Lady Pacers draw bye in Sectional, will face Lawrenceburg on Friday

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The Indiana High School Athletic Association has released the draw for this year’s girls basketball tournament; and Coach Wayne Ellegood’s Switzerland County Lady Pacers drew the bye and will play Lawrenceburg next Friday night, February 9th, in the semifinal round.

This year’s Class 2A Sectional #44 will be played at Milan High School; and will begin with two games on Tuesday night, February 6th.

Tuesday’s first game will feature South Ripley versus North Decatur; while the second game will pit Southwestern against Milan.

The two winners of Tuesday’s games will play in the opening semifinal game on Friday night; followed by the Switzerland County versus Lawrenceburg game.

The first game on Tuesday and Friday will begin at 6 p.m.

The two winners from Friday night will then square off for the Sectional Championship on Saturday evening, February 10th, at 7:30 p.m.

The Lady Pacers head into Sectional play with a record of 9-10, pending the outcome of tonight’s (Thursday’s) regular season finale at home against Madison Shawe.

Lawrenceburg enters Sectional play with a record of 2-15, having played Oldenburg Academy on Tuesday night and will play Rising Sun tonight (Thursday). The Lady Tigers also have a game scheduled this Saturday afternoon when they play at Taylor (Ohio) High School.

Although the 2-15 record may make Lady Pacer fans breathe easier, no one should forget that one of those victories came over Switzerland County 43-41 in the first round of this year’s Rivertown Classic.

Switzerland County bounced back and revenged that loss with a 50-39 win on January 11th.

“It was a good draw for us, I would think,” Lady Pacer coach Wayne Ellegood said. “We got in the bracket away from our two biggest opponents – Southwestern and North Decatur – so that was good. Lawrenceburg is a team that we know a lot about; but at the same time, Lawrenceburg probably figures that it was a good draw for them, too, because they are in the same position that we are.”

The Lady Tigers other win was the opening game of the season, when they defeated Batesville by a score of 52-48.

Lawrenceburg also had an interesting week, as head coach Nick Scalf, who was planning in resigning at the end of the season, was immediately terminated by the Lawrenceburg school board on Monday night.

The Lady Tigers will be coached through their final regular season games and the tournament by Abby Carrigan Friend, a former player at Rising Sun and the current Lawrenceburg jayvee coach.

Even with the possible distractions, Coach Ellegood won’t let his squad take Lawrenceburg lightly, and is anxious to see how this year’s Sectional pans out.

“North Decatur has a pretty decent team, but I don’t think that they play as difficult a schedule as we do or Southwestern does,” the Lady Pacer coach said. “We’ll have to wait and see how they hold up.”

North Decatur currently has a record of 12-7, and will finish out their regular season tonight (Thursday) against South Decatur. The Lady Chargers did defeat Jac-Cen-Del by a score of 35-32 in December for its signature win.

North Decatur will take on South Ripley in Tuesday’s opening round game, and the Lady Chargers defeated the Lady Raiders earlier in the year by a 43-32 score.

South Ripley stands at 8-11 on the year, and will wrap up its regular season tonight (Thursday) at Jac-Cen-Del.

The clear favorite in this year’s sectional is Southwestern, as the Lady Rebels are one of the elite teams in the state regardless of class, having been ranked as high as number two in the state in Class 2A before suffering two straight losses in front of Tuesday’s victory over Switzerland County.

Southwestern has concluded its season with a record of 18-3, and has been defeating opponents by an average of 22 points this year.

The Lady Rebels open Sectional play against the host Milan team, a squad that Southwestern destroyed 97-32 on January 18th. The Lady Indians are 7-12 on the year, not including their final regular season game against South Decatur that was played Tuesday night.

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Whichever teams captures the Milan Sectional championship will go from the furnace and into the fire, as they will advance to the Batesville Regional, where they will play the winner of the Speedway Sectional – which figures to be Heritage Christian, the state’s top ranked team in Class 2A, with an overall record of 18-3.

Should Southwestern advance here, the first round regional game at Batesville could feature the top two teams in the state in Class 2A.

The other side of the Batesville Regional pits the winner at Alexandria versus the winner at Winchester.

Alexandria figures to be a wide open Sectional, with Wapahani sporting the best regular season record at 12-6; but perennial state challenger Shenandoah is again lurking.

The favorite at Winchester figures to be Cambridge City Lincoln, as the Lady Golden Eagles have a record of 16-3; but host Winchester also has a record of 16-3, and when the two conference rivals played this year, Cambridge City won 33-31.

Neither team should overlook Hagerstown, which stands at 15-3 – including a split with Cambridge City.

The winner of the Batesville Regional will play in either the Southport or Jeffersonville Semistate; and the State Championships are set for Conseco Fieldhouse on Saturday, March 3rd.

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Regardless of the outcome of the Sectional, Coach Ellegood has a good feeling about his squad and the year that they’ve had.

“Our kids have battled all year long. It’s been a good year for us,” Coach Ellegood said. “It’s been a fun year for me. I think we’ve over achieved. After we got beat at New Albany, we set a goal that we had seven games left, and if we went 5-2, we would finish with a 500-record. Right now we’re 4-2 with Shawe left to play, so if we win that game. we’ll meet our goal.”

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Sectional draws for other area teams:

– In Class 3A, Madison drew the bye game in the Scottsburg Sectional, and will play North Harrison on Friday night.

– In Class 1A, the Jac-Cen-Del Sectional will feature Oldenburg and South Decatur in the first game; Jac-Cen-Del and Shawe Memorial in the second game; and Rising Sun will play the winner of the Oldenburg-South Decatur game.