Preview: Center Grove Regional Match-Up Preview by// Bryce Walts

Center Grove Trojans, Record:17-7

Johnharrell.net Sagarin rating:  #16 in state 88.97  

Chance of winning regional: 15%

Quality Wins: Ben Davis, Brownsburg

Bad Losses: Franklin Central

Path to Regionals

Whiteland 56-  39 sectional semifinals

Franklin Central  57-  54 sectional championship

Leading scorer:  Trayce Jackson-Davis (12.2 ppg)

New Albany’s matchup in the first regional game came via the Franklin Central sectional. Center Grove has the worst record out of the teams in the Seymour regional, but arguably had the toughest schedule as well. Being in the Metropolitan Conference means playing teams such as North Central, Warren Central, Carmel, and Ben Davis. The Trojans are battle-tested, as are the Bulldogs.

Most see New Albany as the favorite in this matchup, but Center Grove’s Coach Zach Hahn is no stranger to upsets in the postseason. He was a part of the 2010 and 2011 national runner up teams for Butler so his poise is not to be underestimated. The Trojans have 3 scorers averaging over 11 ppg and love to shoot the three ball. They use the 6’8 senior Jackson-Davis to pound the ball inside and then kick it out to lethal shooters beyond the arc. Sophomore guard Spencer Piercefield averages 12.1 points per game, shooting 45.8% from three on the year. Senior guard Travis Roehling averages 11.2 ppg and shoots 43% from beyond the arc.

Center Grove scores 57.3 PPG and allows 51.3 per game, while New Albany scores 71.5 PPG and allows 51.6 per game. Center Grove has their best chance if they follow Floyd Central’s plan to slow the game down and make it low-scoring. Not many teams can keep pace with the Bulldogs and their scoring prowess.

Center Grove and New Albany have not played in the last 30 years, so there’s not much to base a prediction off on. Playing against common foes, the Trojans are 1-2 and the Bulldogs are 2-1. John Harrell likes New Albany by an edge of 61-55. Center Grove has been one of the most improved teams this year, going from 8-15 last year to 17-7 this year, but they face an uphill battle in the first game of the Seymour regional.

Stats via: http://indianahsbasketball.homestead.com/boys.html, IndyStar.com

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