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Do local teams have sectional momentum?

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By Larry Goffinet

I am a firm believer that a basketball team needs to have some positive momentum going into a playoff tourney to win a championship.

The best team to prove this would be the New York Nets of the old ABA.

Led by the great Julius “Dr. J” Erving, they won the ABA championship in 1974.

The next year they had an even better regular-season record, 58-26, but they were stumbling down the stretch. And they lost 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs to the Spirits of St. Louis, who were 32-52 in the regular season.

In 1976, the final year of the ABA, the Nets finished the regular season strongly and won their second title.

If momentum is a key ingredient for playoff success, does any Perry County boys team have it heading into this week’s sectionals?

Well, Tell City won its last two regular-season games, one with an impressive second-half comeback against North Posey.

Perry Central won two of its last three games, including a rare road victory over Tecumseh.

The Commodores did sleepwalk through the first 20 minutes of their regular-season finale at Heritage Hills Friday.

But they made a furious comeback the last 12 minutes, prompting Coach Matt Carter to say, “We can take some positives from it.”

Cannelton won three of its last five games, including a 27-point road victory over Columbus Christian in its last game.

The Bulldogs also played well for the most part in a loss to a strong Lanesville team in that stretch.

But they did not look sharp in their next-to-last regular-season game, a 61-44 loss at Whitesville Trinity.

So it’s hard to say how much momentum they do have going into the sectional.

Momentum or not, though, Perry Central, Tell City and the other teams in the Class 2A sectional at Boonville are going to have to find a way to contain Jordan Myers, Forest Park’s 6-foot-8 center (yes, I know they introduce him as a forward, but he plays center).

I have seen two articles this year in which Forest Park Coach Tom Beach raved about Myers’ ability to shoot from three-point range.

But I guarantee that every other coach in the sectional would be willing to give him four points—maybe even five points—for every shot he made from beyond the arc if he agreed to stay out there all night and never take a shot from the low post.

In a 77-73 regular-season win over Tell City, Myers hit 14 of 17 from two-point range—all from within 8 feet of the basket. He was 1 for 4 on three-pointers.

In a 74-57 win over Perry Central Jan. 10 Myers hit 11 of 14 two-point shots--all from within 7 feet of the basket--and 1 of 4 from three-point range.

The Commodores will have a rematch with him Tuesday.

Said Carter Friday, “We’re going to have to be a little more physical than we were tonight with box-outs and fighting for position in the post.”