Can the Braves, Cougars replicate their fall postseason glory?


Saturday’s sectional championship victories for the Brownstown Central and Trinity Lutheran girls basketball teams were just the first steps in what they hope is another long postseason journey.

But it also felt a little like déjà vu, especially for the Braves.

On Oct. 19, 2019, the Braves volleyball team ended a seven-year sectional title drought at Owen Valley High School. It was a dominating performance — one of many for that team — en route to ending their dry spell of postseason hardware.

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Fast forward to Feb. 8, 2020, and the Braves girls basketball team ended a nine-year sectional title drought with a couple of dominating performances in their semifinal and final games.

Saturday’s sectional victory for the Cougars didn’t come as easy it did for the volleyball team.

The then top-ranked Cougars plowed through their sectional before facing a tougher test in their regional opener against Loogootee.

Now, looking forward to the West Washington Regional, if the Cougars want to continue their road to state, they’ll have to get by the Lions in the first round.

Loogootee has hovered at the top of Class A all season with the lone exception being when the Cougars took over the No. 1 spot toward the end of the year.

Should they prove victorious, their regional championship game could be even tougher against either Lanesville or Tecumseh.

For Brownstown Central, they’ll once again travel to unfamiliar territory with a regional title on their minds.

They’ll face an Indianapolis Ritter team whose 16-9 record isn’t indicative to how well they can play. The Raiders’ schedule is consistently tough, and this year’s included games against Class 2A powers Triton Central and University and tilts with Class 4A Roncalli and New Palestine.

A victory would pit the Braves against either Danville or Heritage Christian for a spot at semistate.

The Warriors have made it to semistate in two of the last three seasons, falling short of Indianapolis twice. The Eagles are back down in 3A after spending the last two season in the state’s top class.

Prior to their move up, the Eagles won the 3A state title three years in a row.

Sectional championships ended up jump-starting two trips to Muncie for the volleyball state finals for the Braves and Cougars.

The end-of-the-road spoils? A state championship trophy and a state runner-up trophy.

Maybe the girls basketball teams can replicate that success.

And should both teams prevail Saturday night, maybe the IHSAA will do Jackson County fans — and me — a favor by putting them both at the same semistate. That was a lot of fun.

There’s still plenty left to figure out this girls basketball postseason. Here’s hoping we all don’t get to learn the answer until the last day of the month.

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