SEIZING SECTIONAL

The 2015-16 IHSAA girls basketball sectionals commence today and will be played throughout the week until champions are crowned Saturday evening.

Following an exciting regular season, we look at the draws and matchups for each Jackson County school.

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ss 4A Sectional 15Owls eyeing championshipSeymour’s historic 2015-16 campaign will introduce its toughest test at the Bedford North Lawrence sectional this week.Tonight, the Owls have a rematch with New Albany at 6 p.m. They defeated the Bulldogs 43-40 this past week on the road to claim the outright Hoosier Hills Conference title.

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It took all 32 minutes for the Owls to pull out the narrow victory.

Owls coach Jason Longmeier said that he has no preference to the team’s first opponent, but having played recently he has ideas on what to instill.

“I don’t want to say it’s an easy scouting report, but the best film will be ours,” Longmeier said. “I won’t go back and see (the Bulldogs) play other teams. I have spent a lot of time looking at our own film the past few days. You’re kind of playing a guessing game with what adjustments they will make.”

In their first game, the Owls switched from a man to zone defense early to slow down the Bulldogs’ offense.

The Bulldogs play up-tempo, relying on transition points and offensive rebounds.

“I think that even when we were playing man, it wasn’t anything that they were doing that was hurting us — it was our coverage,” Longmeier said. “They spread us and we allowed them to do that. We want to play our defense tight whether it’s in a zone or on man.

“I thought that in the zone, we even had some breakdowns. We allowed them to have baseline drives and second chance points. In the film, a high majority of their points came off those two. I would say that 25 to 30 of their points came of that. We need to take (Chyna) Anthony and (Ashley) Lyninger off the boards.”

Kayla Griffin led the Owls in the contest with 10 points, while Maci Lubker, Mikayla Fee and Lauren James each tallied nine.

Griffin tops the Owls’ scoring average heading into the postseason at 12.3 per contest, Lubker is averaging 10.9, and Morgan Ritz puts up 8.6.

Should the Owls win, they will face Jeffersonville (15-8) in the semifinals Thursday. On Jan. 19, Seymour defeated the Red Devils 46-36.

Bedford North Lawrence (16-7) likely awaits in the championship game, and the Stars will look to avenge a 46-39 loss from Nov. 10 should the Owls advance.

The Stars’ lone HHC loss was to the Owls (18-4), who finished undefeated in the conference at 7-0.

“I didn’t really care (on the pairings),” Longmeier said. “When you have a team like us, the best thing might be to come out with the draw that we have.

“Unless Floyd or Jennings are fortunate to beat Bedford, we’re going to have to beat them. That has our kids’ attention. We’re not going to overlook anyone. Sometimes, I think that if you get an easier draw you might overlook it. Right off the bat we have to be fully in tune with what we’re doing.”

Seymour last won a sectional championship in the 2007-08 school year.

Class 3A Sectional 30

Young Braves squad tackles postseasonBraves coach Karla Rieckers said she is hoping her team can set the pace when it faces Charlestown at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the sectional at North Harrison.

“We want to come out and we want to give a good effort,” Rieckers said. “When we played Charlestown the last time they played a 2-3, and when you get down its hard to shoot your way out of it when they want to pack everything on the inside.

“We’ve worked on attacking the zone. We want to push the basketball against them and try to get to our tempo of the game. Those are things we hope to implement on Wednesday night.”

The Pirates topped the Braves 61-40 in a Mid-Southern conference game at home Jan. 9.

Morgan Wehmiller and Madison Klinge were high scorers for the Braves in that game with 10 points each, while Samantha Matthews topped the Pirates with 18 points and Lexi Logsdon scored 15.

Wehmiller, the only senior on the team, tops the Braves in scoring at 10.1 points per game, and Payton Farmer is next at 9.9

The Braves (12-12) are averaging 53.5 points per game and giving up 49.5, while the Pirates (12-10) average 45.6 and allow 42.1 per game.

“We don’t want to let them come down and get set in their 2-3 and just stand there, so we to try to get some buckets in transition, and speed the game up just a little bit,” Rieckers said.

“Lately we’ve been working in being more patient with the basketball when we’re on offense instead of taking one pass and a shot, and actually make the other team have to play defense for a little while. That shot will always come back around and always be there. We need to take at least four, five or six passes before we take the shot.

“We also make sure we drive on the zone and kick to the open person if we don’t drive to the basket. We can’t let them just stand on defense. We’ve got to make their defense move.”

She said another key to the game will be the turnovers battle.

“The other night against North Harrison we had 15 in the first half,” Rieckers said. “In the second half we had six. Sometimes our youth plays into that, and we’ve had other games where we’ve played really well with limiting turnovers.

“It will be a first for a majority of my kids to play in a sectional, but hopefully we can keep everybody calm and come out focused to play. They don’t have anybody that is extremely tall, so comparatively we’re pretty even with them.”

The sectional starts tonight with Salem (12-10) meeting Silver Creek (8-14) at 7 p.m.

Class A Sectional 61

Trinity Lutheran, Crothersville, Medora take on Borden fieldTrinity Lutheran coach Mike Lang is hoping the Cougars can get in a running game with Orleans when they play at 6 p.m. tonight at Borden.

This is the first time for Borden to play in Class A Sectional 61 with Crothersville, Trinity Lutheran, Medora, West Washington and Orleans.

Borden replaces Springs Valley.

“We’re going to have to speed them up and play to our abilities,” Lang said of the Bulldogs. “We can’t allow them to play a half-court, grind-it-out game like we allowed Crothersville to do in the first half Saturday.”

The Cougars defeated the Bulldogs 54-38 at Orleans on Dec. 12. Maddie Roark was high scorer for Trinity in that game with 20 points, and Abby Hackman added 12.

Roark leads the Cougars in scoring at 20.8 points per game, and Hackman is next at 10.1 per game.

Hackman tops the Cougars in rebounds at 9.5 per contest.

Addie Ramsey leads Orleans in scoring at 14.4 points per game, followed by Caitlin Rutherford at 6.4 and Julia Hudson at 6.1 per game.

“It was a tight game through the first three quarters,” Lang said of the earlier game. The game was tied at 32-all going into the fourth period before the Cougars outscored the Bulldogs 22-6.

“We’ll have a speed advantage. (Transition) is going to have to be important, and our bigs are going to have to be aggressive. Anne (Franke) and Abby is very important to our success moving forward. We need them to be strong in the post, and we’ve got to have our guards looking for them in the post.”

Trinity (15-8) is averaging 59.9 points per game and giving up 49.6, while Orleans is averaging 40 and allowing 36.6

Tigers idle until Thursday

Riding back-to-back wins heading into the Borden Sectional, Crothersville patiently awaits the winner of tonight’s Trinity and Orleans game.The Tigers will play today’s victor at 6 p.m. Thursday.

“Either one will be a tough game for us — we’re going to have to play our best basketball,” Tigers coach Kevin Hensley said. “It’s tough on both teams (Trinity) to have to potentially play one another not even seven days apart. I think it can go either way, and I’m glad we got the bye because it gives us a day more to prepare.

“We have to start concentrating and watching game film to improve ourselves. You can’t look ahead, just that first game.”

On Saturday, the Tigers defeated Trinity 63-56 to conclude the regular season.

Finally at full health, the Tigers have their core group back on the court.

Junior Katrina Christian, who recently eclipsed 1,000 career points, has led the Tigers’ charge averaging 17.6 points per game.

Senior Alexis Adair, who broke the record for 3-pointers in a career, and freshman Piper Hensley have been deadly from long range, making the drive-and-dish possible.

Freshman Maddie Riley and sophomore Lacey Hall — who just returned from an ankle injury — have manned a forward position, while senior Abby Jewell has been the presence in the middle.

Hensley has stated that Jewell is the glue to the team and that they play much better with her on the floor, so having her back at full health has made tremendous strides.

Hensley said that the team’s defense is what will win games, as they offense will come with so many weapons.

“We have to be great defensively,” Hensley said. “We can’t turn the ball over and have unforced errors. I know we have enough offense to push us on.”

Crothersville (12-10) has never won a sectional in any sport.

Hornets to face West Washington

In an injury-plagued, short-handed season, the Medora girls basketball team looks to play as the upset in the Borden sectional.Tonight, the Hornets face West Washington (10-12) in the quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m.

Losing their leading scorer, senior Jadelyn Dean, for the season nearly a month ago, the Hornets have struggled to find their offense, averaging 27.3 per game.

West Washington may be the favorite despite its record, as it beat all of their sectional opponents during the regular season — including a 95-29 defeat of the Hornets on Dec. 5.

“We had trouble with the tempo with the game last time,” Hornets coach Brad McCammon said. “Turnovers will be the key. We will have to make the most of the opportunities when we get them and take good shots.”

Freshman Kailen Flynn has stepped up in recent games, taking a bulk of the Hornets’ scoring along with sophomore Lillian Hatfield and senior Carley McCammon.

Carley McCammon currently leads the Hornets with 7.5 points per game and 5.5 rebounds.

“Kailen Flynn and Carley McCamon are going to be real keys scoring and Lilian Hatfield, as well,” Brad McCammon said. “We’re going to have to block out well because they have good size and depth. It will be a tough assignment.”

The Hornets (2-21) have lost nine straight games, dating back to a 41-36 victory against Columbus Christian.

The Senators went 4-6 in their final stretch of the season but finished with back-to-back wins against Borden and Shoals.

Probable starters

Probable starters

Name, year, points per game

Brownstown Central

Morgan Wehmiller, Sr. (9.2)

Kristin Stuckwisch, So. (4.1)

Madison Klinge, So. (5.6)

Grace Jaynes, So. (8.8)

Payton Farmer, Fr. (9.1)

Crothersville

Abby Jewell, Sr. (5.3)

Alexis Adair, Sr. (9.4)

Katrina Christian, Jr. (17.6)

Piper Hensley, Fr. (7.7)

Maddie Riley, Fr. (3.3)

Medora

Carley McCammon, Sr. (7.5)

Lillian Hatfield, So. (4.4)

Kailen Flynn, Fr. (7.1)

Elexus Morris, Fr. (1.5)

Marsadeez Phillips, So. (1.0)

Gwyneth Morris, Fr. (1.0)

Seymour

Maci Lubker, Sr. (12.1)

Morgan Ritz, Sr. (8.6)

Mikayla Fee, Sr. (7.6)

Kayla Griffin, Jr. (12.3)

Sarah Benefiel, Jr. (1.5)

Trinity Lutheran

Whitney Rogers, Jr. (6.0)

Abby Hackman, So. (9.8)

Maddie Roark, So. (20.8)

Jodi Goecker, So. (6.1)

Maddie Bell, Fr. (1.5)

Roads to the titles

Bedford North Lawrence Class 4A Sectional 15

Tuesday

6 p.m. Seymour (18-4) vs. New Albany (15-7)

7:30 p.m. Bedford North Lawrence (16-7) vs. Floyd Central (9-13)

Friday

6 p.m. Jeffersonville (15-8) vs. Seymour-New Albany winner

7:30 p.m. Jennings County (12-12) vs. BNL-Floyd Central winner

Saturday

7:30 p.m. championship

North Harrison Class 3A Sectional 30

Tuesday

7 p.m. Salem (12-10) vs. Silver Creek (8-14)

Wednesday

6 p.m. Brownstown (12-12) vs. Charlestown (12-10)

7:30 North Harrison (22-2) vs. Scottsburg (14-9)

Friday

6 p.m.  Corydon (10-12) vs. Salem-Silver Creek winner

7:30 p.m. Wednesday winners

Saturday

7:30 p.m. championship

Borden Class 1A Sectional 61

Tuesday

6 p.m.  Trinity Lutherans (15-8) vs. Orleans (9-15)

7:30 Medora (2-21) vs. West Washington (10-12)

Friday

6 p.m. Crothersville (12-10) vs. Trinity-Orleans winner

7:30 p.m. Borden (11-9) vs. Medora-West Washington winner

Saturday

7:30 p.m. championship

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.