Monday, February 20, 2017

BOYS’ HOOPS: Bulldogs, Jeff each draw first-round sectional games

INDIANAPOLIS – Class 4A No. 3 New Albany and Jeffersonville will be on opposite sides of the Class 4A Seymour Sectional bracket next week as the IHSAA conducted its draw for the state tournament Sunday.
The Red Devils (14-8) will face the host Owls (8-12) in the sectional opener on Tuesday, Feb. 28. The winner will face Floyd Central (18-3) in the first semifinal on Friday, March 3.
Jeff defeated Seymour on Dec. 9 at Johnson Arena, 63-46.
“Seymour will be a good opponent for us, playing them on their home floor,” Red Devil head coach Joe Luce said. “We’ll need to play our best basketball.”
The defending Class 4A state champion Bulldogs (20-3) will take on Jennings County (13-9) in the second first-round game on the 28th. The winner will play Bedford North Lawrence (8-15) in the second semifinal on March 3. The championship game will take place on Saturday, March 4.
New Albany blew out the Panthers on Feb. 2 at The Doghouse 84-55. The Bulldogs have captured the last three sectional championships.
New Albany head coach Jim Shannon enjoys the fact that the Bulldogs will play possibly three games next week.
“We’re looking forward to it. I like playing three games in a week. I don’t like waiting because the kids get stale,” Shannon said. “I’ve been doing it for so long that I don’t put a whole lot into (the draw). You’ve just got to show up and play.”
Shannon and Luce both like the way their respective teams are playing at this point in the season.
New Albany has won four games in a row after suffering a 52-46 loss at Columbus East on Feb. 4. In that game, the Bulldogs played without Romeo Langford because the 6-foot-5 standout was recovering from a dislocated pinky finger.
“I think we’re playing really well. We’re really excited about (the sectional),” Shannon said.
The Red Devils are currently on a season-high six-game winning streak, giving them a lot of momentum entering the sectional.
“We’re playing great basketball,” said Luce, who will try to earn his 300th career victory Tuesday night at Class 3A No. 9 Salem. “We’re being efficient on each possession and not turning the basketball over and getting to the rim.”

Jeffersonville (14-8) vs. Seymour (8-12)
New Albany (20-3) vs. Jennings County (13-9)
Floyd Central (18-3) vs. Jeff or Seymour
Bedford North Lawrence (8-15) vs. New Albany or Jennings County

Semifinal winners

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