We’re going to need an upset here somewhere
By Mark Smith email@example.com February 26, 2013 12:02PM
Hanover Central players hoist their PCC tournament championship trophy agter defeating Kouts 64-60 on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at Boone Grove High School. | Mark Smith~Sun-Times Media
Class 3A HAMMOND Sectional
@ Hammond Civic Center
2-26 (late Tues) Gavit [11-10] vs. Clark [8-12]
2-26 (late Tu.) Griffith [10-10] vs. Roosevelt [2-15]
3-1 (Fri.) Hammond [10-10] vs. Gavit/Clark
3-1 (Fri.) Lew Wallace [11-7] vs. Griffith
3-2 (Sat) Hammond Sectional Championship
Class 3A KANKAKEE VALLEY Sectional
2-26 (late Tues.) Kankakee Valley [12-9] vs. ANDREAN [17-3]
2-26 (late Tues.) Knox [2-18] vs. Calumet [5-15]
3-1 (Fri.) Rensselaer [7-14] vs. ANDREAN (18-3)
3-1 (Fri.) HANOVER CENTRAL [14-7] vs. Knox/Calumet
3-2 (Sat) KV Sectional championship game - 7 p.m.
The winner of the Hammond Sectional meets the winner of the KV Sectional in the Plymouth Refgional semifinals on Saturday March 9.
Updated: March 1, 2013 2:47PM
If the favored teams all win in sectional play this week, Lowell, Hanover Central and Crown Point will all fall before the sun comes up on Sunday.
The Chicago Bulls have a better chance of winning the NBA title without Derrick Rose than Lowell does of defeating three teams, including undefeated top-ranked Munster (22-0), at this week’s Gary Sectional.
Crown Point hasn’t won three games in a row all season so the odds against them winning the eight-team Michigan City Sectional are about as good as congressional Republicans agreeing with anything Democrats want.
Hanover Central (14-7) beating Andrean (17-3) at the 3A Kankakee Valley Sectional Saturday night? Not likely. But?
Lowell over Lake Central is a monster hurdle. The Devils (9-12), led by 6-foot-4 guard Zach Van Hook (24 ppg.), lost 71-42 to Lake Central on Jan. 15.
There are some mismatches. LC has 6-foot-6, 240-pound junior center Tyler Wideman and Lowell has no one taller than 6-foot-4. LC also uses 8-10 players per game while Lowell has had a six-man rotation since the first of the year.
Were Lowell to get by Lake Central, it would be favored against Morton Friday and would have a chance against Munster, a team they lost to just 58-48 on Jan. 25.
But then you get into the aspect of Lowell, using just six players, winning three roads games in five days. Even NBA teams cant get that done.
Crown Point won back-to-back games in December and didn’t do it against all season. But the Bulldogs lost just 46-45 and 43-42 in Duneland Athletic Conference games to the Wolves.
Senior Ryan Taylor (13.1 ppg.), MC’s best player, did not play in one game against CP and scored three points in the other. Last Friday, Taylor, a 6-foot-3 guard, scored 10 last Friday in MC’s 48-45 upset of Valparaiso (16-4), a game where 6-foot-2 junior Donovan Wilson scored the winning basket with a steal and a dunk.
If CP were to get past Michigan City, odds are they’d play Merrillville (17-3), a prohibitive favorite to get past Hobart in the quarterfinals.
In the first CP-Merrillville meeting on Dec. 21, Crown Point led by 13 in the first quarter and 46-37 midway in the third quarter before losing 72-65.
In the rematch, Crown Point led the entire game until the final minutes. Merrillville’s BJ Jenkins scored with two seconds to go to give the Pirates a 60-59 win.
These two seem close. Perspective requires a step back, however. CP would have to defeat Michigan City, Merrillville and probably Valparaiso in a four day span.
The Bulldogs are 0-6 against those teams this season. The past never totally predicts the future, but since the initiation of the Duneland Conference 14-game double round robin in the last decade, no DAC team has won three times in sectional play against three opponents against whom they were 0-2 during the regular season.
But that brings us to Hanover and Andrean, two teams that have not met since the 2012 3A sectional championship game, a 77-44 mismatch.
Hanover is not the same team they were in March of 2012. Under new coach Bryon Clouse, they play a completely different style of offense, one that guarantees that the 59ers wont score 77 points.
The 59ers, led by 6-foot-4 Nick Davidson (15 ppg.), were 11-0 at one point and have lost only to Chesterton (12-8), Penn (16-4) and Munster (22-0).
Andrean was susceptible to a patient attack when they played at Lowell last month, a 39-36 final. The key will be 6-foot-7 Sean Kelly of Hanover against the Niners 6-foot-4, 215-pound Skyler Moss.
If the Wildcats’ center, who has never faced Andrean, can neutralize Moss, HC would appear to have a 50-50 chance in this game, especially with the 59ers playing a third game in five nights.
Hanover’s two games with Kouts (19-2), a 64-60 win and a 43-41 loss, were good prep for Andrean, a team that has much more depth than the Mustangs but is constructed similarly.
Attitude is going to mean a lot here. Andrean has won the sectional the last three seasons. Hanover hasn’t won a sectional since 1986, a victory at Kankakee Valley in the old one-class tournament.
HC will need all the help they can get on the floor and in the stands. Hanover rooters were badly outnumbered at last month’s Porter County Conference showdown in Kouts. Andrean is known to have a large and loud student following which will show up.
It will be interesting to see how many people at Hanover who aren’t in uniform feel this is the year they can break the 27-year sectional drought.