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With no seeding and with no sectionals having a number of teams divisible by four, the luck of the draw plays a large part in the IHSAA basketball tourney.
So the fact that Tell City unquestionably received the best draw in this week's Huntingburg boys basketball sectional could be a good omen for the Marks-men.
Tell City drew a first-round bye and has to beat only South Spencer (8-12 before Friday's game) to reach the championship game.
Perry Central, on the other hand, drew the worst possible draw. To win the sectional, the Commodores would likely have to beat all three of the teams with winning records in the six-team field: Forest Park, Mater Dei and Tell City.
Commodore fans shouldn't necessarily despair, though, as their draw is virtually the same as Tell City's girls had in their sectional - and that worked out pretty well for them.
Too much time off before the sectional could be a factor for Tell City. While most teams were finishing their regular season Friday or Saturday, the Marksmen played their final regular-season game Tuesday, 10 days before their first sectional game.
Will they be sharp after going 11?2 weeks without a game?
"I have to look at the positive side of it," said Tell City Coach John Hayes, "because I wanted the bye."
With the bye, many would consider the Marksmen the sectional favorite.
They have the best record in the field at 15-6. That's their best regular-season record in 29 years, since the 1978-79 team went 16-4.
Against the three other teams in the field with winning records, Tell City swept two gamew with Perry Central and beat Mater Dei 57-49 in their only meeting but lost to Forest Park 75-64 on the road.
Forest Park, 13-6, could make a case for being the sectional favorite, though the Rangers lost to Mater Dei 61-50 on the road.
The Rangers did beat Tell City and they have the best recent postseason track record of any team in the field, winning four sectionals in a row (and two state titles) before falling short last year mainly due to Clint Hopf's knee injury.
Since last year's champion, Southridge, has moved up to Class 3A, the Rangers are the last sectional champion in this year's sectional field.
When I saw them against Perry Central in January, their new big man, Jordan Myers (a 6-foot-8 transfer from Reitz) looked vastly improved from his season opener against Tell City Dec. 1.
Their point guard, Seve Beach, also had expanded his game. As Perry Central Coach Matt Carter noted, he was hitting three-point shots off the dribble after previously being known mainly as a catch-and-shoot player.
Having to play three games in five days to win the sectional, Perry Central will have to overcome the lack of depth it has had since sixth man Reuben A. Schwartz tore his anterior cruciate ligament against Heritage Hills Dec. 29 and was lost for the rest of the season.
The Commodores were 7-2 at that point and have gone 4-8 since then.
They did have a key win at Southridge in that stretch and they may have the best player in the sectional in senior guard Nick Huber, who can score in a variety of ways - from hitting three-point shots to driving fearlessly to the basket.
He is averaging 21.1 points per game, 23rd in the state.
Other players will have to step up for the Commodores, though, and they will have to hit the boards hard to compensate for giving up considerable height to the other three top contenders.
But if Wes Linette and Zach Rogier are both shooting well and scoring in double figures, as they did in Saturday's win over Heritage Hills, the Commodores can give any team in the sectional a run for the money.
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In the Class A sectional at Wood Memorial, Cannelton drew a first-round bye but will likely have to get by nine-time defending champion Tecumseh in Friday's semifinals.
Cannelton, which won that sectional in 1998, is the only team other than Tecumseh to win it since class sports started.
This year's Bulldogs sport a 9-11 record, their best regular-season record in 17 years.
Their 1998 sectional champs went 6-14 in the regular season but played a much stronger schedule, including Forest Park, Heritage Hills, South Spencer and Crawford County.
Regardless of who they're playing, though, this year's Bulldogs have played much better the second half of the season, going 7-3 in that span (it would be 8-2 if not for an officiating travesty at Hancock County).
Their recent emphasis on a fast-breaking offense should help them score a lot more points than they did in their regular-season losses to Tecumseh (28) or Wood Memorial (24) and could make their sectional interesting.