Indiana as a state is known for their love and dedication to the sport of basketball. Many grow up just shooting on their driveway goals, developing a shot and love for the game. This column is your premier destination to find out about the top IHSAA games on the weekend, especially around Southern Indiana, and read a brief preview about the games. Come back every Thursday for that weekends top games around the state.
*all rankings via AP poll (Jan.10) and stats via http://indianahsbasketball.homestead.com/boys.html
Friday, January 13
#19 4A Floyd Central (6-3) at Jeffersonville (8-4) – 7:30 PM ET
This is the middle game of the Red Devils stretch of three games against their closest rivals. Jeff was defeated by New Albany 67-56, face the Highlanders Friday, then travel to Providence Saturday. Floyd Central will look to ride the momentum into this one from their buzzer beater game winner against #6 Castle. This game could have big implications in the Hoosier Hills Conference standings, as standouts Cobie Barnes and Bailey Falkenstein look to lead their teams to victory, in this battle of the HHCs top scoring defense (Floyd- 48.3 PAPG), and top scoring offense (Jeff- 66.7 PPG).
Madison (5-6) at #2 4A New Albany (9-2) – 7:30 PM ET
The Bulldogs return home on Friday to battle the Madison Cubs. Madison figures to be in the bottom of the HHC, and it would be a shock to anyone if this were anything but a blowout in favor of New Albany. New Albany leads the series, 30-3, over the last 30 years. Jim Shannon’s Bulldogs won by a 95-42 difference last year.
#5 4A Logansport (10-1) at #6 4A McCutcheon (10-1) – 7:30 PM ET
McCutcheon, last year’s 4A state runner-ups, host Logansport in this game between two 10-1 teams. Logansport was previously ranked #3 before losing to New Albany in New Castle’s Hall of Fame Classic, and are looking for a big win to regain momentum. PG Robert Phinisee (2018), with offers from Indiana, Purdue, and Virginia (24/7), will try to lead his Mavericks (#5 offense-77.91 PPG), to victory against a top five team at home. The Berries are looking to regain their bearings as a contender for the state title with their high powered offense (#41 – 68.1 PPG), with SG Jalen Adaway (2017), and his thunderous dunks at the helm.
Terre Haute South (10-3) at Terre Haute North (10-3) – 7:30 PM ET
A revered rivalry in Indiana ( the ‘Shoe’ trophy), the two Terre Haute schools play this Friday for bragging rights to the town, at least until sectionals. Tempo should be the key for this one. TH North owns the series over the last 30 years, 35-19, and won the last meeting a year ago, 64-62. John Harrells prediction system foresees a Terre Haute South win, 65-61. This game was voted as Indianas High School Game Of The Week (@IndianaHSGOTW).
#14 4A Valparaiso (10-2) at #13 4A Michigan City (10-3) – 7:00 PM CT
In Northern Indiana, two top 15 teams look to hoist themselves up the rankings with a big win. Valparaiso is coming off a 3 point loss to Penn, while Michigan City beat Penn earlier in the season and also owns an impressive win over Crown Point. This figures to be an important game in the Duneland conference, as a 4 way race looks to be forming between these two, Crown Point, and Merrillville. Valparaiso owns a top 20 average margin of victory(17.58), and a top 50 defense(47 PAPG).
Silver Creek (9-3) at #5 3A Brownstown Central (10-0) – 7:30 PM ET
Silver Creek looks to play spoiler when they head into Brownstown. The Braves have gone unblemished this season, and are #5 in the most recent 3A AP Poll, while Silver Creek has dropped out. Brownstown has a huge win in QUADRUPLE overtime over Evansville Reitz 106-104. Silver Creek, since bad losses to Henryville and Charlestown to begin the season, are 9-1. Brownstown owns the 12th highest offense (73.9 PPG), while Silver Creek owns the 33rd defense (45.4 PAPG). If Silver Creek can control the tempo of the game, the Dragons can make this interesting.
Marion County Tournament Semifinals – Southport
Semifinal #1-#1 4A North Central (12-0) vs #7 4A Warren Central (11-0) – 6 ET
Two of the remaining six unbeatens in Indiana go head-to-head as North Central and Warren Central play in the semifinals to advance to the championship. North Central has wins over most of the top teams in Indiana, and will be looking to pad their resume even further. Warren Central has not had as tough of a schedule, but had to beat Lawrence North and Lawrence Central to get to this semifinal. Emmanuel Little has been unstoppable of late, with 29 points to lead the Panthers in a win against Ben Davis in the quarterfinals. “We want North Central.” Senior leader Mack Smith of Mack Smith states (IndyStar), inferring that Warren Central has been wanting revenge for their two losses last year. The winner will join South Bend Riley as the only remaining unbeaten 4A teams. This looks to be the better of the 2 semifinal matchups, and arguably the best game of the whole week. Expect the Panthers and Warriors to go at each other in a heated and intense battle.
Semifinal #2-#17 4A Pike (10-3) vs Indy Roncalli (10-2) – 7:45 ET
Pike is coming off an overtime win against Park Tudor in the quarterfinals, while Roncalli has had arguably the easiest path to the semifinals. Pike will look to repeat as champions from last year, while Roncalli will have to pull off two consecutive upsets to earn the title. Pike rides an eight game winning streak into this one, while Roncalli owns a seven game winning streak. Roncalli lost to 1A and 2A schools, so expect Pike to move on to the finals.
#17 4A Crown Point (9-2) at Merrillville (9-3) – 7:00 PM CT
An important conference game looms for Crown Point and Merrillville. Crown Point is coming off of a loss to Michigan City, while Merrillville bounced back from a tough championship loss in a tournament to Hamilton Southeastern with a win against Chesterton. This figures to be high scoring, as Merrillville owns the 23rd highest scoring average (71.7 PPG) and Crown Point 47th (66.7 PPG). This might be one of the closest and most heated games of the weekend.
#9 4A Homestead (9-1) at Fort Wayne Snider (5-4) 8:00PMET
The Homestead Spartans travel to Fort Wayne Snider to play the Panthers. Snider has played one of toughest schedules in Indiana, and will look to bounce back with a win here. This is a rematch from a game on December 28th, in the semifinals of the Summit Conference Tournament, when Homestead won, 64-59. Homesteads only loss was to FW North in the championship of that tournament, so it will be interesting to see how Snider responds to their previous loss to Homestead.
Saturday, January 14
#4 1A Lafayette Central Catholic (6-3) at #11 3A Andrean (9-1) – 6:30 PM CT
In the Sagarin ratings, Andrean is 5th in 3A and Lafayette CC is 2nd in 1A. It will be interesting to see what happens in this battle between top teams in their respective classes. Lafayette CC has two losses to McCutcheon, while Andreans is to Merrillville. Neither has bad losses, and the last meeting was decided by just two points. Andrean owns a top 45 scoring offense in Indiana.
#2 3A Griffith (11-0) at #17 4A Crown Point (9-2) – 7:00 PM CT
Crown Point turns around from playing at Merrillville Friday, and welcomes undefeated Griffith into town. Griffith is one of two teams in the 3A class to make it into the Coaches Poll this week, along with their #2 ranking in the AP 3A poll just behind Northwood. Both teams have quick turnarounds from their tough Friday night games. Griffith won the matchup last year 54-51. Griffith sports a top 50 defense while Crown Point counters with a top 50 offense.
#6 4A McCutcheon (10-1) at #15 4A Zionsville (8-2) – 7:30 PM ET
McCutcheon has a quick turnaround from their matchup against Logansport, as they travel to Zionsville on Saturday to take on the Eagles. Zionsville is entering a tough stretch of their schedule, as 4 of their next 5 opponents are in the 4A AP Poll. Zionsville will look to stop the McCutcheon high powered offense with their slow pace and stout defense (48.8 PAPG). The Eagles and Mavericks average margins are +14.6 and +23, respectively. Expect this one to be close.
#2 4A New Albany (9-2) at Scottsburg (3-9) – 7:30 PM ET
New Albany’s schedule is lightening up as they hit a stretch of conference opponents and local schools. No longer facing giants such as North Central and La Lumiere, expect the Bulldogs to expand their offensive output and average margin. Last year the outcome was 113-39, with Romeo setting the NAHS single game record (broken later that year in semistate) with 44 points on 17 of 20 shots. Expect another blowout, just maybe toned down some.
Jeffersonville (8-4) at #3 2A Providence (10-1) – 7:30 PM ET
Jeffersonville goes toe to toe with another rival Saturday night when they take on Providence. The Red Devils are looking for a win over the #3 2A team, while Providence looks to extend their 5 game winning streak. The Pioneers have only been defeated by Floyd Central (59-41) this season, so Jeffersonville’s result against the Highlanders on Friday should give a better indication of how this one should go. Providence is notorious for slowing down the pace (41.4 PAPG), so Jeffersonville should look to incite a devilish tempo to this one.
Marion County Tournament Championship – Southport 7 PM
On Saturday night, the winner of North Central vs Warren Central will play the winner of Roncalli vs Pike to be crowned the champions of the Marion County tournament. It is expected that North Central will hand Warren Central their first loss, and Pike should handle Roncalli on Friday, indicating Pike vs North Central should play on Saturday, Setting up a battle of #1 vs #17. Pike will have to slow down the Panthers three headed monster of Kris Wilkes, Emmanuel Little, and Mateo Rivera to win this predicted battle. Pike will be looking to repeat as champions as they beat Lawrence North on a buzzer beater to take the crown last year. Roncalli has a chance to beat Pike, as does Warren Central with North Central, but it is hard to envision anything other than a North Central tournament victory with their #4 offense in Indiana (79 PPG).