It is sectional week in Indiana for boys basketball and Outside the Huddle is breaking down each of the area sectional fields.
Bounce breaks down all things Class 4A at a pair of local sites.
See a complete list of area Sectional games here
Projected Winner: Carroll
OK, so the Chargers don’t appear as if they are peaking at the right time, but hear Bounce out.
Coach Ryan Abbott’s squad is undefeated against the teams in the sectional this season and is the host site with all games at the Fieldhouse.
Also consider that Carroll handled North Side at the Fieldhouse in early February in a battle between the only squads in the field with winning records.
This is largely a young squad, but Andrew Sinish is a senior leader that you know will have this team locked in.
Yet the last few weeks haven’t been kind to the Chargers, who ended the regular season with four-straight losses, all by double digits. Now, each of those teams have 13 or more victories, but it still raises some concerns.
Perhaps Carroll is the choice in this field because they are the most reliable against the other teams in the league, not necessarily because they are a standout choice.
Someone has to win this sectional, right?
Senior player you can’t miss: Dalman Alexander, Northrop
With the Bruins getting the bye, you are guaranteed an opportunity to see Alexander in action on Friday night. Take advantage.
Northrop only has four wins on the season, but Alexander is one of the better talents around the area that not many people have seen in action. A silky-smooth, 6-foot-7 forward who can play on the outside and break posts down with his footwork, Alexander leads the Bruins in scoring (16.9 ppg) and rebounding (8.5 rpg).
Alexander is one of the reasons why Northrop isn’t a team to overlook in this field. It has the firepower to take anyone down in this sectional. After all, it only lost to North Side by a single point January.
Don’t be surprised if: Snider plays spoiler
It has been a tough year for Coach Jeremy Rauch and the Panthers. The three regular-season wins are the fewest in at least 30 years for the program.
That said, Snider is still competing night in and night out. It is a young group that has taken its lumps, but also has put up tough fights in losses to North Side (by six) and Carroll (by 15).
Many will point towards Tuesday’s game between the Chargers and Legends as the one that will decide the sectional winner. But whoever emerges from that game better not look past a rested Panthers team awaiting the winner on Friday.
DeKalb (6-15) vs. East Noble (3-19), 6 p.m.
North Side (13-9) vs. Carroll (12-10), 7:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
Northrop (4-18) vs. DeKalb/East Noble, 6 p.m.
Snider (3-20) vs. North Side/Carroll, 7:30 p.m.
Championship, 7 p.m.
COLUMBIA CITY SECTIONAL
Projected Winner: Wayne
After ending a long drought without a league championship as the Generals captured their first SAC regular-season title since 2000 and the first one outright since 1976, Coach Byron Pickens’ squad has another streak to end.
The Generals has not won a sectional crown since the 1994 campaign when it knocked off Homestead to win the Wayne Sectional. Yes, that was still single-class hoops, meaning Wayne has never won a postseason title of any kind in the class basketball era.
Coach Pickens has built this group from the ground up, with five of its six leading scorers still underclassmen. That bodes well for the future, but what about this season?
The Generals are equal parts power and finesse. They keep teams back on their heels by being constant on the attack, but they also showcase a patience well beyond their years. That said, this team is built to score points. Wayne is 10-1 when it scores 65 or more points in a game.
Who leads the way? Junior Jevon Lewis is equal parts scorer (team-high 16.3 points per game) and facilitator (team-high 6.7 assists per contest).
The draw lays out well for Wayne, which will play two sub-.500 teams before the final. Their potential opponent in the title game? Homestead. How poetic.
Senior player you can’t miss: Kyron Kaopuiki, Homestead
One of the top outside shooters in the area, Kaopuiki’s success from the perimeter is perhaps the greatest asset of the Homestead offense. His 68 made three-pointers are 48 more than anyone else on the Spartans. He also serves as the primary passer for Coach Chris Johnson’s squad, making him a crucial component of the rotation.
In the first matchup between Homestead and Wayne that the Generals were able to take in overtime, Kaopuiki hit a trio of threes and finished with 13 points. In a rematch, his play will be key.
Don’t be surprised if: Homestead and Wayne breeze to the finals
Homestead handled both Huntington North and Columbia City, its two opponents on the road to the sectional final, in the regular season.
Meanwhile, Wayne opens against a New Haven team that it beat in December and a South Side team waiting in the semis that fell to the Generals by over 40.
There are two clear teams above the rest in this field. New Haven and Columbia City are among the teams looking to show that they have what it takes to knock off one of the favorites, but it is clear who the two best teams in this sectional are.
Wayne (17-4) vs. New Haven (11-12), 6 p.m.
Homestead (17-7) vs. Huntington North (8-15), 7:30 p.m.
South Side (4-19) vs. Wayne/New Haven, 6 p.m.
Columbia City (13-10) vs. Homestead/Huntington North, 7:30 p.m.
Championship, 7:30 p.m.
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