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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Sectional draws provide opportunity

Tuesday, February 4, 2003

(Photo)
Eels freshman guard Whitney McWilliams and her teammates open sectional play versus North Central.

Sectional drawings aren't exactly like the lottery, or even bingo for that matter, but just as much luck is involved. Even more, the immediate fate of its participants is at stake as well.

Monday afternoon at noon, the sectional opponents were determined for girls' high school basketball teams across the state.

For Northview and Clay City, the draw produced, if not daunting, then certainly difficult opening contests with top-notch opponents in their opening games.

The Knights found out that their opponent will be Class 4A No. 6 ranked Mooresville on Friday night.

"It's something that you really can't control," said Northview coach Bob Medworth. "You can't really waste your time worrying about it. It's going to be a long stretch between games for us."

That long stretch that Medworth speaks of is the result of a kernel of good luck that Northview has in receiving a bye in the first round of the Plainfield Sectional.

Tuesday's first round games feature a rematch of the Terre Haute North (3-15)/Terre Haute South (12-9) game last Saturday that the Patriots won convincingly 76-30. That contest will take place as the "late" game on Tuesday with the opener consisting of host Plainfield (10-8) versus Martinsville (7-12).

However, the Northview (15-5) versus Mooresville game is a bookend of sorts for the Knights who faced the Pioneers (18-2) in the opening game of the season for both teams.

In that opener, the Pioneers forced 37 Knight turnovers in an 83-52 win.

Mooresville senior guard Suzy Doughty led six players who had seven or more points by scoring 24, 13 of them in the third quarter.

"I think we're a much better team now," said Medworth during a phone interview Monday afternoon. "I hope that we adopt the attitude that we can pull the upset of the century, rather than one where we're already beaten."

There is no doubt that the Knights are a much better team than at the start of the season. Northview has won a school record 15 games through the weekend and won their first ever Western Indiana Conference title with a 56-49 win over Sullivan on Saturday. They have also won 11 of their past 12 games heading into their final regular season game at Plainfield tonight.

The Eels can sympathize with the Knights sectional draw because they get to face the North Central Thunderbirds in the second game Tuesday night.

Clay City (3-15) get a rematch with the team that defeated them on Dec. 16, 72-42. Their contest will follow the game between Shakamak (6-12) and host White River Valley (15-4).

The Class A No. 7 ranked Wolverines are one of just two teams to defeat the Lady Thunderbirds this season. However, that was in the first game of the season, 42-38.

The Eels have had their difficulties this season with several regulars missing time with injuries or illness, but seem to be back at full strength heading into their final regular season games this week.

They'll have their hands full with the T-Birds who have the talented duo of Rebekah Forsythe and Megan Haag who combined for 53 points in their meeting earlier this season.

Whitney McWilliams led the way for the Eels in the loss with 20 points, including six 3-pointers.

On Dec. 16, North Central's pressure forced 35 turnovers and the T-Birds used a big 25 point second quarter to pull away from the Eels. Forsythe also got to the line 13 times where she made 10.

In the bye game for the White River Valley Sectional, Bloomfield (4-13) faces Union (7-9) in the second game on Friday night.

While the Eels and Knights have to contend with tough opponents in the sectional, the postseason is a whole new season for all of the teams involved.



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