We could debate all day about a Sectional draw.
In fact, I am pretty sure we do it every year. And this year wasn’t ever going to be different. We have that idealistic thought that the best two teams meet in the finals, but there is no way that is going to happen every year in every Sectional.
So with that, there are always losers in the Sectional draw, someone who suffers from their particular name being called where it is. And there are also losers. So as Sunday’s girls basketball Sectional draw came to a close in preparation for next week’s postseason tipoff, here are Bounce’s picks for the biggest winners and the biggest losers of how the draw landed in 2022.
Coming off a loss to Central Noble last week, the Blazers really should have wanted to be on the other side of the Sectional bracket than the Cougars and if that was their wish, they got it. The Blazers, as good as they have played, have not won back to back games since December.
Their draw gives them a very winnable, but not pushover game against Bluffton on Tuesday and if they win, there has to be encouragement for a chance to win on Friday against the winner of a struggling Canterbury and a Churubusco team they already beat.
This isn’t an easy 2A Sectional at all, but the draw is likely the best that Eastside could have asked for.
The Warriors are good and get to host the Sectional! Your prize: the second best team in the Sectional on Tuesday. Win that? Get the second best team in the STATE in Class 3A on Friday. So much for home court advantage.
Woodlan would have probably wanted anyone on their. side of the bracket other than Angola and Garrett and that just didn’t work out.
If they were to get to Garrett, they will be reminded of a 30-plus point loss earlier this season, though that was the first week of the new season so a lot has changed. Either way, they open on Tuesday with an Angola team that will be desperate to get a third shot of their own at Garrett. So Angola is going to come in to Tuesday throwing everything at Woodlan to get a shot at their rival again on Friday.
Don’t count out Woodlan at all in any game they get in the Sectional, they are a legit contender. But this still isn’t the draw they’d prefer.
LOSER: BISHOP LUERS
As one of the most underrated teams in the SAC and the area, the last thing that Luers wanted was to draw Norwell in the opening round. And that is exactly what they got as they will take on the other Knights at Mississinewa on Wednesday.
Even worse, the third best team in this Sectional (Bellmont) is also on the same side of the bracket. It is not as egregious as the aforementioned Woodlan Sectional but it is pretty rough.
Bishop Luers has a lot of talent and Anna Parent has really been driving that ship during the second half of the the season. But getting this always title worthy Norwell team night one isn’t fun. Luers is going to have the drive to fight in this one but having Bellmont next even if they were able. to get by a still young Norwell team isn’t ideal at all.
The Bruins have a clear path, if not a coast to the Sectional title game. They will only have to face either Snider or Carroll in the final round. How could it get any better?
The Bruins are a good team but rematches with BOTH Carroll and Snider were not ideal. Getting, at worst, one of them is the ideal scenario for a team who has spent the better part of the season figuring themselves and each other out.
Make Snider and Carroll cannibalize eachother while you face North Side and East Noble. Major score for Northrop in Class 4A.
This is where I will throw all of the conventional wisdom out of the window. Homestead absolutely does not want to wait until the championship game to face Columbia City, so a potential semi final game against the Eagles works just fine.
One, the Spartans get a bye which means they don’t have to risk wear and tear or injury on Tuesday as they just sit in Friday’s semi final round and that is a win for anyone.
But if Homestead had two easy games to get to a final and then faced a really good Columbia City team on Saturday night that had built up momentum all week, maybe with tougher games, the Eagles wouldn’t be such underdogs in Bounce’s book.
Homestead will now be fresh for their biggest challenge in this Class 4A sectional while the Eagles won’t have a lot of outside effects to build them up for a Friday semi final. The game still won’t be easy for Homestead, but getting to it earlier is much better.
WINNER: HUNTINGTON NORTH
The Vikings will only have to face one of Columbia City and Homestead. They are 1-1 against those two teams and Homestead didn’t blow them away early in the season but the Spartans are so much better now. As for Columbia City, you don’t have to see them again until a possible final after beating them last week and we know the Eagles want revenge for seeing their unbeaten run end.
This is big for Huntington North to have arguably the two best teams in the Sectional on the other side.
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