The new regional format worked out pretty well for both North Daviess and Loogootee, as both will now advance to the new format semi-states Saturday.
That new format means four teams will hold a morning session, while the winners of those games will play in the championship game on Saturday night
The Lions will stay close to home, as the Hatchet House will give Class A Loogootee a bit of a home-court advantage, as they will be playing just 15 miles from home. North Daviess will now travel to Seymour for the 3A semi-state.
The Cougars found themselves in a regional battle with Gibson Southern on Saturday, but the Cougars pulled out the 48-44 win, after going toe-to-toe with the Titans for 32 minutes. The Cougars will now play Scottsburg in the 10 a.m. game on Saturday at Lloyd E. Scott Arena.
Scottsburg also had a tight contest as they defeated Greensburg, 48-46 to move to 21-5. It was Scottsburg’s first regional title since 2000 and only its third since 1979.
The Warriors’ five losses include Brownstown Central, North Harrison, and three straight in February to Paoli, Southwestern and Jennings County. Wins have come over Gibson Southern, 4A New Albany and 4A Columbus North.
The are led by 6-3” point guard Kody Clancey who kept Scottsburg in the game against Greensburg on Saturday. Jack Miller, Kyle McGuinness and 6-8” Wyatt Zeller are also capable scorers.
The Cougars now are 24-5 and will take a swing at a second straight state final appearance. ND was well-prepared to play at the semi-state level, as the team played at all four potential semi-state sites during the regular season. On their previous trip to Lloyd E. Scott Arena on Feb. 17, they beat Seymour, 67-41. ND has now won eight straight since a loss to Connersville on Feb. 4. At No. 6. ND is the second highest ranked team left in 3A.
“We know that they match up with us physically and with our size. They like to get out and run and we expect that they want to put up about 60 points a game. We really feel like we can run with them if we have to. We like to let the first five minutes of the game dictate what we are going to do with the pace of play. However, we also feel like we can make adjustments during the game at any time.” said ND coach Brent Dalrymple. “The one thing that is for sure is we feel we are ready. We have seen it all and we are prepared. There are four very good schools this Saturday and I think anyone of them can win a state championship.”
The Cougars are led by a senior heavy squad, featuring Jaylen Mullen at the point, the area’s third leading scorer and assist leader by a long shot (17.8 ppg and 5.2 apg). The Wilson twins, Lance and Logan, are generally a nightmare to match up with. Both are athletic and 6-3, with interior game and the ability to score from anywhere (a combined 24 ppg). Brendan Stickles is ND’s man in the middle at 6-5 and seems to gain confidence with every game (7.8 ppg and 4.2 rpg). The fifth spot has rotated between Braden Stickles and Austin Brower (a combined 7.3), both who fit into a long, athletic lineup that makes the Cougars hard to guard as well. The final senior is Brycen Skinner who can play several positions coming off the bench, as does Landon Swartzentruber.
In the other game at Seymour, Beech Grove will meet Guerin Catholic. Beech Grove comes in at 17-6 and lost 40-38 to North Daviess on Dec. 10. Most of their losses have come from 4A powers such as 30-0 Ben Davis, Southport, Greenfield-Central and Whiteland, along with 3A Bishop Chatard. BG does have a win over 3A’s top school, NorthWood, 55-51 (a team that beat ND at the Hall of Fame Classic) and Indian Creek.
Beech Grove has three players in double figures, Jeremiah Alexander (12.7), Jeremiah Tate at 12.6 and Jaleel Edwards (10.6), while Cam Brown leads the team in rebounding and averages 8.9 ppg.
Guerin Catholic, where coach Bob Allen, 81-42 in his fifth year at school, comes in at 18-8, also has a number of 4A powerhouses on its schedule including New Palestine, North Central, Warren Central, Westfield and Muncie Central, all of whom they lost to. However, they do have a quality win over Noblesville, 2A Central Catholic and Hamilton Heights.
They are led by Robert Sorenson getting 14.5 ppg and Kamea Chandler at just under 12. Sorenson also leads in rebounding, while Jack Cherry leads is assists.
Class A Washington
The Loogootee Lions find themselves back at semi-state for the first time since 2012, and the last time they got this far, it ended in a state championship. If coach Ryan Haywood gets to Indianapolis, he will be the fourth Loogootee boys coach to take a team to the finals.
The Lions have gone 20-7 this season and have won nine straight since returning to full strength after some costly mid-season injuries. They posted a 57-33 win over Dubois and have been beating teams by roughly 16 points.
The Lions have a lot of size and great shooting touch. They continue to be led by Peyton Bledsoe, the school’s all-time leading scorer. Isaac Eagle, a slashing guard, has also been a big part of the team’s tournament success. Last week it was Parker Arvin that provided the spark with 20 points, while juniors Leighton Jeffers and Drew Walker have also been a big part of the 20 wins this season. Coming off the bench are freshmen AJ Foster and Camden Haywood, along with juniors Brandon Bledsoe, Reis Whitney and Isaac Waggner.
The Lions will face Indianapolis Lutheran (17-7), a team that made a lot of noise in Class A after beating No. 1 Bloomfield at regional 43-40. Indianapolis Lutheran is coached by Remus Woods, 70-27, in his fourth year at school. Woods took Lutheran to the regional final last year.
“I think you are going to see some contrasting styles. They are a team that scores a lot off pressure and turnovers, and we are a team that only makes about seven turnovers a game. We like to be pretty balanced and we think we can score in a lot of different ways,” said coach Ryan Haywood. “We do not play a lot of teams like Lutheran, but we did play them over the summer, along with South Bend Riley who is similar. Around here I think Orleans plays a similar style. We do hit a lot of 3s, but I think you see that we take a lot of high percentage 3s. He can go inside or out, but we are looking for our best shot.”
Lutheran has played some very big schools, including a close loss to 4A Lawrence North and 3A Beech Grove and Bishop Chatard, but had a loss to Cardinal Ritter.
They may have been a little under the radar, but are considered a very athletic group. They are led by 5-10” sophomore guard Lonte Ward, averaging around 14 ppg, while 5-10” senior Durray Smith is getting just under 13 ppg.
Their size comes from 6-5” twins Kameron Patterson getting 4.7 boards, and KJ Patterson, 6-5”, and getting 5.4 rpg. They also have 6-3 Cayden Loescher adding 8.2 points and 3.4 boards.
“They ( the Pattersons) really do the dirty work for us and have played for four years. Kam is going to play football at Marian next. The are really strong and hard to move out of the paint,” said Lutheran coach Woods. “We will try to push the tempo. We have a lot of people who can score and it seems like sometimes its Ward, Smith or Loescher, sometimes it’s the Pattersons. We have played teams like Loogootee. I think Bloomfield is a lot like them, so are Chatard and Edinburg.”
In the other game, 11-14 Rock Creek of Sellersburg will play Jac-Cen-Del (18-9) at noon. Rock Creek won in Loogootee on Saturday, 67-32, and were led by their 7-0” Big Dipper, Marial Diper who is from South Sudan and had 29 points in his last game. Also in that game, 6-7” PF Jaleb Trent added 16 and Ladruis Wallace had 12 to add to the Rock Creek offense.
JCD is led by senior guard Devin Greishop getting 14.5 and Matt Dickman getting just under 12. The pair are also the top two rebounders and Seth Drockleman is the team’s top 3-point shooter.
The Eagles did fall to Lutheran early in the year, 52-50.
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