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 Boys Teams Hit Home Stretch with 2A Sectional 42 Wide Open

January 30, 2008 - More and more it’s looking like the boys basketball Sectional 42 field is wide open.

While Eastern Hancock is 4-0 against sectional opponents, just Centerville (6-2) and Knightstown (4-3) have compiled a winning record against the other teams.

After a slow start the Royals are 8-7 on the season. They started out 3-6 but have gone 5-1 since then with key victories over Greenfield-Central twice, Shenandoah, Lincoln and Muncie Burris. Those are all quality opponents.

The Royals have a veteran lineup that includes the area’s best big man, Caleb Kennedy. They are playing to their potential and should be the favorite to win the sectional.

Centerville may be their biggest stumbling block. The two teams met in the season opener and the Royals won in triple overtime, 67-61.

The stretch run through the rest of the season will be a key factor for all of the Sectional 42 teams. The Royals finish with an interesting schedule, visiting Tri (1-13) and then hosting Triton Central (10-5). They are at Alexandria (7-10) and Morristown (1-12) before closing the season at home against Hagerstown (1-10). They should get at least four wins if not run the table on a schedule that combines for a 20-50 record.

Centerville is 9-5 and hard to figure out. The Bulldogs are 6-2 against the field, but lost to Shenandoah last weekend. Their closing schedule includes Winchester (12-3), Class 4A Connersville (4-10), Cowan (5-8), Union City (9-4), Tri (1-13) and Lincoln (6-9). Those teams are a cumulative 37-47, although Tri throws that off considerably.

Knightstown is 4-3 against Sectional 42 competition and also has an interesting run over the final few weeks of the season. The Panthers (6-10) have gone 4-4 over their last eight games and could easily have won three more of those. They have dropped four games by five points or less.

The Panthers travel to a red-hot Blue River (9-7) team that has won four straight games. Just one win (Centerville) was over a quality opponent, however. The other three came against Hagerstown (1-10), Randolph Southern (1-14) and Union (3-11).

“Blue River has been playing better basketball lately,” Panther coach John Howell said. “They have lost to some quality opponents. But right now they are getting that winning attitude and it could be a pretty good game.”

The Vikings have lost to New Castle, Winchester, Daleville, Wapahani, Eastern Hancock and Muncie South, all schools with winning records. Their other loss was to class 3A Rushville.

After Blue River the Panthers travel to Class 4A Greenfield-Central (2-12). The Cougars are getting better, losing to Eastern Hancock 78-74, but beating Shelbyville and Mt. Vernon (by 24 points). Knightstown recently lost to the Marauders by nine points.

The Panthers also have Waldron (8-6), Hagerstown (1-10), and close the season at home against an improving Class 3A Rushville (6-9). If the Panthers play the way they have been playing, they could win three or four of those final five games.

Other Sectional 42 teams who could make noise in the tournament include Union County (6-9), Northeastern (8-6), Shenandoah (5-10) and Lincoln (6-9).

The final five games of the season will be the best measuring stick for those hoping to steal a wide-open Sectional 42 crown.


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