The Indiana High School Athletic Association held its annual drawing for the pairings of the upcoming boys basketball tournament – and Coach B.J. McAlister’s Pacers got a bye and won’t play until Friday night.
The Pacers are in Sectional #45 in Class 2A, and the Sectional will be played at South Ripley High School beginning this Tuesday, February 26th.
In the opening game of the Sectional, North Decatur (4-15) will face Southwestern (5-16) beginning at 6 p.m.; and the second game on Tuesday night will feature Milan (8-10) versus Austin (8-11).
Those Tuesday night games set up what promises to be a tremendous weekend of basketball, as Friday night will feature the top two teams in the Sectional heading towards a collision on Saturday night for a tournament title.
On Friday night, March 1st, the first game at 6 p.m. will pit South Ripley (14-5) against the winner of the North Decatur-Southwestern game; and in the second game on Friday, which will start at approximately 7:30 p.m., Switzerland County (15-4) will play the winner of the Milan-Austin game.
Friday night’s two winners will then square off for the Sectional championship on Saturday, March 2nd, with the game beginning at 7:30 p.m.
During the regular season, Switzerland County defeated Southwestern twice: at home on November 24th by a 69-45 score; and at Southwestern on January 11th by a 74-61 score.
The Pacers defeated Milan at Milan on January 26th by a score of 66-43; and the Pacers have not faced Austin or North Decatur this year.
The true matchup is with South Ripley, where the two squads are the uncontested powerhouses of the conference this year and one of the duo is expected to claim the Sectional title.
Switzerland County defeated the Raiders at home on December 15th by a score of 56-36; but then lost to South Ripley in Versailles on January 12th by a score of 59-50. That loss was a particularly tough one, as it was the official conference game, and led to the Raiders winning the ORVC title (should they defeat Jac-Cen-Del tomorrow [Friday] night).
Other area schools also found out their Sectional opponents:
– Rising Sun drew a bye in the South Decatur Class 1A Sectional and will play the winner of the Jac-Cen-Del versus Hauser game on Friday night, March 1st.
– Madison Shawe will play Oldenburg Academy in the first round of the South Decatur Sectional on Tuesday night, February 26th.
– Madison drew a bye in the Class 3A Sectional at Greensburg and will play the winner of the Lawrenceburg-Rushville game on Friday night. In that same Sectional, South Dearborn will play Greensburg in Tuesday night’s second game.
The winner of the South Ripley Sectional will move on to the Regional, which will be held at Southridge High School on Saturday, March 9th.
The South Ripley winner will play the winner of the Southridge Sectional in the first game of the morning session; with the winner of the North Knox Sectional playing the winner of the Crawford County Sectional in the other morning contest.
The Southridge Sectional features Perry Central (17-2) and Southridge (15-3); while the North Knox Sectional features Sullivan (18-3) and Linton-Stockton (16-3). The Crawford County Sectional is headlined by Providence (16-3) and Clarksville (14-5).
The two winners will then play for the Regional championship on Saturday night, March 9th.
The Regional winner will play on Saturday, March 16th, and will either play at Richmond or Seymour. The State Finals will be held on Saturday, March 23rd at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.