Let’s be honest, the Sectional draw in Indiana is always a hot topic of conversation.
Should it be seeded? Is it fine the way it is?
Today, Bounce looks ahead to next week at the “winners and losers” of this season’s draw. Sure, those adjectives may be harsh, but there are some that got a more favorable draw than others and we can be honest about that.
Class 4A’s DeKalb Sectional is a three team race that many will look as a two team race. The impending rematch of Snider and Northrop would be a Sectional final, just as everyone would want. So that makes the fans of this one the real winners. The two best teams are opposite sides of the bracket and we like that.
Don’t, however, count out Carroll. The Chargers may not have a spot in the SAC title battle but they’ve had a heck of a season. Taylor Fordyce has been as reliable and consistent as expected while Kayla Gibbs has had a huge year and Jersey Paul has been on the area’s best breakout players. Carroll will face those area’s top team (Northrop) on Tuesday and is the second best area game on Tuesday in Sectional play.
What that also means is that Snider doesn’t have to go through both of these fellow Sectional contenders on their way to try and claim a Sectional crown again. Sure, the Panthers were successful against Carroll and gave Northrop a run for their money, so I doubt they were worried. But you have to be happy with knowing you only have to face one of the other top contenders and if you do, it would be in a title game.
LOSERS: Homestead and Columbia City
Here is your best game on Tuesday and it is between, arguably, the second and third best teams in the entire area. And it’s a Tuesday game in a Sectional where one of these teams is highly expected to win.
Now don’t get Bounce wrong, I love this game. But for one of these two teams to be out of the state tournament on opening night is harsh and the biggest call this season for a blind draw to be replaced by seeding.
Two great teams and one of them will see their season end what I will go ahead and declare to be prematurely. Can’t like anything about that.
WINNERS: Leo, Concordia, Garrett and Angola
In Class 3A’s bracket at Concordia Lutheran is a loaded one where there are five teams with a chance to claim a title. The best of those is Woodlan, who sits on the other end of that bracket; so you really could declare Woodlan as the winner here as they wouldn’t play any of these four teams until the end.
But I call these four the winners because they have time to build up and gain momentum before a potential final against Woodlan. One of these four teams, all on the same side of the bracket, will be headed to a title game and that has to be exciting. They have all had solid years with big moments and big players stepping up. One of them will get a payoff to that by having the chance to play for a Sectional title and that has to be exciting for all of them.
Which storyline would be most complete by that? Its hard to say.
There are three teams who have to be frontrunners here and Norwell wins because Northwestern and Bellmont will have to battle it out while the host Knights sit on the other side of the bracket.
Bounce salivates at the idea of another Norwell/Bellmont matchup after the Knights’ recent regular season win the series. There may be no better rivalry in recent years in all of Northeast Indiana than that of Norwell and Bellmont so looking forward to that brings some energy to this bracket.
Norwell, with 17 wins, will get to wait until Friday to play where they will host one of two teams that have a combined 12 wins. Then they will get to watch the potential Bellmont/Northwestern game. Sure, Norwell’s own trip to the finals isn’t guaranteed but they sure have a good chance to getting back to that spot they have been so many times before.
LOSER: Central Noble
When you have had the type of season Central Noble has had, you would love to be able to coast to a Sectional title or at least final. That is not how it is going to go for the Cougars.
That said, they are still a pretty clear favorite in the Class 2A sectional at their home gym behind one of the best scorers in the area this season in Madi Vice.
What stands in their way and puts them in this category? If you are CN, you’d probably prefer to not be on the same side of the bracket as Eastside. Yes, the Cougars just played Eastside twice in the last two weeks, coming away with wins in both. But, an 18 point win the first meeting gave way to just a seven point win in the second win so the Blazers have bridged the gap.
Eastside is already the top contender to Central Noble in this Sectional and beating any team three times in a season is hard. Three times in three weeks? That is far from ideal.
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