With girls basketball postseason coming around quickly, Bounce is here to quick preview and discuss the area sectionals, continuing in Class 4A.
Projected Winner: Warsaw
Coach Lenny Krebs has positioned his Tigers to win the program’s first sectional since 2015.
A trio of seniors lead the way – Abby Sanner, Kacilyn Krebs and Bailie Stephens. Combined, the veterans average close to 35 points per contest.
But what sets the Tigers truly apart is their defense, with the team allowing barely over 34 points per game while playing in a very solid Northern Lakes Conference.
Penn and Northridge are the two others to watch, with the Kingsmen having knocked off Warsaw in the regular season and also have a suffocating defense. Northridge won at Penn in December and enters the postseason with a sectional-most 19 victories.
Warsaw has the edge in that it will only have to beat one of Penn or Northridge, and that matchup will be in Friday’s semis.
Senior player you can’t miss: Abby Sanner, Warsaw
Sanner has played a lot of meaningful basketball for Warsaw over the last four years. As a senior for the Tigers, Sanner leads by example on the floor. She cleans up the boards, is solid at the free throw line (75 percent) and while doesn’t look to shoot too much from the outside, can hit a three if left open, having his seven of 10 this year.
Don’t be surprised if: Elkhart proves to be a tough out in the final
A fair amount of attention is being put on Warsaw, Penn and Northridge in this sectional, and for good reason. But those three teams are going to beat each other up in getting to Saturday’s final.
Meanwhile, Elkhart should be able to avenge a loss to Goshen to start the sectional then deal with Concord on Friday.
The Lions have experience in playing the big dogs in this sectional and were competitive against the likes of Northridge (seven-point loss) and Warsaw (nine-point defeat). If Elkhart is sitting there on Saturday, its foe better not look past it.
Goshen (8-14) vs. Elkhart (11-12), 6 p.m.
Penn (16-6) vs. Northridge (19-5), 7:30 p.m.
Concord (8-14) vs. Goshen/Elkhart, 6 p.m.
Warsaw (16-6) vs. Penn/Northridge, 7:30 p.m.
Championship, 7:30 p.m.
Projected Winner: Snider
The Panthers are a perfect 5-0 this season against the other teams in this sectional, so naturally Coach Akilah Sims’ squad is the heavy favorite.
But there is also a certain degree of uncertainty. Snider is a team full of underclassmen, and the lone senior Jyah Lovett is set to play in her first postseason with the Panthers.
But that said, the raw talent is there, and experience can only be gained by playing.
Senior player you can’t miss: Jyah Lovett, Snider
The lone senior on the Snider roster, Lovett is looked at as a calming influence on the floor surrounded by youth. She was huge in Snider’s close loss to Homestead in January, feeding off the big Homestead crowd as she hit shot after shot keeping the Panthers close.
While the youth of Snider will do the bulk of the scoring, it is Lovett who will determine how far the team goes.
Don’t be surprised if: Snider rolls
Snider has beaten every team in this field by double digits. The closest anyone has gotten is Carroll, which suffered a 10-point loss to the Panthers late last week. Even 13-win Northrop got blitzed by 39 points by Coach Akilah Sims’ squad.
Snider and Carroll will likely be matched up in the semifinal round, but with the home Panthers hosting, you have to like Snider.
DeKalb (9-13) vs. Carroll (13-8), 6 p.m.
Northrop (13-7) vs. North Side (2-20), 7:30 p.m.
Snider (17-3) vs. DeKalb/Carroll, 6 p.m.
East Noble (4-16) vs. Northrop/North Side, 7:30 p.m.
Championship, 7:30 p.m.
HUNTINGTON NORTH SECTIONAL
Projected Winner: Homestead
The No. 1 team in the state according to the AP and coaches polls, the Spartans sure look the part of being the heavy favorite here. Ayanna Patterson is next to impossible to contain and the outside shooting prowess of Ali Stephens gives Homestead a true inside-out punch.
With sectional titles in seven of the last eight seasons, Coach Rod Parker’s squad is used to performing in big moments, helped by the tough regular-season schedule that pits his team against the best the state has to offer.
Senior player you can’t miss: Ayanna Patterson, Homestead
Don’t miss the final few chances over the next few weeks to watch Patterson in person. Perhaps the next Indiana Miss Basketball, we have almost taken for granted just how dominant Patterson has become. Her ability to finish around the bucket in traffic and convert free throws have helped her reach another level as a senior.
She should have her way with opponents all week at Huntington North.
Don’t be surprised if: Columbia City challenges Homestead
Homestead matched up against its fair share of powerful foes in the regular season, but it never played Columbia City, which enters the playoffs winners of 19 games.
The Eagles play an aggressive, man-up defense that is parts physical, parts chaotic but very frustrating to play again. Opponents are averaging just 33 points per game against the Eagles, who are in their element when they can settle into their defense and stymie offenses.
While Homestead is the favorite, it may not be the cake walk some envision.
New Haven (0-18) vs. Columbia City (19-2), 6 p.m.
Hutington North (18-4) vs. South Side (3-16), 7:30 p.m.
Homestead (21-1) vs. New Haven/Columbia City, 6 p.m.
Wayne (10-11) vs. Huntington North/South Side, 7:30 p.m.
Championship, 7:30 p.m.
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