By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
One of the most highly anticipated seasons in Indiana has arrived as postseason boys' basketball gets underway this week around the state with sectional action tipping off locally on Tuesday evening.
Northview High School will play host to Class 4A Sectional 13 on Tuesday as defending champion Terre Haute North hits the court against a home standing Knights' team looking for an upset.
The Patriots defeated Plainfield 57-39 to win last year's sectional and have won five titles in the last 12 years. North could be considered the prohibitive favorite having posted a 4-0 mark this year against sectional opponents. The Patriots bring a 16-6 mark overall into the postseason, but Martinsville has its own designs on a title with an 18-2 record with wins against both the sectional teams it has faced. The Artesians now have former NBA veteran Jerry Sichting as its head coach after the resignation of long-time coach Tim Wolf less than two weeks ago. Martinsville will get an opening date with Terre Haute South (8-14 overall) on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. The two teams have not met this season as the Braves have defeated Northview twice, but have lost to Mooresville (72-69, Dec. 3), Terre Haute North (49-45, Dec. 27) and Terre Haute North (57-49, Jan. 27).
Northview comes into Tuesday's 7:30 p.m. contest having a win over Plainfield (59-56, Feb. 4) to its credit amongst four losses to sectional foes. Overall, Northview is 8-13 and coming off a win against South Vermillion on Feb. 22 to wrap up the regular season.
North has had a tough go of it to end the regular season with losses to perennial powers, Carmel (56-40, Feb. 17) and Lawrence North (63-60, Feb. 24) on the road.
Mooresville and Plainfield await the winners of the opening round games and the Pioneers have their own thoughts on who is the favorite as the squad brings a sterling 17-3 mark into the postseason along with a 3-2 mark against teams in the sectional.
Plainfield, which has struggled to a 1-19 mark this year, awaits the winner between the Knights and Patriots.
White River Valley High School plays host to Class A Sectional 57 as Eminence comes in as the defending champion after topping the host Wolverines last year.
Tuesday night will see the opening contest as White River Valley (14-7) gets things underway in a wide-open site. Eminence (7-13) may have had its struggles record-wide, but the Eels have some firepower on offense and can give some teams fits when they are shooting well. Eminence lost to WRV 49-30 on Dec. 16 and is 0-4 overall against teams in the sectional.
In Friday's semifinal opener at 6 p.m., Clay City takes on Union (Dugger), a team that has also struggled this season with a 4-17 overall mark, but boasts one of the best scorers in the area in Tyler Talpas (20.3 ppg.). The Eels have been somewhat inconsistent on defense of late and that needs to be cured quickly in postseason play. Clay City is 4-1 against sectional teams as the lone loss came to Shakamak back on Jan. 4 in overtime, 53-47. Clay City is 13-8 overall and 6-4 against Class A squads.
The Lakers (14-8) are slated to take on the winner of the Eminence/WRV match-up in the second game on Friday night.