By Jordan Morey and Arv Koontz
CLASS 4A: JEFFERSONVILLE
In order to be the best, you need to beat the best.
Following a bye, Seymour will likely face two-time defending state champions Bedford North Lawrence on Friday night in the Jeffersonville Sectional.
The 22-0 Stars will play Hoosier Hills Conference-rival New Albany (14-8) tonight for a chance to advance to the semifinals.
If the Bulldogs pull of the enormous upset, the Owls will feel much more comfortable.
On Jan. 29, the Owls downed the Bulldogs 58-37.
“I thought from the draw standpoint that is what we were hoping for believe it or not,” Owls coach Jason Longmeier said. “I thought if we were to face Bedford again in a matchup, a week in advance (of preparation) is the best option of beating them. Our goal is to win the whole thing. In order to beat them, the more time we have to prepare the better.”
The Owls had a chance Thursday to share the HHC crown with the Stars but fell 59-40 in the last game of the regular season.
In the matchup, Dominique McBryde led the Stars with 20 points and Maci Lubker topped the Owls with 13.
The Stars played a defensive press in the opening minutes to go on a 10-0 run off of five Owls turnovers.
With a better understanding of their opponent, and a week of preparation, the Owls feel they can compete with the cream of the crop.
The Owls have a balanced scoring attack in Morgan Ritz (10.0 points per game), Kayla Griffin (10.0 ppg) Lubker (10.9 ppg) and Emilee Pollmann (11.8 ppg).
“I think what you learn at this point in time is we need to focus on our time, and focus on what we were successful doing against them,” Longmeier said. “They’re probably feeling the same way. I think if we can do a better job eliminating them from the free-throw line and get off to a better start, we have a good shot.”
Following the loss to the Stars, the Owls were in good spirits.
“I thought our confidence was good (Friday),” Longmeier said. “I think our job as coaches right now, that after the end of the game (Friday), is to make sure they get more quality shots and their job is to knock them. You look at a 19-point deficit, but it wasn’t that big of a difference with a couple of things here and there. That’s the angle were taken. Our kids understand where the differences are made.”
CLASS 3A: Scottsburg
BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL (19-4)
Brownstown Central girls basketball coach Karla Rieckers says her team will need to be bring its ‘A’ game in order to take home the trophy from the Scottsburg Sectional this week.
The sectional begins tonight with Salem facing Scottsburg at 6 p.m., followed by Charlestown battling Madison.
The Braves, champions of the Mid-Southern Conference (9-0), will face North Harrison (14-9) in Wednesday’s 6 p.m. game, and that game will be followed by Silver Creek and Corydon Central.
The Braves defeated the Cougars 44-39 at home Jan. 29.
Rieckers expects another tough battle Wednesday night. In the earlier game, Morgan Wehmiller made a steal off an in-bound pass and drove for a layup with 13 seconds remaining to seal the win for the Braves.
“When I talk to my team, the word I use about North Harrison is they’re scary,” Rieckers said. “They’re so young, and they just play so hard. That is the thing I liked best about them. North Harrison’s coach (Missy Voyles) talks about how she’s got a lot of 14-year-olds, and they make mistakes, and stuff like that. She said she was going to come to my seniors’ graduation, and I said four years from now I’m sure I’ll be at your seniors’ graduation.”
Voyles started three freshmen and a sophomore against Brownstown. Jourdan McAfee topped the Cougars in scoring with 14 points.
“(Voyles) has got a lot of young kids who play real hard,” Rieckers said. “They know the game of basketball, and they’re not going to quit, and we have to be ready, and we have to play an entire game.”
Seniors Riley Wischmeier and Brooke Ebbing have provided the Braves with a strong inside-outside scoring punch throughout the season.
Ebbing leads the team in scoring at 18.4 per game, and Wischmeier averages 10.3. Wischmeier scored 12 points to top the Braves in points in the earlier game as nine players scored for Brownstown that night.
Wehmiller is next for the Braves at 7.6 per game.
“They (the Braves) have to be ready, otherwise they’re going to go home, and I don’t think my senior girls want to go home, so hopefully we come out and we perform,” Rieckers said. “If we don’t we’ll be done. Hopefully, they realize that and take it one game at a time.”
The Braves are 6-0 against sectional opponents, as they did not face Madison. They currently are on a five-game winning streak.
There are four teams in the sectional with winning records.
“I think there are a lot of good teams in our sectional when you look at how hard they play,” Rieckers said. “Silver Creek beat Scottsburg (Jan. 31) fairly easy, and I think they are a team that is scary. Salem played Madison to within four points earlier in the year, and I keep stressing it’s one game at a time, and I think anybody legitimately has a chance. If you don’t bring your ‘A’ game you’re going to go home.”
The semifinals are scheduled for Friday with the championship game slated for Saturday night.
CLASS A: West Washington
TRINITY LUTHERAN (11-12)
Trinity Lutheran has seen its ups and downs throughout the 2014-15 season but finished on a three-game winning streak to gain momentum heading into the Class A West Washington Sectional.
With a first-round bye, the Cougars will play the winner of today’s game between Orleans and Medora on Friday at 6 p.m.
“Being on the opposite of Springs Valley is what we were hoping for,” Cougars coach Mike Lang said. “I would have liked to have played the first game against Medora, with us being a young team. That way we could get our young players acclimated early. I think the team that comes out, and plays the Tuesday game, will come out a little more relaxed in the later rounds.”
As it stands, the Cougars will start one upperclassmen in senior Sydney Stuckwisch.
“I’ve been around veteran teams, and even they get the jitters,” Lang said. “As much as you can talk about (sectional), it’s a different feel to the ball game when you’re there. That’s why you see so many upsets early on. There’s no better time than sectional time. They’re going to go into a gym that’s more electric than normal. You need to block all those things out and play 32 minutes.”
In recent games, the Cougars have found success with an inside-out game.
Stuckwisch and sophomore Hailley Peters have led the Cougars in rebounding throughout the season, posting double-doubles multiple times in the final stretch of games.
Freshman standout Maddie Roark will carry the load of scoring, as she has done all season, for the Cougars.
The guard is the third highest-scoring Class A freshman in the state, with 445 points: 19.3 per game — the most in Jackson County. She is also the third-highest scoring freshman among all classes.
The freshman is 20 points away from breaking the school’s single-season record for points.
“We want to get (Roark) out and run,” Lang said. “You don’t hold a thoroughbred back. We’ve heavily relying on her scoring early on. We wanted her to trust her teammates a little better, and she’s getting her teammates more involved now. If we can get Hailley (Peters) and Sydney (Stuckwisch) double-doubles, it helps a ton. We are going to rely on (Roark), we’re going to need her points.”
With a combination of size and speed, the Cougars (11-12) will look to come out aggressive.
“The first thing we’re gonna do is play in transition first,” Lang said. “We’re going to get them out and running. We’re going to be going to whoever is in the post. It’s going to open our big shooters on the outside. When want to get to the basket and to the free throw line. We’re going to make them adjust to us.”
The championship game will be conducted Saturday evening.
Like Trinity, the Crothersville girls basketball team will get a bye in the first round of the West Washington Sectional.
The Tigers will play the winner of Springs Valley (17-5) and West Washington (4-17) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
Earlier in the season, the Tigers defeated West Washington 52-50 and lost to Springs Valley 61-36.
“I think it’s wide open this year, but Springs Valley is the favorite,” Tigers coach Kevin Hensley said. “(Springs Valley’s) a veteran club and they don’t make a lot of mistakes. I think West Washington will give them a battle though.”
At 16.5 points per game, sophomore forward Katrina Christian has proved the most consistent scoring threat for the Tigers.
Christian has posted a couple of 30-point scoring outbursts this season, and recorded a handful of double-doubles.
Guard Alexis Adair is the Tigers’ 3-point ace, and when Christian isn’t leading the team, she’s typically the highest scorer.
The Tigers went on a five-game winning streak midway through the season, but lost four-straight between Jan. 20 and Jan. 31.
They completed their regular season with wins over Rock Creek Academy and Clarksville.
“We’ve got to play better defense,” Hensley said. “We give up too many easy buckets and points from rebounds from not boxing out. That’s where we need to pick up our game. We’re right there with Orleans and Trinity Lutheran, and Springs Valley is a smudge above everyone.”
Medora looks to bounce back after a disappointing 62-18 loss to Edinburgh last week in their final regular-season game in their first-round matchup against Orleans tonight.
The Hornets will be without rebounding-machine Avery Carney, as she will sit out again due to concussion symptoms.
Throughout the season, the Hornets have dealt with injuries among all of their starters.
Senior Kiana Thompson has taken the place of Carney, and will act as a third starting guard for the Hornets.
On Jan. 12, the Hornets fell to the Bulldogs 50-27.
“When we played them the first time we were down by five points at halftime,” Hornets coach Brad McCammon said. “In the second half, we didn’t play well mentally. We need to understand mentally that we have to stick our noses in there and play aggressively on defense for four quarters.”
Jadelyn Dean has averaged 9.4 points per game for the Hornets at the point and Carley McCammon is averaging 10.9 at a forward spot.
“We need to make the extra pass and make sure we get all five players involved offensively,” Brad McCammon said. “We need all five in a unit. We can’t give up the ball when the press.”
The Bulldogs (10-10) will look to cause a number of Hornets turnovers in the game. The Hornets have struggled playing against the defensive press throughout the season.
“They will pressure the ball,” Brad McCammon said. “They are a very smart team and we will have to penetrate.”
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Class 4A Sectional 15 at Jeffersonville
Game 1: Bedford N. Lawrence (22-0) vs. New Albany (14-8), 6 p.m.
Game 2: Jennings County (16-5) vs. Jeffersonville (13-10), 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Seymour (17-6) vs. winner game 1, 6 p.m.
Game 4: Floyd Central (9-14) vs. winner game 2, 7:30 p.m.
Game 5: winner game 3 vs. winner game 4, 7:30 p.m.
Class 3A Sectional 30 at Scottsburg
Game 1: Salem (9-13) vs. Scottsburg (11-12), 6 p.m.
Game 2: Charlestown (18-3) vs. Madison (15-7), 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Brownstown (19-4) vs. North Harrison (15-9), 6 p.m.
Game 4: Silver Creek (8-14) vs. Corydon (4-19), 7:30 p.m.
Game 5: winner game 1 vs. winner game 2, 6 p.m.
Game 6: winner game 3 vs. winner game 4, 7:30 p.m.
Game 7: winner game 5 vs. winner game 6, 7:30 p.m.
Class A Sectional 61 at West Washington
Game 1: Medora (6-18) vs. Orleans (10-10), 6 p.m.
Game 2: Springs Valley (17-5) vs. West Washington (4-17), 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Trinity Lutheran (11-12) vs. winner game 1, 6 p.m.
Game 4: Crothersville (13-10) vs. winner game 2, 7:30 p.m.
Game 5: winner game 3 vs. winner game 4, 7:30 p.m.
Olivia Goecker, senior, 3.1 ppg
Ally Lorenzo, senior, 3.1 ppg
Riley Wischmeier, senior, 10.7 ppg
Brooke Ebbing, senior, 18.4 ppg
Morgan Wehmiller, junior, 7.6 ppg
Alexis Adair, junior, 11.6 ppg
Kashmir Kelshaw, sophomore, 4.0 ppg
Katrina Christian, sophomore, 16.5 ppg
Lacey Hall, freshmen, 5.0 ppg
Nikki Hickman, freshman, 6.4 ppg
Kiana Thompson, senior. 1.7 ppg
Megan Weddell, junior, 6.0 ppg
Jadelyn Dean, junior, 9.4 ppg
Carley McCammon, junior, 10.9 ppg
Victoria Pfeiffer, sophomore, 1.7 ppg
Mikayla Fee, junior, 6.5 ppg
Morgan Ritz, junior, 10.0 ppg
Maci Lubker, junior, 10.9 ppg
Emilee Pollmann, junior, 11,8 ppg
Kayla Griffin, sophomore, 10.0 ppg
Sydney Stuckwisch, senior, 6.6 ppg
Whitney Rogers, sophomore, 3.5 ppg
Hailley Peters, sophomore, 4.9 ppg
Piper Acton, freshman, 4.5 ppg
Maddie Roark, freshman, 19.3 ppg