Class 2A Sectional 35
One side of this sectional looks pretty easy to predict, while on the other side it could be anyone that makes it to the final. On the top half of the bracket, Westview will more than likely get past three-win Churubusco. This sets up a semifinal matchup with Eastside, which should know how to game plan for the Warriors. The Blazers’ best chance to win is to slow the pace way down and make the game a grind.
Prairie Heights and Fremont face off in the first round on the other side with the winner taking on Central Noble. The Panthers beat the Eagles by 12 on Jan. 27. Fremont can pull off the victory but it has to shoot it really well from the perimeter, and the Eagles can get hot in a hurry with shooters like Ethan Bontrager and Conner Slee. Prairie Heights has the size to dominate inside. Isaiah Malone is nearly averaging a double-double, and Chase Bachelor has excelled during his final season. These two will carry the Panthers past Fremont but not Central Noble. The Cougars have the size to match Prairie Heights and are playing some of their best basketball of the season right now.
In the final, Central Noble has to slow down Westview Brady Yoder. Wiley Minix and Luke Helmuth have stepped up and helped carry the load offensively, but Bounce likes for Conner Lemmon to have a big sectional lead the Cougars to their second straight sectional title.
FINAL PREDICTION: Central Noble beats Westview
Class 2A Sectional 37
Blackhawk Christian is a state title contender so winning its sixth straight sectional should be a breeze, right? In the last three sectionals, all in 2A, the Braves have won by an average of 31.9 points. Blackhawk will get by four-win South Adams with ease and more than likely face Manchester in the semis. The Squires take on Bluffton, which is 2-19, in the first round. Manchester is having one of its best seasons in quite some time and should be able to challenge the Braves. The Squires average almost 70 points a game but don’t play the same competition as Blackhawk, which also scores close to 70 per contest. The Braves have too much firepower with the likes of Gage Sefton, Josh Furst, Kellen Pickett and Isaac Smith. Jimmy Davidson is also capable of giving you a big game.
On the other side, Adams Central opens with Whitko, which has five wins this season. Bounce expects the Flying Jets to move on to the semifinals against Bishop Luers. The Knights have been too inconsistent to confidently pick them against a really good Adams Central team. An Adams Central team that has won 17 of its last 18 games.
Can the Jets keep pace with the Braves in the final? It’s going to have to rely on their defense to do so. Adams Central has the ninth best scoring defense in Class 2A at 44.9 points per game. Ethan Poling and Isaac Schultz are going to have to have big nights and even then, it might not be enough to dethrone the Braves.
FINAL PREDICTION: Blackhawk Christian beats Adams Central
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