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High Schools

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Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Darby Maggard, right, and Canterbury will try to win the program’s fifth Class A title in six years as postseason play tips off.

Quest for state title begins

Canterbury, Luers, Concordia hope to return to season’s final girls basketball game

Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Olivia Hahn, left, and Concordia’s journey back to the Class 3A title game begins in the Bishop Dwenger sectional.
Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Tashayla Sutorius, center, and Bishop Luers are favored to win the Bluffton sectional, which has no team with a record over .500.

The destination again will be Terre Haute, which will play host to the girls basketball state finals for a second straight season. The journey begins Tuesday with the start of sectional play across northeast Indiana as well as the rest of the state.

Three area teams – Canterbury (Class A), Bishop Luers (2A) and Concordia (3A) – advanced to title games with the Cavaliers and Cadets winning state championships.

But a new year brings with it new expectations and goals and probably a few surprises.

The following is a look at the 11 area sectional sites:

CLASS 4A

CONCORD

Defending champion: Elkhart Memorial

Favorite: Warsaw

Contenders: Northridge, Elkhart Memorial, Goshen

Outlook: The Tigers flirted with a perfect regular season, winning their first 18 games. Warsaw is the favorite in this deep sectional field.

Pairings:

Tuesday: Elkhart Memorial vs. Warsaw, 6 p.m.; Goshen vs. Elkhart Central, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Concord vs. Elkhart Memorial/Warsaw winner, 6 p.m.; Northridge vs. Goshen/Elkhart Central winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7 p.m.

SNIDER

Defending champion: Snider

Favorite: Snider

Contenders: East Noble, DeKalb

Outlook: The Panthers are 7-0 against the rest of the field, giving them a good chance of defending their sectional championship.

Pairings:

Tuesday: Northrop vs. DeKalb, 7 p.m.

Wednesday: Carroll vs. Columbia City, 6 p.m.; East Noble vs. Snider, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: North Side vs. Northrop/DeKalb winner, 6 p.m.; Carroll/Columbia City winner vs. East Noble/Snider winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

HOMESTEAD

Defending champion: South Side

Favorite: Homestead

Contender: South Side

Outlook: The Spartans are the slight favorite with the luxury of playing at home and already having a 1-point win against the Archers, who are in the mix for a title.

Pairings:

Tuesday: South Side vs. Wayne, 6 p.m.; Jay County vs. Homestead, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: New Haven vs. South Side/Wayne winner, 6 p.m.; Huntington North vs. Jay County/Homestead winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

CLASS 3A

NORTHWOOD

Defending champion: NorthWood

Favorite: NorthWood

Contenders: West Noble, Fairfield

Outlook: Look for the perennial powerhouse Panthers to roll again in this sectional. NorthWood has the best record (19-3) and the program has a winning tradition.

Pairings:

Tuesday: NorthWood vs. Wawasee, 6 p.m.; West Noble vs. Tippecanoe Valley, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Fairfield vs. NorthWood/Wawasee winner, 6 p.m.; Lakeland vs. West Noble/Tippecanoe Valley winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

BISHOP DWENGER

Defending champion: Concordia

Favorite: Concordia

Contenders: Angola, Leo, Garrett

Outlook: Again this sectional is among the best, deepest in the state with five of the six teams having records above .500. The Lions will be out for revenge in Game 1 against the defending 3A state champion Cadets after losing in overtime in last year’s sectional finals.

Pairings:

Tuesday: Leo vs. Concordia, 6 p.m.; Woodlan vs. Garrett, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Bishop Dwenger vs. Leo/Concordia winner, 6 p.m.; Angola vs. Woodlan/Garrett winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7 p.m.

MISSISSINEWA

Defending champion: Norwell

Favorite: Norwell

Contender: Eastbrook

Outlook: The Knights lost Miss Basketball Jessica Rupright to graduation, but they have hardly missed a beat with an NHC title and the favorite role again in this sectional.

Pairings:

Tuesday: Mississinewa vs. Norwell, 6 p.m.; Bellmont vs. Heritage, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Eastbrook vs. Mississinewa/Norwell winner, 6 p.m.; Whitko vs. Bellmont/Heritage winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

CLASS 2A

CENTRAL NOBLE

Defending champion: Fremont

Favorite: Westview

Contenders: LaVille, Fremont

Outlook: None of the teams have outstanding records, but that’s what could make this sectional very interesting with no clear-cut favorite.

Pairings:

Tuesday: Bremen vs. Prairie Heights, 6 p.m.; Westview vs. Central Noble, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: LaVille vs. Bremen/Prairie Heights winner, 6 p.m.; Fremont vs. Westview/Central Noble winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7 p.m.

BLUFFTON

Defending champion: Bishop Luers

Favorite: Bishop Luers

Contender: Adams Central

Outlook: This sectional is very interesting with no team over .500. The Knights, who have been to three straight 2A state title games, should emerge as champions again with a young, talented team that has taken its lumps this year.

Pairings:

Tuesday: Bishop Luers vs. Adams Central, 6 p.m.; Bluffton vs. South Adams, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Eastside vs. Bishop Luers/Adams Central winner, 6 p.m.; Churubusco vs. Bluffton/South Adams winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7 p.m.

CLASS A

CANTERBURY

Defending champion: Canterbury

Favorite: Canterbury

Contender: Lakewood Park

Outlook: The Cavaliers have won four of the last five Class A state championships and are the class of this sectional again. Canterbury has three players who average between 18-21 points and lead the state in scoring at 71 points per game.

Pairings:

Tuesday: Lakeland Christian vs. Hamilton, 6 p.m.; Bethany Christian vs. Howe, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Elkhart Christian vs. Lakewood Park, 6 p.m.; Blackhawk Christian vs. Canterbury, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Lakeland Christian/Hamilton winner vs. Bethany Christian/Howe winner, 6 p.m.; Elkhart Christian/Lakewood Park winner vs. Blackhawk Christian/Canterbury winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

SOUTHERN WELLS

Defending champion: Southern Wells

Favorite: Southern Wells

Contender: Daleville

Outlook: The champion should come from the Raiders or Broncos, the only two teams with records over .500. The two teams could meet in the sectional semifinals, with the winner being the overwhelming favorite in the finals.

Pairings:

Tuesday: Daleville vs. Wes-Del, 6 p.m.; Southern Wells vs. Liberty Christian, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Monroe Central vs. Daleville/Wes-Del winner, 6 p.m.; Cowan vs. Southern Wells/Liberty Christian winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

gjones@jg.net

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