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All the obstacles Tell City faced in girls basketball this season makes the team' s sectional title all the more remarkable.
The Marksmen did return four starters and their top reserve from last year' s 17-6 team that possibly should have won the sectional (Forest Park beat them by one point on a free throw with no time left on the clock).
But there was little depth behind them, meaning avoiding injuries would be a key.
Yet they weren' t able to do so. Point guard Kara McClintic, last year' s leading scorer and All-PAC player, broke her hand in a preseason scrimmage against Corydon and missed the first seven games of the season.
Five games after she returned, Lacey Padgett, a junior forward who had started most of the time and had 11 rebounds in one game, tore her anterior cruciate ligament and was sidelined for the rest of the season.
In between starting center Dana Sibrel missed one game in the PSC Classic due to sickness.
So the Marksmen have actually had their entire team available for only four complete games.
Yet they are 17-7 going into Saturday' s regional.
Had they not lost a regular-season game to North Posey by four points, they would also have been PAC champions.
They avenged that loss in the first round of the sectional, beating the Vikings by 10 points.
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The Tell City girls' sectional title Saturday was only the sixth by any Perry County basketball team - boys or girls - in the last 30 years.
Contrast that with the 30 years before that when Perry County teams won 23 sectionals - even though there were no girls sectionals until the last four years of that span.
That 30-year period ended with 11 consecutive years in which at least one Perry County team won a sectional title. The Tell City boys won eight straight, 1968-75, followed by two straight by the Tell City girls, 1976 and 1977, and one by Perry Central' s boys in 1978.
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The Tell City girls are the first Perry County basketball team to win two sectional titles in the last 30 years, having also won in 2004.
Some would say it was not really the same team winning both those titles, as no player was on both those teams. But I would disagree.
As Craig Blackford noted in his Tell City Athletic Hall of Fame induction speech last month, each high school athlete really interacts with seven classes of athletes - the three ahead of him when he is a freshman and the three behind him when he is a senior.
He said the three classes ahead of him were very important in helping instill Tell City' s winning tradition in his class.
And some of the younger players on the 2004 sectional champs did the same for the current juniors and seniors the last few years.
At times they went out of their way to make the younger players feel comfortable.
Krystal Lawalin, a sophomore forward on the 2004 team, noted Saturday that when current Tell City scoring leader Lauren Goffinet was a freshman she seemed nervous as the sectional approached.
So Lawalin said she wrote a letter to Goffinet, saying, " You' re not a freshman in my eyes any more. You' ve proven you belong on this team."
Four members of the 2004 sectional champs - Lawalin, Ashley Chapman, Kaki Marcrum and Laura McClintic - were at the game Saturday to congratulate the 2008 champs.
Laura and Kara McClintic, by the way, are the first Perry County siblings to win basketball sectional titles since Larry and Paul Werner.
Larry Werner saw action as a freshman for Tell City' s 1975 sectional champs. Paul Werner started for his last of three sectional champs in 1973.