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Just a few tidbits to wet your girls hoops appetite

Posted Saturday, February 5, 2011, at 12:09 AM

With last weekend's draw for the girls state basketball tournament, I thought it might be informative to fans to throw out a few tidbits about this year's tournament.

And considering the recent bad weather, it's put a damper on finding topics for this week's words of wisdom from yours truly.

Most of this is according to the Indiana High School Athletic Association web site, so if you feel like I've left anything out you can indirectly blame them.

This year's girls tournament field includes a total of 397 schools, which correlates to 5,284 student-athletes strung out across the 92 counties of our great state.

That breaks down by class as 99 schools in 4A, 98 in 3A, 102 in 2A and 98 in A. It also means there will be a total of 393 games contested in 27 days.

Let's not forget that due to a scheduling conflict the girls state finals will once again be played at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Ft. Wayne.

This year's field includes a pair of schools making their first appearance in a girls state tournament and two more schools that make a comeback.

New to the field this year will be Indianapolis Herron and Baptist Academy.

The Achaeans of Herron -- just in case you were wondering the name Achaens refers to inhabitants of the people of Achaea in Greece -- are completing their first full season of basketball and as of this writing sit at 1-10 on the year.

They are a Class 2A team assigned to the Triton Central Sectional and have no conference affiliation.

The Chargers of Baptist Academy are assigned to the Class A sectional at Southwestern (Shelbyville) and are members of the Pioneer Conference -- which has members from the Indianapolis area.

Returning to the girls state tournament after many years are a pair of Indianapolis schools.

Indianapolis Shortridge returns to the girls field for the first time since 1981 while Indianapolis Marshall's last appearance was in 1986.

Shortridge will play in the Class A Indianapolis Crispus Attucks Sectional while Marshall was assigned to the Class 2A Triton Central Sectional.

The longest running streak of sectional titles on the line is eight and it's shared by two schools -- Heritage Christian (Class 2A) and Northeast Dubois (Class A).

Next on that list is Elkhart Memorial and Ft. Wayne Canterbury with seven, Wood Memorial with six, Lafayette Central Catholic and Owen Valley with five.

Incidentally, Heritage Christian also has the longest running winning streak in the state tournament among girls teams.

They have won their last 31 consecutive postseason games during a streak that began in 2006, while the Lady Giants of Ben Davis have won 76 consecutive games overall, a string that dates back to 2008.

Northeast Dubois and Ft. Wayne Canterbury have won sectional titles nine of the last 10 years while Ben Davis, Castle, Ft. Wayne Bishop Luers and New Castle have won crowns eight of the last 10 years.

Rushville leads the field when it comes total sectional titles with 27. Ben Davis is next with 22 followed by NorthWood (21), Bedford North Lawrence (20), Kokomo (20), Valparaiso (20), Huntington North (18), Sullivan (18), Columbia City (17), Crown Point (17), Ft. Wayne Bishop Luers (17) and New Castle (17).

Surprisingly enough, only one team (Clay City) won it's first sectional title last year trimming the total number of currently involved teams not to have won a sectional to 56 -- which includes the Lady Lakers of Shakamak, who was runner up to host Clay City a year ago.

Locally the winner of the Class A Clay City bracket will play their regional round at Southwestern (Shelbyville) on Saturday, Feb. 19. They'll take on the winner at Jac-Cen-Del in the second game of the day.

The winner at the Class 2A North Knox event will travel to Forest Park to play the winner of the Cascade Sectional in the opening game of the event, also on Feb. 19.

The winners of the regionals will be assigned (on Sunday Feb. 20) to play the semistate at either Southport or Bedford North Lawrence.

Just a note to all fans that ticket prices, which are established by the IHSAA, are $6 per session and $10 for all sessions at the sectional, $6 single session or $9 all-session for the regional, $7 for the one-game semistate and $15 per session at the state finals or $25 for all finals sessions.

Rick is a sports writer for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at (812) 847-4487 ext. 20. He can also be reached by E-mail at rcurl@gcdailyworld.com.

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