player that can hurt you across the court. He has a good enough outside shot to keep an opposing player honest, but his 6-foot-5, 205 pound frame more warrants him challenging at the rim. Delta is 7-1 when Hunt is able to shoot 70 percent or better from the field and he went 11-of-15 from the field last week in Sectional play. Leading Delta at 17.6 points per game, he is also their leader in rebounding at 8.6 per game with 11 games in double digit rebounding.
KORON DAVIS, BOWMAN ACADEMY
vs. LaVille, Noon (Central time) at North Judson
This is an interesting matchup that no area team would see until a possible final. Davis is a run starter, as seen in the Sectional semi final win over defending Class 2A state champion Andrean. Davis started the second half of that game hitting three three-pointers that really shifted the tide. As a junior, he leads Bowman in scoring with 23.3 points per game. He is also the only player on the team who is hitting more than one triple a game.
CONNOR WIECZOREK, LAVILLE
vs. Bowman Academy, Noon (Central time) at North Judson
A lot of people chip in for LaVill more than there is a single star, but stopping them includes stopping Wieczorek because he is a steadying hand. He is going to control the pace and rarely leaves the floor for LaVille. He is the Lancers’ second leading scorer at 9.5 points per game and leads in assists at 3.7 per contest and steals at 2.3 per game. Just a 36 percent shooter, Wieczorek has found ways to effect games not just in scoring.