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 2010 Sectional Will Be Hornet's Nest With Most Teams Returning Top Talent

March 25, 2009 -  This past boys basketball season, Sectional 42 at Hagerstown was about as balanced as it had ever been, primarily because the field was at best, mediocre.

Next season, the eight teams will be even more balanced, but for a completely different reason. Nearly every team competing at Hagerstown will be much better. The field as a whole should provide one of the most competitive, if not the best, Class 2A sectionals in the entire state.

While Knightstown will be considered one of the top teams again next season, several other teams will return major weapons that will solidify the field as stronger than it has been in several years.

The Panthers return top scorer Zach Apollos and younger brother Seth, who should prove to be the most prolific Panther family scoring punch since the Allen brothers of the early 1970s. Part-time starter Travis Titus give the Panthers three clutch, talented offensive and defensive threats that should mesh well with a huge collection of other players competing for a spot on what will be a crowded roster.

But Knightstown won’t be the only Sectional 42 team loaded for next season. Eastern Hancock may field one of the best Royal boys teams ever next season. Coach Aaron Spaulding’s Royals return sophomores Dustin Smith and Steve Stunda, as well as junior big man Devon Tharpe (6-8). Those three were the primary punches thrown by the Royals this season and they will present massive match-up problems for everyone on their schedule. Nine Royals from the sectional roster will return next year.

Union County will be a force next season with all five starters returning and 11 of their 12 sectional roster players coming back, including their top three scorers. Hagerstown graduates just two seniors and has 10 players coming back, as does Cambridge City. Centerville loses key players but has 6-6 Brad Seigel and 6-3 Jacob Taylor returning, and both were instrumental in that sectional win over the Panthers.

Shenandoah and Northeastern lose 10 seniors between them to graduation and appear to be the only teams in the sectional field without at least three starters returning.

It’s possible that next season Sectional 42 could see as many as five or six teams entering tournament play with at least 15 wins, which would be extremely rare.



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