Boys high school basketball sectional pairings announced


The Indiana High School Athletic Association conducted the draw for the 111th annual Boys Basketball State Tournament on Sunday night, giving Jackson County’s five teams the starting points for their postseason journeys.

In the Class 4A Seymour Sectional, the host Owls were paired with Bedford North Lawrence in the first round of the tournament March 2. The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

Bedford (9-10) defeated the Owls (10-9) 44-36 during the regular season.

“We didn’t play particularly well against them the first time, but I don’t expect anything but a close game this time,” Seymour coach Kirk Manns said.

Jennings County (10-9) and Jeffersonville (10-6) will meet in the second opening-round game. New Albany (15-6) and Floyd Central (12-5) drew byes and will not play until Friday’s semifinal round.

Floyd Central enters the sectional as the defending champion. In last year’s sectional, the Highlanders defeated Jennings 70-33 in the title game. Last year’s state tournament was canceled following the sectionals due to the emerging global coronavirus pandemic.

As members of the Hoosier Hills Conference, all six of the Seymour Sectional teams enter the tournament knowing what to expect from opponents.

“There so much familiarity, it’s unbelievable,” Manns said. “There are no secrets. But we’re playing at home, so hopefully, that will start working in our favor.”

Seymour lost all five of its games against its sectional foes during the regular season, falling to Jennings County (57-38) and New Albany (43-38 in OT) in December, Bedford and Floyd Central (65-44) in January and Jeffersonville (64-46) two weeks ago.

Despite those results, Seymour feels it is carrying some momentum into the postseason. The Owls swept games with Austin and Sheridan over the weekend and have won seven of their last 11 games.

“I feel like the second half of the season, we’ve grown a lot,” Seymour junior forward Marcus Brooks said. “We’ve got a lot of momentum heading into the sectional. I think we can compete well with Bedford. We match up well.”

Seymour has two more regular-season games before the tournament begins. The Owls host Shelbyville (6-12) on Tuesday and Class 3A No. 2 Silver Creek (16-4) on Friday.

“I’m optimistic heading into the sectional, but to be honest, I’m looking forward to this week first,” Manns said. “We’ve still got a lot of growing to do.”

Seymour, which has 44 sectional titles in school history, last won a sectional championship in 1992.

On the IHSAA pairings show, Commissioner Paul Neidig referred to last year’s interruption, which continued through the spring sports season, as “such heartache. We were so sad about that, but it was the right thing to do.”

Besides Seymour in 4A, Brownstown Central will compete in Class 3A and Trinity Lutheran, Crothersville and Medora will be entered in Class A.

As it has been all season, Medora’s is the most unusual of these teams. The Hornets did not field a girls basketball team but under IHSAA rules was allowed to open participation to girls. Four girls competed on the 3-16 Medora boys team.

Other than Seymour, Brownstown is the only one with a winning record going into the last week of the regular season. The Braves were sidelined for three weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and snow-outs before resuming play with back-to-back games this past weekend.

The Braves are 10-6 with three games this week before sectional. Coach Dave Benter said it was difficult being benched and hopes his players can regain the form they were showing at the end of January.

“I wish sectionals were a week or two later,” Benter said. “Hopefully, we’ll be resilient.”

Brownstown, the defending champ, will play Owen Valley (9-7), the sectional host, on March 3 in a bracket that includes Brown County (1-11), Edgewood (12-9), West Vigo (9-10) and Northview (13-6).

Crothersville (3-16) the defending sectional titlist, and Trinity Lutheran (7-13) face each other in the West Washington Sectional on March 2. The winner meets tough Edinburgh (16-5) in a Friday semifinal. The championship is Saturday.

Medora received a bye into the semifinals March 5 against the winner of host West Washington (8-10) vs. Shawe Memorial (1-16). Shawe’s only victory came over Medora. Although the final margin was 15, the game was close until near the end.

Medora has endured a very lengthy drought in sectional play. The last time the Hornets won a sectional game was 1997. In that contest, they defeated Crothersville 59-54.

Coach Mark Morin said a favorable draw would help Medora’s chances to end the long losing streak.

“It would be nice,” Morin said.

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