Everything is on the line this week for Jackson County’s girls basketball teams.
It’s win or go home, with sectional mania set to begin this evening.
Class 4A Sectional 15 (Seymour)
The Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium will host what could prove the most stacked sectional in southern Indiana.
Story continues below gallery
Sectional 15 will feature three teams ranked in the top-12 of Class 4A.
Seymour will open play postseason play tonight against No. 8 Jeffersonville, with the winner to play Floyd Central in the semifinals on Friday.
While the Owls fell to the Red Devils 60-43 on Jan. 16, Seymour coach Jason Longmeier is confident that his team can pull off a win.
“We got a tough draw, but with that being said I think we can beat Jeff,” Longmeier said. “I think we obviously need to play better than we did in game one. But, if you take the second quarter of that game out of it, and fix up some of our mistakes, we will have a shot.”
In that Hoosier Hills Conference match up on the Red Devils’ court, turnovers — and one big run — proved the difference between the two teams.
The Owls led the Red Devils 13-12 at the end of the first quarter before Jeff forced five straight Seymour turnovers top open the second. The Red Devils converted those turnovers into 12 points in that span.
While the Owls couldn’t dig out of the deficit, they were outscored just 15-14 in the third quarter while putting up eight points to the Red Devils’ seven in the final eight minutes of play.
Nan Garcia, of Jeff, led all scorers with 20 points while Maddie Roark and Makenna Fee each scored 13 for the Owls.
“We’re going to need to keep (Jeff) off balance,” Longmeier said. “I think that they started to figure the zone out midway through the second quarter. Once they start getting comfortable, we need to throw something else at them. We need to make sure we dictate who is handling the ball against the press, and not them. I think that is where they hurt us.
We need to do a better job of keeping the ball in the middle of the floor and off the sidelines and out of places where they can trap us. I thought once it became a half court game we were able to score on them. We were able to utilize some of our mismatches. We need to play a half court game and take advantage of the transition when its there”
Longmeier hopes that playing at home will play to the Owls’ advantage.
“Over the last coupe of years, we’ve really played well (at home),”Longmeier said. “Even in some of our losses, outside of Heritage Christian and North Harrison, we’ve played well. We beat Greensburg in here and beat some other good teams. You’re always more comfortable more home. Hopefully, with it being a home game, the girls can relax a little bit and not look at it like a tournament situation — they can look at it like it’s just another home game.”
The Owls are going into the game loose, coming off a solid win against New Albany.
“There’s going to be a lot of pressure on Jeff, and not a lot of pressure on us,” Longmeier siad. “We know that. We haven’t played a full game yet, and if we can find a way to play for four quarters we have a good shot.
“You know Jeff has to be feeling really good about the draw because they got two of the lower seeds in the beginning of the draw. But, they can’t look past us. If we get past Jeff, we can’t look past Floyd. Our goal is to get to Friday.”
In the lower bracket, No. 9 North Harrison is getting a less than welcome introduction to Class 4A.
The Panthers, who finished as runners-up in Class 3A the past two seasons, will play No. 12 Bedford North Lawrence in the first round. When the two teams met on Jan. 18, Bedford came away with a 58-43 win.
The winner of Bedford and North Harrison faces the victor of New Albany and Jennings County in the semis.
“You know that you’re going to get a tough sectional draw not matter what,” Longmeier said. ” When you have three of the top teams in Indiana in your sectional, your hope is that you someway only need to play one of them. But, you know more than likely you’re going to have to more than likely beat two of the three to win it.”
Class 3A Sectional 30 (Salem)
Brownstown Central didn’t receive any favors in its sectional draw, but they didn’t ask for any.
The Braves have the toughest road to the Sectional 30 Championship, starting with Charlestown in tonight’s late game at Salem.
If the Braves are victorious, Class 3A No. 4 Salem awaits.
“I texted the girls (after the draw was released) and said, ‘why not us? If you’re going to be the best, you need to beat the best,'” Braves coach Karla Rieckers said. “For us to get that final game we’re going to need to beat both Charlestown and Salem. If you truly want to win, and say that you deserve it, you have to beat the best teams. I think we’re up for the challenge.”
Charlestown defeated Brownstown 58-52 in a match up in the pit on Jan. 6.
In that game, the Braves were without Payton Farmer, who was out with a concussion that happened during the Toby Yoho Holiday Classic.
The first time around, Tayler Garland led the Braves with 16 points and Halle Hehman scored 11 against the Pirates. The Braves hit 13 3-pionters in the loss.
Bri Harvey (17 points) and Samantha Matthews (12 points) led the Charlestown attack.
Braves coach Karla Rieckers didn’t feel the team played well in the first contest against the Pirates.
“Coming back from Christmas, I didn’t think we had played as well,” Rieckers said. “We looked sluggish and not as intense as we usually do. Hopefully we come out with the right frame of mind.”
This time around, the Braves may be without another key player: Kristen Stuckwisch. Stuckwisch has a high ankle sprain, and didn’t play against North Harrison in last week’s regular season finale.
While Stuckwisch isn’t the team’s leading scorer, she’s one of the best defenders on the team.
“It’s hard to say right now (if Stuckwisch plays),” Rieckers said on Friday. “Our trainer said that she could warm up with us on Thursday, and she did but it was obvious she was favoring that ankle. But, Kristen is a hard-nosed kid and a senior. It’s going to take a lot to hold her back from getting her in that game. How healthy she will be is yet to be determined. Hopefully we get her back.”
If the Braves top the Pirates, the Lions will offer a huge test.
Salem beat Brownstown 49-38 on on Dec. 5.
The Braves trailed by one point at half, and by five after three quarters but the Lions held on for the win.
Shelby Stuckwisch totaled 10 points for Brownstown and Hope Tomlinson led the Lions with 19 points.
“The thing with Salem is that they like to play a zone,” Rieckers said. “They have a big girl on the inside who stands with her hands straight up. We would need to attack the zone. Too many times, we stood around the 3-point line and passed the ball back-and-forth. We needed to attack the gaps.
We played a good first half against Salem, we would just need to play an entire game. Salem is on a roll right now, and I would consider them the favorite of our sectional. However, I think we have the tools.”
If the Braves can pick up a pair of wins, they will face either Scottsburg, Corydon or Silver Creek in Saturday’s championship. Brownstown beat all three of those teams during the regular season.
Class 1A Sectional 62 (West Washington)
Crothersville and Medora drew opponents in the opening round tonight while Trinity Lutheran received a bye in Sectional 62 action.
The Tigers will battle Shawe Memorial in the early game while Medora faces Edinburgh in the nightcap today.
West Washington will face the Crothersville-Shawe game at 6 p.m. Friday with Trinity Lutheran facing the Edinburgh-Medora winner in the late game.
The Hornets have had a busy schedule leading up to the sectional, as they played at Union Dugger Friday, at Cannelton Saturday, and had a makeup game Monday at home with Bloomington Lighthouse.
“We’re playing an NBA schedule,” Hornets Coach Brad McCammon said.
The Hornets lost to the Lancers 61-20 Nov. 20 at Edinburgh.
“They have decent size and they push the ball,” McCammon said. “A couple of things we need to do is take care of the basketball and rebound. We had way too many turnovers the first time we played them.”
Lillie Hatfield scored 15 points against Edinburgh in the earlier game, and she leads the Hornets in scoring with 13.2 points per game, and Kailen Flynn is next at 10.7.
Flynn wasn’t on the team when the teams met earlier.
“We had some initial stops that weren’t bad, but they were getting two or three shots and when you’re giving up extra shots that gets you in trouble,” McCammon said of the earlier game.
“We’ve got to get quality shots,” he said. “Against Eminence we had 55 shots but we only made 12, and we only took four 3s. That was our worst shooting percentage of the season. We’ve done a lot of shooting drills (last) week. We’ve got to take our time and get more layups. We’re trying to get the kids to understand that they need to put the ball on the floor and go around people.”
The Tigers defeated Shawe 66-47 at home Dec. 18.
“In our matchup with Shawe we have to be mindful of the (Megan) Hess girl and Kate Grote,” Tigers coach Kevin Hensley said. “Those two make their team go. What they want to do they’re going to go through those two.
“We’ve got to really be able to put the brakes on them, and not let them have big games to where they start hurting us. Then the other girls gain confidence off that.”
Hess scored 24 points and Grote had 13 against the Tigers in the earlier game.
“Grote is a great guard,” Hensley said. “She knows how to handle the ball and she is very aggressive with it, and she’s hard to handle whenever she’s got the ball in her hands. Hess can go inside out.
“Size-wise we’re bigger. They’ve got one big girl inside but she comes off the bench. She’s not a real offensive threat. We still have to be mindful of everybody on the team. We can’t just rely on shutting down those two.”
Hensley said he will be looking for Tayler Brewer for scoring and rebounding inside, Maddie Riley for her all-around game, and for Piper Hensley for her outside scoring.
“We’ve got to get inside with Tayler when she posts up, and Piper and Maddie feeding her, just taking care of the ball, and they’re going to try to press us a little bit,” he said. “They’ll give it all they’ve got.”
Brewer leads the Tigers in scoring at 19 points per game, and she set a single-game rebound record with 25 rebounds against New Washington last Monday.
Hensley is averaging 13.6 and Riley is averaging 10.2 points per game.
Coach Hensley said the Tigers need to stay out of foul trouble.
“Trinity and West Washington together are the favorites,” he said. “West Washington will be on their home court and I know they kind of got that revenge factor if they meet in the finals. That’s a big deal, having that revenge factor.”
Cougars coach Mike Lang said he was pleased that the team has received a bye.
“With this group, it’s especially important getting the bye,” Lang said. “It gives us a couple extra days to prepare. We’re going to leave them home Tuesday. We’re not going down and watch the games. It will just give us more time in the gym. We’re going to take advantage of that, and use that for extra film time as well.”
The Cougars won at Edinburgh 82-32 on Nov. 30, and did not play Medora this season.
Piper Acton scored 20 points, Abby Hackman had 19, Sydney Jaynes added 16 and Savannah Harwager totaled 10 against Edinburgh.
“(Edinburgh) was probably our most complete game,” Lang said. “They’re a team that’s fairly aggressive, and they have some shooters that can disrupt you when they get going. We need to play good defense, finish down low and take care of the basketball. That’s really going to be the keys to our whole sectional.”
Lang said he wants the perimeter players to work the ball inside to Hackman and Jaynes.
Balanced scoring has been one of the keys for the Cougars as Hackman is averaging 13.4 point per game, Jaynes 11.6, Harweger 10.2 and Acton 8.9.
The Cougars are 3-0 against sectional opponents, as they also defeated West Washington, but did not play Shawe.
“You always want to keep things in perspective,” Lang said. “In my mind you give West Washington a little bit of an edge. It’s on their home floor and they play really well on their home floor. Hopefully we can come out with a victory Friday night, and Crothersville and West Washington can wear each other down.
“This is the most laid back group I’ve ever had. It’s just a matter of keeping them focused and in perspective. We’re still trying to put that complete 32-minute ball game together.”
Sectional 15 at Seymour
Game 1: Seymour (11-11) vs. Jeffersonville (18-5), 7 p.m.
Game 2: North Harrison (21-2) vs. Bedford N. Lawrence (18-4), 6 p.m.
Game 3- Jennings Co. (8-14) vs. New Albany (11-11), 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Floyd Central (8-15) vs. winner Game 1, 6 p.m.
Game 5: Winner game 2 vs. winner game 3, 7:30 p.m.
Game 6: Championship, 7:30 pm
Sectional 30 at Salem
Game 1: Corydon Central (11-12) vs. Silver Creek (9-13), 6 p.m.
Game 2: Brownstown Central (17-7) vs. Charlestown (15-8), 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Scottsburg (11-13) vs. winner game 1, 6 p.m.
Game 4: Salem (20-4) vs. winner game 2, 7:30 p.m.
Game 5: championship, 7 p.m.
Sectional 62 at West Washington
Game 1: Crothersville (13-9) vs. Shawe Memorial (6-17), 6 p.m.
Game 2: Edinburgh (9-13) vs. Medora (2-16), 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: West Washington (15-8) vs. winner game 1, 6 p.m.
Game 4: Trinity Lutheran (19-5) vs. winner game 2, 7:30 p.m.
Game 5: Championship, 7:30 p.m.
Brownstown Central (17-7)
(Name, grade, points per game)
Shelby Stuckwisch, Sr. (5.8)
Madison Klinge, Sr. (6.1)
Payton Farmer, Jr. (5.7)
Tayler Garland, Jr. (8.1)
Ashley Schroer, Jr. (10.1)
Piper Hensley, Jr. (13.6)
Tayler Brewer, Jr. (19.0)
Maddie Riley, Jr. (10.2)
Makayla Helt, So. (4.1)
Rebekah Cook, So. (2.8)
Medora (2-15 plus Cannelton game)
Lillie Hatfield, Sr. (12.9)
Katie Beelsey, Sr. (2.0)
Kailen Flynn, Jr. (9.9)
Gwyneth Morris, Jr. (3.0)
Kelsey Turner, So. (1.5)
Maddie Roark, Sr. (15.6)
Ashton Chase, Jr. (10.9)
Makenna Fee, Jr. (13.3)
Megan Ritz, Jr. (2.5)
Grace Meyer, Fr. (5.6))
Trinity Lutheran (19-5)
Piper Acton, Sr. (8.9)
Abby Hackman, Sr. (13.4)
Jodi Goecker, Sr. (3.8)
Savannah Harweger, Jr. (10.2)
Sydney Jaynes, Fr. (11.6)