There are some boys high school basketball sectionals where not a single team has a winning record. And then there's the Class 2A Westview Sectional, where four of the seven teams have at least 13 wins, as the IHSAA revealed the brackets Sunday night.
The drama at Westview will begin in the first round, as No. 4 Central Noble (20-1) will face Westview (16-4). The Warriors are the only team that has beaten the Cougars this year (that win allowed Westview to win the regular-season NECC title with a 10-0 record), and Central Noble beat Westview on the way to an NECC tournament title.
The reward for whoever survives that first-round clash? A semifinal date with either Prairie Heights (3-17) or Churubusco (16-3), the latter of which is a dangerous opponent who will be looking for revenge. All three of the Eagles' losses have come at the hands of Westview and Central Noble.
Meanwhile, Eastside (13-6) lurks at the top of the bracket. Six of the seven teams in the field (Bremen is the lone outlier) are members of the NECC.
“It's difficult when they're all conference opponents, and everyone in the conference knows how everyone plays,” Churubusco coach Chris Paul said. “And then you start adding how many ranked teams in the state are in that sectional. That makes it very difficult. And then another piece that you have to throw in is the fact one of them, who is state ranked and wins our conference, they're playing in their gym in Westview. So you start adding all those pieces up and it becomes a very difficult sectional, no matter which way you look at it.”
Whoever emerges from the Westview Sectional will move onto the North Judson-San Pierre Regional to face the winner of the Bluffton Sectional – where Class 2A No. 1 Blackhawk Christian (19-3) is the overwhelming favorite. The Braves open the tournament against host Bluffton (7-12) and will likely face Whitko (12-7) in the semifinals. South Adams (13-7) opens against Canterbury (2-13) in the bottom half of the bracket.
Overall No. 1 Homestead (22-0) will open the Class 4A Wayne Sectional against Huntington North (11-6), and the winner will move on to play South Side (7-11). New Haven (13-6), which beat Homestead to claim a sectional title last season, received the bye in the bottom half of the bracket.
Carroll (15-6) has the most wins of any team in the Class 4A East Noble sectional and opens against Northrop (5-11). The winner will face North Side (11-9), which is one of the hotter teams in the area after winning seven of its last eight games.
“I think it's great getting a bye, there are so many good teams in our sectional, any time you get a free pass to the semifinals, I think our kids are excited about it,” North Side coach Gary Andrews said.
East Noble (7-13) received the bye in the bottom half of the bracket, and Snider (10-10) opens against DeKalb (8-10).
In the Class 3A Woodlan sectional, Class 3A No. 4 Leo (18-2) drew Angola (11-11) in the first round. Bishop Dwenger (10-9), one of just two teams to beat the Lions this season, received the only bye. If the Lions and Saints meet again, it will be in the sectional final.
Westview Sectional: Eastside (13-6) vs. Fairfield (1-16); Churubusco (16-3) vs. Prairie Heights (3-17); Class 2A No. 4 Central Noble (20-1) vs. Westview (16-4)
Bluffton Sectional: Whitko (12-7) vs. Wabash (4-15); No. 1 Blackhawk Christian (19-3) vs. Bluffton (7-12); Canterbury (2-13) vs. South Adams (13-7); Adams Central (8-12) vs. Manchester (11-7)
West Noble Sectional: West Noble (10-9) vs. Lakeland (9-10) in semifinals; Tippecanoe Valley (6-14) vs. Wawasee (9-11)
Woodlan Sectional: Concordia (7-12) vs. Woodlan (9-9); Bishop Dwenger (10-9) bye to winner of Concordia-Woodlan; Bishop Luers (7-13) vs. Garrett (2-14); Leo (18-2) vs. Angola (11-11)
Mississinewa Sectional: Heritage (10-8) bye to winner of Oak Hill-Mississinewa; Bellmont (14-6) vs. Eastern (11-8); Norwell (8-12) by to winner of Bellmont-Eastern
Elkhart Sectional: Warsaw (15-7) bye to winner of Concord-Elkhart
East Noble Sectional: Carroll (15-6) vs. Northrop (5-11); North Side (11-9) bye to winner of Carroll-Northrop; DeKalb (8-10) vs. Snider (10-10); East Noble (7-13) bye to winner of DeKalb-Snider
Wayne Sectional: Huntington North (11-6) vs. Homestead (22-0); South Side (7-11) bye to winner of Huntington North-Homestead; Wayne (6-15) vs. Columbia City (7-12); New Haven (13-6) bye to winner of Wayne-Columbia City