HUTTON: Taking another shot at sectional picks
By Mike Hutton 648-3139 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter:@MikeHuttonPT February 25, 2013 11:15PM
Lake Central's Tyler Wideman grabs a rebound over Munster's Craig Dedelow during their game held at Lake Central High School on Tuessday December 18, 2012. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 27, 2013 6:25AM
With sectional madness descending upon us, it’s time for me to look foolish again and venture into the prediction business. (Remember, I picked Crown Point to win the Michigan City Sectional last year. That didn’t work out so well for either side.)
My quick, I-don’t-want to-talk-about-it line, when some random schlep asks me who is going to win a particular game, usually after I’m done working out at the gym or I’m sauntering through the grocery store is: “What do you think I am, a sports writer or something?” Then, I sheepishly delve into sports writer speak, which is heavy on analysis, probabilities and superficial game talk and give a non-answer.
Today, there is no place to hide. It’s time to deliver the goods. Here goes.
In Sectional 1, the Class 4A sectional at West Side, I like Lake Central over Lowell in the opener and Munster over East Chicago in the second game. Game 3 is a revenge game for West Side — the Cougars lost to Highland last year. It won’t happen again this year.
In Game 4, Morton plays LC and I’m going with the Indians there. They have too many weapons for the Governors. Game 5 will be very interesting. West Side coach Murray Richards already told me that he was going to tweak his 3-2 and 1-2-2 zones, which are very effective. Because I think like a coach, Richards waits to make the changes against the Mustangs, not against Highland, where he shouldn’t have to tip his hand. If I’m Munster coach Mike Hackett, I absolutely hate this game. The Cougars get them on their home floor and they’re good enough to win with an easy first round opponent.
Have I set this one up enough? Ok, Munster wins a tight one. Sorry to disappoint Cougars fans.
In the championship, though, I’m going with ... Lake Central. The Indians have won five of seven, and they beat LaPorte and Michigan City by a combined 53 points in their final two games. LC lost the first time around without much of a game from Tyler Wideman and without Dave Milausnic, who sat out the contest after getting called for two technical against Merrillville. I just think the Indians figure out a way to get this one.
In Sectional 2, at Michigan City, I’m going with Valparaiso over Portage, Chesterton over LaPorte, Merrillville over Hobart and Crown Point over Michigan City.
It gets exceedingly interesting for the second-round games. Chesterton is so up-and-down that I can’t count on the Trojans, even though they should be able to take the Vikings. Valparaiso wins that game, while the Pirates beat Crown Point.
It’s hard to win a sectional with a six-man team, which is essentially what the Vikings are trying to do. I like Merrillville, which hasn’t finished well, to repeat.
In Sectional 17, the Class 3A sectional at Hammond, all signs point to a Lew Wallace repeat.
How do the Hornets get there?
Clark beats Gavit, Griffith beats Roosevelt, Hammond beats Clark and Wallace takes down Griffith. Wallace, which beat Hammond by 21 points in the regular season, does it again.
In Sectional 18, at Kankakee Valley, lets clear out the trees right away. Andrean wins the championship, though it’s a nail-biter against Hanover Central, a team that is already game planning for the 59ers.
In Sectional 33, at Wheeler, Bowman wins the title easily.
The Eagles knock off Bishop Noll in the championship game for the second straight year. (Warning: That prediction could be awful news for Bowman. I picked Noll in an upset last year).
In Sectional 34, at Winamac, without a doubt the most unappealing sectional (The only team with a winning record is Boone Grove at 12-8. The other five teams have a combined record of 31-68), there is no way to pick against the Wolves. They will play Hebron, a team they beat by 25, in the final and win again.
In Sectional 49, at Kouts, Marty Gaff gets a retirement present and wins his second straight sectional. The Mustangs beat 21st Century for the title.
In Sectional 51, at Culver Community, Triton, with the easiest road to the final, beats Marquette in the championship for its sixth straight sectional title.