The sectional draw will be held by the IHSAA this evening and it seems impossible that this girls basketball regular season has but a week left.
There have been so many surprises, pleasant and unpleasant and so many great performances by teams and individuals.
But tonight sets the path for the part of the year that people will remember most, the post-season tournament.
Our focus locally will be on four sectionals; Greenfield in 4A, Madison-Grant and Shenandoah in 2A and Southern Wells in 1A. In our area, we have three schools with legitimate sectional championship aspirations, Anderson, Pendleton Heights and Frankton.
Those three have combined to win 41 games while losing only 16 going into Saturday’s play. Of that group, only Frankton is a conference champion.
But those aren’t the only three schools who can win a title. Certainly both Elwood and Lapel have had victories this year that prove they can compete with the best teams in their respective sectionals.
Let’s take a look at those four sectionals to see what the Sagarin Ratings say about what should happen when play begins nine days from now.
At Greenfield, Anderson is regarded as the kingpins with a rating of nearly 13 points ahead of the second-ranked team, Pendleton Heights. This comes even though the Arabians defeated the Lady Tribe in the teams’ only meeting for the Madison County Tournament title.
At Madison-Grant, Eastern is just over seven points ahead of Tipton and 12 points ahead of Elwood, the third-rated team among those six. Alexandria is put fourth and the host Argylls sixth.
At Shenandoah, Frankton is a slim choice ahead of Winchester. The Eagles are less than three points ahead of the Golden Falcons and 10 ahead of Lapel. Shenandoah is fifth in that grouping of six teams.
Finally, at Southern Wells, the host school is the prohibitive favorite, getting a 15-point edge over Daleville in second. Liberty Christian is placed fourth among those six teams entered there.
Now let’s focus on what has actually transpired head-to-head among these sectional foes.
At Greenfield there is a huge circle at the top that takes us nowhere. Pendleton Heights beat Anderson. Anderson mauled Connersville and Connersville nipped the Arabians in OT. Those are the only losses those three have suffered at the hands of sectional foes.
At Madison-Grant, Eastern is 5-0 against sectional foes but didn’t play Elwood. The Comets defeated Taylor twice. Elwood’s only loss to a sectional foe was against Tipton, a team that only loss was to Eastern and that came in overtime.
At Shenandoah, Winchester is 15-3 but hasn’t played any team in its sectional. That will change Monday when it hosts Shenandoah. Frankton is 3-0, having defeated Wapahani, Lapel and Shenandoah. The Eagles have a rematch with the Bulldogs at home on Tuesday.
At Southern Wells, Daleville is 5-0 against sectional foes but hasn’t played the host school. The Raiders only played Wes-Del among sectional opponents and won 81-10.
The draw could make a big difference in the potential outcomes of these sectionals.
Sports editor Rick Teverbaugh’s columns run twice weekly.