Girls basketball’s regular season has come to an end and that means that Sectional play starts this week.
How far teams in the area may be able to go this season is yet to be seen. But what we do know is that champions will be crowned on Saturday night and Bounce is here to tell you who he thinks hoists those trophies, who they beat to win the hardware and how they got there in the first place.
CLASS 2A CENTRAL NOBLE SECTIONAL
This is Central Noble’s sectional to lose, right? That’s the way it looks when you look at the rest of the field. Eastside is the only other team in this sectional that has a winning record, and the Cougars have already beaten them twice this season.
Now, we could say the old cliche of “It’s hard to beat a team three times in a season.” That may be the case any other season as Central Noble is an overwhelming favorite and for good reason. Madi Vice and Meghan Kiebel are the best two players in this sectional and are going to be hard to stop.
The Blazers got one of the two byes and await the Cougars, who should get past one-win Prairie Heights easily in the first round, in the semifinals. Eastside will have to control the pace of the game and run the Cougars off the three-point line to give themselves a chance at the upset.
Bounce thinks this will be the best game of the sectional and it’s unfortunate that it comes in the semifinals, but it’s better than in the first round.
On the other side of the bracket, it’s a collection of teams that all have a chance to make the final. Westview has the best chance because of the multiple scoring options it has. However, when it gets to the final, the defense of Central Noble will be too much to overcome.
FINAL PREDICTION: Central Noble beats Westview
CLASS 2A BLUFFTON SECTIONAL
This sectional could go in a number of different directions. The host Tigers should make their way to the title game. They’ve beaten the two teams in their way, Manchester and Adams Central, once already this season. Neither team will go down easily. Bluffton’s Haley Gibson had one of her best games of the season against the Flying Jets and is a matchup problem for anyone. Bounce expects the young Tigers to be in the final on Saturday on its home floor.
As for who will face Bluffton in the championship game, it’s more of a toss up. South Adams should handle Whitko in the first round, setting up a semifinal contest between the Starfires and Bishop Luers. The Knights played the more rigorous schedule, so they should be the more battle-tested team and ready to take on anyone. Bishop Luers is also back in Class 2A for the first time since the 2012-13 season, which is when they last won a sectional title. The Knights postseason success in 2A is well-documented.
Addie Shank is a double-double machine and Annika Davis is a threat from outside. This tandem should lead the Knights over the Starfires, which have a few good wins on their schedule but have been inconsistent down the stretch.
Bishop Luers has been longing for a sectional championship for quite some time. This feels like the team to finally end the drought.
FINAL PREDICTION: Bishop Luers beats Bluffton
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