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Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Antonio Richmond and the Northrop Bruins look to defend their Carroll Sectional title.

Teams look to get hot at tourney time

Few clear-cut favorites across region as road to state begins

Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Chase Moyle and Canterbury look to defend their Hamilton sectional title.
Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
James Blackmon Jr. and Bishop Luers look to return to the sectional final at South Adams.
Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Marq Rogers and his Concordia teammates should be the Dwenger sectional favorite.

Only one area team was competing for a state championship last March when Norwell fell to Guerin Catholic 64-48 in the Class 3A state championship at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Others will try to match that feat and maybe go beyond when the postseason begins Tuesday. And if the Knights proved one thing, getting hot at the right time can go a long way in taking a team to the state finals.

Northeast Indiana has an abundance of individual talent, but it is all a matter of putting talent and team chemistry together at the right time.

Here’s a look at the area sectionals and possible scenarios for each of them:

CLASS 4A

Elkhart Central

Defending champion: Elkhart Memorial

Favorite: Concord

Challengers: Goshen, Warsaw

Outlook: The Minutemen look to take advantage with the Chargers down this year after a run to the semistate last year.

Pairings:

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

Friday: Concord vs. Game 1 winner, 6 p.m.; Northridge vs. Game 2 winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Carroll

Defending champion: Northrop

Favorites: Northrop, Columbia City

Challengers: North Side, Snider, DeKalb

Outlook: Arguably the toughest sectional – in any class – in northeast Indiana, at least five teams could claim the sectional title when it is all said and done.

Pairings:

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

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

Friday: North Side vs. Game 1 winner, 6 p.m.; Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Huntington North

Defending champion: Homestead

Favorite: New Haven

Challengers: Homestead, Jay County, Wayne

Outlook: A favorite is hard to find in this wide-open sectional field, but other than a last-second loss to Concordia the Bulldogs are playing about as well as anybody in this field.

Pairings:

Tuesday: Wayne vs. South Side, 6 p.m.; Homestead vs. Huntington North, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: New Haven vs. Game 1 winner, 6 p.m.; Jay County vs. Game 2 winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

CLASS 3A

Wawasee

Defending champion: NorthWood

Favorite: Tippecanoe Valley

Challengers: NorthWood, West Noble

Outlook: The Vikings, who scored 146 points in a game this year, certainly have the firepower to overtake the Panthers for sectional supremacy.

Pairings:

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

Friday: Fairfield vs. Game 1 winner, 6 p.m.; Lakeland vs. Game 2 winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Garrett

Defending champion: Bishop Dwenger

Favorite: Concordia

Challenger: Leo

Outlook: The Cadets have a chance at avenging a title game loss to the Saints in the first round and many consider Concordia a good bet to go far in the postseason.

Pairings:

Tuesday: Bishop Dwenger vs. Concordia, 6 p.m.; Woodlan vs. Garrett, 8 p.m.

Friday: Leo vs. Game 1 winner, 6 p.m.; Angola vs. Game 2 winner, 8 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7 p.m.

Norwell

Defending champion: Norwell

Favorite: Norwell

Challengers: Heritage, Mississinewa

Outlook: The Knights stunned some people last year in advancing to the 3A state championship game so winning this sectional and going onto more success wouldn’t surprise many at all this year.

Pairings:

Tuesday: Eastbrook vs. Norwell, 6 p.m.; Bellmont vs. Whitko, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Mississinewa vs. Game 1 winner, 6 p.m.; Heritage vs. Game 2 winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

CLASS 2A

Westview

Defending champion: Westview

Favorite: Westview

Challengers: LaVille, Fremont

Outlook: The Warriors still appear to be the class of this sectional, but things might be tough with three other teams having double-figure win totals.

Pairings:

Tuesday: Bremen vs. Westview, 6 p.m.; Fremont vs. LaVille, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Central Noble vs. Game 1 winner, 6 p.m.; Prairie Heights vs. Game 2 winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7 p.m.

South Adams

Defending champion: Adams Central

Favorite: Bishop Luers

Challengers: Adams Central, Bluffton

Outlook: Once a wide-open sectional, the addition of transfer Randon Jackson for the Knights gives them an advantage in getting back the sectional title that has eluded them for three years.

Pairings:

Tuesday: Adams Central vs. Churubusco, 6 p.m.; South Adams vs. Eastside, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Bishop Luers vs. Game 1 winner, 6 p.m.; Bluffton vs. Game 2 winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

CLASS A

Hamilton

Defending champion: Canterbury

Favorite: Canterbury

Challengers: Lakewood Park, Elkhart Christian

Outlook: The Cavaliers went all the way to the semistate last year and have the tools for another deep postseason run, including successful coach Scott Kreiger, who came over from the girls program with four state titles.

Pairings:

Tuesday: Howe vs. Lakewood Park, 6 p.m.; Elkhart Christian vs. Hamilton, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Canterbury vs. Blackhawk Christian, 6 p.m.; Bethany Christian vs. Lakeland Christian, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 6 p.m.; Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Monroe Central

Defending champion: Liberty Christian

Favorite: Liberty Christian

Challenger: Monroe Central

Outlook: Don’t be surprised if Liberty Christian doesn’t defend its sectional title with ease, considering only two teams have records above .500.

Pairings:

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

Friday: Monroe Central vs. Game 1 winner, 6 p.m.; Wes-Del vs. Game 2 winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

gjones@jg.net

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