Sectional draw sets up possible rivalry rematch
INDIANAPOLIS — The season started with two rivals meeting in Whitley County boys’ basketball.
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Why not have it end with one.
Sunday, the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) drew up the path for over 400 teams across the state of Indiana.
Among them, three county teams are vying for a sectional championship.
Columbia City (14-5) and Whitko (14-4) opened the regular season with a buzzer-beating thriller 59-58 in the Eagles favor.
Landing on the same side of the class 3A Wawasee sectional, the two rivals have a potential meeting in the semifinal round.
Whitko will first need to get back at NorthWood. The Panthers (13-5) square off against the Wildcats twice in less than a week.
The Wildcats come off a tough weekend of back-to-back losses. Whitko closes out the regular season Friday at NorthWood before coming back 7 p.m. Tuesday to open sectional play.
Meanwhile, Columbia City has a comfortable seat in the first round. The Eagles await the winner of Whitko-NorthWood thanks to a first-round bye.
Match-ups along the other side of the sectional bracket include Lakeland (9-8) vs West Noble (7-11) and Tippecanoe Valley (7-11) vs Wawasee (13-5).
In the class 2A Garrett sectional, Churubusco (12-5) comes off a upset victory over No. 2 Whitko this week hoping for its first sectional championship in school history.
The Eagles square off against Fremont (11-8) to open the sectional 6 p.m. Tuesday. ’Busco beat Fremont earlier in the season 73-50.
It’s a familiar sectional to Churubusco with each of the sectional teams meeting at least once in the regular season. The Eagles hold a 3-2 record against sectional opponents.
One of those losses came against what would be ’Busco’s semifinal round opponent Garrett (7-11).
The Railroaders earned a first-round bye along with Central Noble (5-13).
The Cougars will play the winner of Prairie Heights (13-7) and Eastside (3-15).
Churubusco has the most wins since the last time they were in a sectional final in 2005 when the Eagles went 15-8.
Sectional tickets will be on sale at local high schools for $10 for all-sessions or $6 for one night. Tickets can also be purchased at the door each night.
Sectional games are scheduled to run March 1 through March 5 at 64 sites around the state. The regional round is slated for March 12, semi-states on March 19 and the state finals on March 26 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. In all, 397 games will be played over the four-week period.