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Posted On: 10/25/18 11:42 AM
The season is coming up quickly and we are starting to pour into our previews for the upcoming season. Today, we are looking at those Regional setups across the state starting with 1 and ending with 16. Today, we preview Regional 4 with Sectionals 13-16.
Last Year – 17-18
*Based on Sagarin from 2017-18
Teams that are in the Top 10 of the State in 4A
Center Grove – By the end of last season, Center Grove seemed to have figured out most their ups and downs and where within striking distance of a Regional Championship. However, they only lose a couple pieces and their younger groups have been really developing with guys like Justin DeGraaf and Caleb Tidd. But the key is the group of Nicoson, Piercefield, Greller, and likely Mr. Basketball candidate Trayce Jackson-Davis. This group is going to be so difficult to beat this year.
Top Ten Potential
Teams that could be in the Top 10 of the State in 4A
Floyd Central – Floyd has been consistently strong the last few years but have yet to really take a step out of Sectionals because of New Albany. Now, they have the upper hand and likely the best roster heading into the season led with Cobie Barnes, Cam Sturgeon, Jake Heidbreder, and others. They may need a couple more guys to step up but they have a team of guys that know how to execute their head coaches game plan.
Jeffersonville – While New Albany has had the area in their grasp the last few years, things are going to be much different this season. Jeffersonville has quietly been picking up talent and they now have a very strong roster backed by guys like Jaylen Fairmon, Tre Coleman, Jacob Jones, and maybe one of the best incoming freshman in Will Loving-Watts. They have size, skill, and scoring ability. Don’t be shocked if they run, run, and run all while racking up wins and competing for a Regional Championship.
Castle – Castle will be in a position this year where they could be a Top 10 team in the state but could also struggle. You like the return of Alex Hemenway but they lost a ton of key pieces with Stieler, Messinger, Willis, and Wilkinson are all gone now. They will be replaced by Louis Brock, Bob Nunge, and Brycen Moore. They are talented and can help but you go from a veteran group to a fairly young core. One of the tougher teams to figure out in the preseason.
Compete With Most
Teams that could be well above .500 this Season
Franklin Community – Franklin brings back everyone except Nate Sellers. They have been building up to this year where they are loaded with Senior talent and it will be interesting to see just how far they can take their group. Cory Richards has turned into one of the better scorers in the state and Reece Thomason and Blaine Wentzell give them a trio of backcourt players that will compete with every team this year.
Bloomington South – For Bloomington South, it would be wrong to count them out of winning in any year just because they regroup with talent better than most. However, the loss of Chance Coyle will be painful. Anthony Leal looks like he could be a better player but still just going into his Junior year, it will be just one aspect as this team will need more pieces to their offense. Noah Jager and Connor Hickman will help but is that enough offense to really take off and become a Top 10 4A team? Tough to tell just yet.
Shelbyville – Shelbyville will be a team that will still need to sort things out but they bring back some key pieces in Zach Kuhn, Josh Williams, and Luke Asher. However, it is tough to deny their depth took a beating as Cooper Lewis, Brock Blackwell, and Sam Lewis are now gone. I doubt the overall offense will take a step back but there aren’t many shot-makers better than Zach Kuhn and he could breakout this season.
Bedford North Lawrence – Bedford has been building their program up the last couple years and now they could be in position to take advantage of their Sectional. Mccall Ray, Avery Brand, Cale Bunch, Brayton Bailey, and company could be a strong combination that will give them some options. They also have some size on the roster that, if they can compete down low, could give them a ton of versatility. This could be a very difficult matchup for a lot of teams.
Evansville Reitz – It has been a couple years since Reitz was one of the best teams in the state. Well, that time might be on the verge of coming back around. While they lose a few key guys, Khristian Lander has turned into one of the top players in the state. Add in their young core with Owen Dease, Ethan Higgs, and Drew Carlton and you have an underclassmen group that should find a bit of success this season.
Teams that were good last year but could struggle this Season
New Albany – New Albany has been one of the best teams in the state the last four year. Now, that was mainly due to having a generational type player. Now, reality might sink in a bit here as they try and find pieces that can score the ball because frankly, they haven’t needed anyone else for a while now. Trey Hourigan and Julian Hunter return but not much else that can be counted on. This could be a big struggle this year as their rivals have significantly better rosters to start the year.
Evansville Harrison – Harrison is in a spot where they will have to see what a team looks like without a Duncan brother on the roster. They have all finally graduated and along with Robin, they will now have to replace Erik Thomas, Ja’Korion Lindsey, and Rilee Epley. There isn’t many guys still on the roster that got significant playing time last year and so you are kind of in a wait-and-see approach. They usually have a good talent pool to dip in to but is that now?
Preseason Power Ranking
Alex Hemenway (Sr., Castle)
Cobie Barnes (Sr., Floyd Central)
Zach Kuhn (Sr., Shelbyville)
Trayce Jackson-Davis (Sr., Center Grove)
Tre Coleman (Jr., Jeffersonville)
Spencer Piercefield (Sr., Center Grove)
Brayton Bailey (Jr., Bedford North Lawrence)
Anthony Leal (Jr., Bloomington South)
Mccall Ray (Sr., Bedford North Lawrence)
Cory Richards (Sr., Franklin Community)
Honorable Mention Team:
Ben Nicoson (Sr., Center Grove)
Matt Frost (Sr., Columbus East)
Reece Thomson (Sr., Franklin Community)
Josh Williams (Sr., Shelbyville)
Noah Jager (Jr., Bloomington South)
Justin DeGraaf (Jr., Center Grove)
Jacob Jones (Jr., Jeffersonville)
Julien Hunter (Jr., New Albany)
Cameron Banks (So., Evansville Central)
Jaylen Fairmon (So., Jeffersonville)
Will Loving-Watts (Fr., Jeffersonville)
Connor Hickman (So., Bloomington South)
Jake Heidbreder (So., Floyd Central)