Posted On: 11/7/17 10:43 AM
The coming high school season is almost upon us. With that, we are taking a look at each Sectional in the state. Starting with 64 and ending with 1. Today, we are previewing Sectional 16.
Castle (24-4) – Lost Semistate Finals
For Castle, last season was a great year. They came up a bit short of a State Championship but they only got beat on a last second shot by Ben Davis in Semistate. Was a tough game to handle but overall great year. Now, they will be in full on rebuild mode as they graduate a large, important group of seniors like Brandon Eades, Jack Nunge, Payton Mills, and Noah Mclean. They do, however, bring back a solid trio in Triston Wilkinson, Alex Hemenway, and Jace Stieler. They have a few freshman coming in as well. Castle shouldn’t completely fall off but won’t be the dominant teams hey were a year ago. Should still be the top team in this Sectional and could make another run at Semistate if things fall the right way.
Evansville Central (8-15) – Lost 1st Rd. Sectionals
Last season was the worst one since 2011-12 for Central as they only picked up eight wins on the season. Now, they are looking to cash in on a strong senior class led by Collin Wedding and Joe Space. They also bring in a talented freshman in Cameron Banks that should impact things in his first season. They will need to find more offense as they only averaged 57.8 points per game as a team last year. If Banks can be a big offensive weapon, they might have enough to improve upon that but finding more depth on their roster is a priority. Could be a better year but will need some luck come March.
Evansville Harrison (13-10) – Lost Sectional Semifinals
Evansville Harrison was really solid last year despite just a decent record. They had some tough games on their schedule. However, they will be reeling a bit after losing key seniors De’Ante Booker, Brandon Duncan, and Michael Rogers II. They bring back Rilee Epley, Robin Duncan, Ja’Korion Lindsey, and Isaiah Edinburgh. Look for Erik Thomas to have a bigger impact this season as well. Harrison could be one of the better teams in this Sectional but they need players like Lindsey and Edinburgh to develop into productive scoring threats to help with the loss of the seniors from last year.
Evansville North (6-18) – Lost Sectional Semifinals
Last season was another in a long line of bad years for Evansville North although they were able to win their first Sectional game since 2003-04. It hurts even more as they had a massive senior class that is now gone. The bright spot is they bring back three guards that can score the ball and have made strides in the last 6-9 months. D.J. Redding, Kolten Sanford, and Cameron Seaton should be able to score the ball more this year, hoping to improve upon just 59.6 ppg from the team last year. Likely won’t compete for a Sectional Championship this year but could be a better team all the way around.
Evansville Reitz (12-12) – Lost Sectional Finals
Evansville Reitz is just one year removed from winning 22 games and making it to the Regional Finals. But, they had lost so much talent that you weren’t sure how good they would be in the coming years. Now, they graduated even more in Elijah Dunham and Jyrus Freels but they bring in an outstanding guard duo as freshman in Andrew Carlton and Khristian Lander. Those two should be impact guys right away and while it may take a minute before they are back at the top of this Sectional, they now have the guys to get them there.
Jasper (17-7) – Lost Sectional Semifinals
The last six years, Jasper has won between 13 and 17 games per season but they were doing that at the 3A level. Now, they are in 4A, in a tough Sectional for most seasons. They also lose their top scorer in Ty Nottingham but bring back four of their top five scorers including post Jared Englert. Last season, Jasper went 2-3 against 4A opponents so they have some experience and success but offense was at a premium for them a year ago and the move to this Sectional, where scoring is at a high level, is going to be difficult to deal with. This season could be a wide-range of possibilities but likely middle to low end of this Sectional as they make the adjustment.
Contenders For 2017-18: Castle, Evansville Harrison, Evansville Reitz
Player to Watch: Alex Hemenway (Castle)