BOUNCE’S BREAKDOWN: Class 1A Sectional 53 at North Miami

Southern Wells’ William Rickerd during a January 9 game against Heritage.

We kick off our previews of area boys basketball Sectional play today in Class 1A. As we look at the North Miami Sectional, there are no teams with winning records as of the Sectional draw, but two sitting at .500 as this Sectional has the second worst combined record in the state of Indiana.

THE FAVORITE

SOUTHWOOD

With wins over both host North Miami and Northfield, this team is sitting in good shape in this Sectional right now. Carson Rich is a dynamic 1A guard who can do a lot of things and is very scrappy in the process. Alongside Connor Rich, the Southwood backcourt thrives with their court vision and defensively. Southwood is averaging 13.5 steals per game, led by Carson’s 3.6 and Connor’s 2.7. Fellow senior Dawson Filip provides extra help as a solid scorer inside.

THE CONTENDER

NORTH MIAMI

A still young team, the host Warriors have just one senior. They certainly aren’t built for this season, but that doesn’t mean they can’t contend. Their draw is a tough one, but they do have the ability to play with the rest of the teams in this conference. Braden Burns averages 11.6 points per game while sophomore Keegan Donaldson (11.4 ppg/7.8 rpg) is showing signs that he could be very important for North Miami in the coming years.

THE OTHERS

SOUTHERN WELLS

The Raiders sit at just two wins but have been very competitive throughout, including a game Outside the Huddle saw first hand against Heritage. Their guard play is feisty on defense and they make other teams fight for every inch, a major postseason positive. William Rickerd leads the way with Branson Rheinhart being a good position player that gets streaky shooting, including a six three pointer outing against Woodlan. If Southern Wells, our lone area team in this Sectional, can fight by Southwood in the opener, they are a big contender.

NORTHFIELD

A solid senior class leads Northfield and one they will rely on to try and push through this Sectional, looking for their first title since 2013. Clayton Tomlinson leads Northfield both offensively (17.4 ppg) and defensively (3.5 spg). Sophomore Dillon Tomlinson (9.9 ppg) is playing really good basketball as well. The Norsemen are shooting 39 percent from the field as a team with senior Jayden Peas being a strong third to the Tomlinsons.

LAKELAND CHRISTIAN

This is one of the teams that sits at .500 as of Sectional draw day and they have a very solid draw to avoid the top teams of the Sectional. Being able to hand with Argos and Lakeland, even in losses, says good things about this lineup in the early postseason.

SMITH ACADEMY

The Fighting 54th sit with just two wins and just one of those wins are against an IHSAA sanctioned team. Smith Academy has not been an IHSAA team themselves very long, so there is still a lot of building to be done.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Carson Rich, Southwood: There has not been a game where Rich hasn’t scored in double figures while shooting 47 percent from the field. Rich is arguable the biggest game changer in this field.

William Rickerd, Southern Wells: Averaging 15.2 points per game and shooting 43 percent from the field, Rickerd is one of the best scorers in this Sectional. Also shooting 34 percent from the three point line and 73 percent from the field, Rickerd is a threat all around the offensive side of the floor.

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