Well, with the sad ending to girls basketball season – and I was indeed sad to see it end – there isn’t as much going on in the wide world of sports, at least in Greene County.
But there are things happening. The Indiana High School Athletic Association has released enrollment numbers. Later this month classifications for the upcoming two-year cycle will be published. And in late April sectional assignments will be announced.
And on Sunday night the IHSAA will conduct the long-awaited and much-anticipated boys basketball sectional drawing.
We’ll start with the “more.”
I must say I’m disheartened by the recent events at Eastern Greene involving the school board and several recent personnel decisions.
I will not comment further. I don’t know enough about the situation. I don’t know the facts and I understand some of the information is confidential. Nor will I offer my personal opinion regarding the personnel involved.
I will say this though.
It was gratifying to see the Eastern Greene community rally in support and demonstrate their passion by turning out in droves for the most recent board meeting.
Community support and a passionate fan base are vital to every high school athletic program. And I know the folks over at Eastern have it in spades.
I do hope the decision-makers act in the best interests of the football program. I’ve seen the tremendous growth in the program the last six or seven years. It would be a shame to see it slide downhill after they’ve climbed the mountain.
Now it’s on to basketball. And if you don’t have sectional fever already, you soon will.
In a bit of an odd twist Class A Sectional 57 is moving from Switz City to Clay City this year.
I just can’t imagine not having a sectional at Switz City. Sign of the Apocalypse?
Nothing personal. Clay City has been a fine host at every tournament I’ve attended there. I guess it’s just a nostalgia thing with me. And others too, I’m sure.
Once again the Bloomfield Cardinals – they of the 32 sectional championships – are likely considered the favorite in Sectional 57.
Bloomfield (13-6) has been something of an enigma this season. The Cardinals have had puzzling losses on the road at Vincennes Rivet and Northview. Bloomfield managed to beat Clay City by only three points (56-53) in early December. The Eminence Eels – another potential sectional foe – gave the Cardinals all they could handle in the Greene County Invitational.
But the Cardinals have been at their best against some of the better teams they’ve faced. Twice they’ve taken Linton to the wire and put pretty good whippings on North Daviess and South Knox.
I heard a couple rival coaches – I won’t mention their names – say they think Bloomfield might be a semistate team this year. I’m not so sure. University and defending Class A State Champion Morristown stand a good chance of returning to the Martinsville Regional.
The Morristown Yellow Jackets and University Trailblazers had a barnburner of a regional semifinal last year. The ’Jackets won 55-53 on a layup in the closing seconds.
Both teams are 17-3. University is ranked third in Class A – one spot behind Barr-Reeve, who the Cardinals play Friday, February 22. Morristown is tied for sixth.
But I’m sure if Bloomfield meets one of those two in the regional final Ron McBride will have the Cardinals prepared.
Meanwhile – as Stephen Colbert says – Class 2A Sectional 47 at North Daviess once again figures to be one of the most, if not the most – competitive 2A sectionals in the state.
For the last seven or eight years it seems at least three or four teams could claim a legitimate shot at winning. And this year is no different.
Linton-Stockton (18-3), host North Daviess (15-6) and South Knox (14-6) are three quality teams. Linton – on paper at least – appears capable of making an extended postseason run – if the Miners can survive the sectional.
Mitchell (12-7) has the talent and the scorers to upset anyone on a given night. I’m told the Bluejackets played well in an 85-70 loss at 2A No. 1 Southwestern of Hanover three weeks ago.
Adding to the intrigue, Mitchell doesn’t play any of the three. South Knox and North Daviess don’t play each other. So there will be a few unknowns.
The South Knox Spartans have already beaten the Miners, 69-66 two weeks ago at South Knox.
This one may come down to the luck of the draw. And the lucky winner will advance to the Paoli Regional.
Crawford County, Forest Park (played at Huntingburg) and South Ripley are the other feeder sectionals.
Aforementioned Southwestern (19-1) is the likely favorite at South Ripley. Tell City (16-4), Mater Dei (13-6) and Forest Park (12-9) figure to be the top contenders at Huntingburg. At Crawford County the host Wolfpack (17-4) and the Paoli Rams (17-3) are the front-runners. The Rams and Wolfpack meet in the regular-season finale at Paoli February 22.
The Miners beat the Rams 67-62 in the season-opening tournament at Linton. Wouldn’t it be something if Paoli got a home game for the regional?
Maybe that’s what they had in mind when they wrested the regional from Huntingburg?
Last week’s Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference eighth-grade tournament at North Daviess gave us a possible glimpse into the future.
Bloomfield has a Beard (Justin), a Combs (Peter) and a Sherrard (Brett) coming up through the ranks to carry on the Cardinal tradition.
North Daviess has the Wilsons, Logan and Lance along with Jaylen Mullen. The Mullen lad is quite a playmaker.
A deep Linton squad featured the likes of Drew Cook, Joey Hart, Luke McDonald and Logan Webb, to name a few.
I’m told young Hart had a bad back and wasn’t 100 percent for the tournament.
Shakamak has a potential standout in J.T. May.
Notice I said “potential.”
I try not to get too “hyped” over eighth-graders.
Many of us have heard the story of Damon Bailey. When Damon was an eighth-grader at Heltonville, IU coach Bob Knight proclaimed, “Damon Bailey is better right now than any guard we have.”
And Bailey did turn out pretty good…
But a lot of eighth-graders are as big or as good as they’ll ever get by eighth grade. I’ve seen it before and I’ll see it again.