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Girls teams getting ready as state hoops tourney opens Tuesday

February 4, 2013

The 38th Annual Girls State Basketball Tournament opens with sectionals this week, and area teams will divide up among three different tournament sites.
Plymouth, Culver Girls Academy and John Glenn will hit the road for New Prairie in Class 3A Sectional 19 action, while Bremen and LaVille travel to Central Noble for the Class 2A Sectional 35 tilt, and Oregon-Davis hosts a seven-team field in the Class A Sectional 51 tourney.

NEW PRAIRIE
After claiming their most lopsided win of the season at the tail end of a seven-game win streak, the Lady Pilgrims (14-6) endured a tough pair of Northern Lakes Conference losses against Northridge and Goshen to close out the regular season.
They’re hoping to bounce back against a struggling Jimtown squad (4-16) in Wednesday’s second game following an earlier quarterfinal between South Bend St. Joseph (7-13) and John Glenn (16-4), scheduled for 6 p.m.
“I think the NLC down the stretch is a great preparation for the sectional,” said Plymouth head coach Dave Duncan. “The teams that we’ve played down the stretch have been very, very good teams. We’ll have our kids ready to play. I think they’re excited about the new season. We’re just going to take it one game at a time.”
While Plymouth has had a tough close to the regular season, the Lady Falcons are flying high.
Glenn enters the state tourney on a four-game win streak culminating in Friday’s dramatic Northern State Conference win in overtime at Culver Community. That win clinched the Falcons a second-place finish in the NSC. St. Joe isn’t on the squad’s regular-season schedule, but the Falcons boast wins over every team in the New Prairie Sectional field, their closest a 41-39 victory over Plymouth back on Dec. 11.
“I’ve told them that sometimes things work out for a team, and we’ve had things bounce our way,” said Glenn head coach Kyle Amor. “There might be a bit a destiny, and right now they believe destiny’s on our shoulders. Hopefully that can carry us through a very tough sectional.”
CGA opens the tournament with some momentum of its own on a three-game win streak. The Eagles will face off against the host Cougars Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Class 3A Sectional 19
At New Prairie
Tuesday, Feb. 5
New Prairie vs. Culver Academy 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 6: 6: South Bend St. Joseph vs. Glenn 6 p.m.
7:30: Jimtown vs. Plymouth 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 8
Marian vs. Tuesday’s winner 6 p.m.
Wednesday’s quarterfinal winners 7:30 p.m.

CENTRAL NOBLE
It’s an old cliche to say that the state series represents a whole new season, but it’s an adage that has proven true over and over again: You can throw the records out once the tourney tips off.
Bremen (4-16) may not boast the best record in the field, but the Lady Lions enter their Central Noble opener with Prairie Heights (10-11), scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, having won three of their last four contests and finally seem to be clicking.
LaVille (10-10) is coming off a .500 regular season, meanwhile, and waits in the wings for the winner of that game in the early game Friday at 6 p.m.
Although the Lady Lancers enter the tourney coming off back-to-back losses to Culver and Triton, head coach Kevin McCullough believes his team should have some momentum to build off of Friday night.
“There’s a lot of basketball for the Lancers yet,” he said. “I told the girls (Triton) is better than the teams we have to play in the sectional. The other teams that we play in the sectional might be different, but as far as guards and handling the ball, they would be the best team in our sectional from that standpoint for sure.“
Class 2A Sectional 35
At Central Noble
Tuesday, Feb. 5
Bremen vs. Prairie Heights 6 p.m.
Westview vs. Central Noble 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 8
LaVille vs. Bremen-Prairie Heights winner 6 p.m.
Fremont vs. Westview-Central Noble winner 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 9
Championship 7 p.m.

OD
Even with last year’s sectional championship, a repeat Bi-County title and home court advantage in his team’s corner, Class A No. 2 Oregon-Davis head coach Terry Minix isn’t taking anything for granted this week.
That’s a wise policy considering that, although the Lady Cats are the favorites, there aren’t going to be any gimmes against a seven-team field that boasts five different schools that either are or have been ranked in the ICGSA Class A polls throughout the season.
“At one point I think you had five teams ranked in the state in the same sectional; we know it’s going to be very competitive,” Minix said. “I think Argos is very capable, I think South Central is very capable, along with Culver and Triton and obviously us. It’s a pretty balanced sectional, and whoever’s playing the best and gets it going I think will win.”
“We know and we understand two years ago we were the favorites and we didn’t play very well, and Triton beat us in the final, so we’re taking it one game at a time,” added the OD skipper. “The kids know and they understand that. If we do what we do we should be okay.”
While the Bobcats (18-3) take on Westville (4-16) in the early game Wednesday night scheduled for 5:30 p.m. CT with a match-up between Argos (10-10) and Marquette (2-17) to follow, Culver Community (11-9) will open the tourney against South Central Union Mills (12-7) Tuesday at 5:30 CT.
Class A No. 9 Triton drew the bye at the OD and will play the winner of Tuesday’s opener. The Trojans are coming off the program’s first unbeaten Northern State Conference season since the school’s 2000-01 state championship season, and they’re hoping to recapture the sectional title after being knocked off by OD last year.
“I don’t think any game in that is going to be easy. It doesn’t matter the draw we got. I’m indifferent,” said Triton coach Adam Heckaman. “It doesn’t matter what you get, you play the hand you’re dealt, you take it one game at a time, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Class A Sectional 51
At Oregon-Davis (CST)
Tuesday, Feb. 5
South Central vs. Culver Community 5:30 p.m. CT
Wednesday, Feb. 6
Westville vs. Oregon-Davis 5:30 p.m. CT
Argos vs. Michigan City Marquette 7 p.m. CT
Friday, Feb. 8
Triton vs. Tuesday’s winner 5:30 p.m. CT
Wednesday’s quarterfinal winners 7 p.m. CT
Saturday, Feb. 9
Championship 6 p.m. CT

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