Hatchet House, JBA ready for sectionals

Feb. 22—Fans now have a little better idea of how things may go with the upcoming IHSAA sectionals at the Hatchet House and Jack Butcher Arena beginning Tuesday.

Class 3A Sectional 31 — Washington

In 3A Sectional 31, at the Hatchet House, in the first game, Southridge (12-10) will play Heritage Hills (15-7) on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The two teams met earlier in the year, with HH winning in OT, 51-49. SR does have losses to Pike Central, but wins over Washington and Princeton. Heritage Hills, comes in at 15-7 and features 6-8" Big 10 prospect Trent Sisley, who is just a sophomore. They have beaten Washington, Lincoln and Southridge, but fell to Pike Central in OT. Sisley is getting 27 points a game and averaging 10 boards.

The Hatchets come into the bye game at 11-10 and have lost four straight, including a 62-45 loss to Heritage Hills. They still have one game remaining on Friday with Evansville Memorial. They have lost to Southridge, HH and North Daviess, but beat Pike, Princeton and Lincoln.

Washington coach Gene Miiller is now in his 47th season and second on the active all-time wins list. He is led by senior sharpshooter Brycen Neidigh, the single season 3-point leader is getting 19.2 ppg and has nailed 79 3-balls.Colton Stowers, Zach Mann, Dalton Thurston, Chris and Jayden Meredith and Brant Neidigh have also been solid contributors, along with freshman Cooper Wright and Cordell Turner who have also been very active this season. Stowers kicks in about 11 ppg and Mann is scoring just under 8.

On the other side of the bracket in the 8 p.m. game on Wednesday, North Daviess at 19-5 is the highest ranked team in the sectional. The current Class A state champions have been ranked as high as No. 3 in 3A and have had an impressive season with an appearance in the Hall of Fame Classic and beating FW Blackhawk, Orleans, Loogootee, Barr-Reeve and 4A Seymour. Four of their five losses have come to teams ranked No. 1 or 2 in all four classes (Bloomfield, Linton, NorthWood and Penn), along with a loss to 17-4 Connersville, and those teams are a combined 97 and 11.

The Cougars are led by senior Oakland City signee Jaylen Mullen who recently became the school's all-time leading scorer and assists leader who averages 18 ppg. The Cougs also have two sets of long, athletic twins in Logan and Lance Wilson, and Brendan and Braden Stickles. Those four, along with Austin Brower are able to play almost any position on floor surrounding Mullen. The Wilsons combine for 23 ppg and Brendan Stickles gets right around 9 and is a shot blocker.

ND will face a good Pike Central team (13-8) that has wins over Lincoln, Southridge and Heritage Hills. They are led by three players in double figures, Quade Morton with 18.5, Julian Gish with 15.8 and Kendric Sorgius with 13.7. Peyton Howald is the Chargers rebounding leader.

In the other Wednesday game beginning at 6:30 p.m., Lincoln (5-17) will play Princeton (11-9). Lincoln has a surprise win over Jasper, a close loss to Pike Central and a close win over Gibson Southern. Princeton has two games left, with Heritage Hills and Tecumseh. Princeton did beat Lincoln earlier, 56-50 and Pike Central 53-51, along with wins over B-R, Memorial and Gibson Southern.

Tickets will be on sale at Washington on today at 8 a.m. through game time. WHS only offers season passes for pre-sale. The cost is $15. Single Session tickets will be sold at the door for $7.

Class A sectional 63 — Loogootee

In Class A at Loogootee's Jack Butcher Arena, two top 5 teams, No. 2 Orleans and No. 4 Loogootee have a chance to meet, but if that happens, it won't be until the finals.

Loogootee (15-7) has wins over every sectional team except Orleans, and that game took four overtimes. Their losses have been to quality programs, North Daviess, Evansville Christian (twice), Brownstown Central, Bloomfield, Orleans and BNL, but they have wins over Valley, Barr-Reeve, WC and Shoals.

Ryan Haywood's team is led by area leading scorer Peyton Bledsoe, Loogootee's all-time leading scorer, who missed four games with an injury but seems back on track and is getting 21.5 points and 4.7 rebounds. Isaac Eagle has been a prolific shooter, while Leighton Jeffers is the team's leading ball handler, who also adds 9 ppg. Drew Walker and Parker Arvin bring a combination of size and skill combining for 18 ppg, while Brandon Bledsoe, Camden Haywood and AJ Foster have had significant minutes this season. They will face 4-16 Rivet, a team they beat 79-22 earlier. Rivet is led by 6-5" Tommy Herman, a player who can score inside and out.

The winner of that contest will then face Barr-Reeve (12-10) in the bye game. The Vikes, a traditional Class A powerhouse, have had an up and down year, losing to rivals Washington, Loogootee, Orleans and North Daviess. However, they played well against both Loogootee and Orleans. B-R has gone 4 and 5 in their last nine games.

Coach Josh Thompson has only one senior, Karsen Boyd, so just about all of this team will return next season. Junior Braydon Knepp is getting 12 ppg and is an excellent 3-point shooter. Junior Donnie Miller and sophomore Seth Wagler also add scoring punch, combining for about 20 a game, while Evan Wehmeier provides size in the middle for the Vikes. The Vikes finish the season with No. 1 Bloomfield on the road on Friday.

Washington Catholic (3-18) will play Springs Valley (7-14) in the first game on Wednesday. WC beat Martinsville Tabernacle, Seven Oaks Classical Academy and Cannelton this year, breaking a two-year winless streak for new coach Billy Nolley. However, the Cardinals were winless against sectional opponents.

WC's top scorer is senior Will Bassler getting 11 points per game and he is the team's top 3-point shooter, as he has attempted 140 treys. Justin Sipes gets around 9.5 points a game and averages right around 7 ppg.

Springs Valley comes in at 7-14 and beat WC 60-26 in December, but lost to Barr-Reeve, Loogootee, Orleans and Shoals.

Valley's top player is Deion Edwards, a sophomore guard getting 17.7 ppg and 10 boards. Point guard Konner Chase is also in double figures with 10.5 points.

Shoals (10-10) and Orleans (20-2) will be the final match-up of the sectional and start at 7:30. Orleans is No. 2 in Class A and they are coming off a 40-27 win over Shoals on Feb. 17. The Bulldogs have beaten every one in the sectional, but it took a 4-OT game against Loogootee to get that win. Both B-R and Valley played close games and their losses came against 4A New Albany and 3A North Daviess. They finish off the year with 17-4 Brownstown Central in a game that should be a real measuring stick going into sectional.

They are led by Ian Hall with 12.6 ppg and Xavier Alston 10.2, while Carter Allen is getting about four assist and almost two steals per contest. Alston also leads the team in rebounds.

Shoals is 10-10 for coach Bryson Abel. They do have sectional wins over WC, Rivet and Valley, but Loogootee, B-R, Orleans all beat them. They are led by Rylan Perry with 12.6 and Maliki Bridges at 11.2.