Rochester receives sectional bye, will await Lewis Cass or Pioneer
Valley gets John Glenn, Caston draws Frontier, Argos gets Triton, Culver gets Trinity Greenlawn
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
The Rochester boys basketball team knew six months ago that they would have homecourt advantage for the sectional.
They found out they got a bye on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Pioneer knows they will have to win a game in order to get a chance to play Rochester.
Also, Tippecanoe Valley, Argos and Culver drew teams they beat during the regular season while Caston drew a team to whom they lost.
Sectionals will be held from Feb. 28-March 4, regionals are March 11, the semistate redraw is set for March 12, semistates are March 18, and the state finals are March 25.
Sectional tickets are $7 per session or $15 for an all-sectional ticket statewide.
The Zebras are the only team in the RTC area to receive a bye. They will play the winner of the Pioneer-Lewis Cass game in a Class 2A, Sectional 36 semifinal at 7:30 p.m. March 3.
Rochester does not play either Pioneer or Lewis Cass during the regular season. Rochester has played Lewis Cass each of the last two years in the sectional, beating them 53-50 in the 2021 sectional final at Delphi and falling to them 74-40 in last year’s sectional quarterfinal at Winamac.
Rochester has not played Pioneer since a 62-40 loss on Dec. 29, 2018.
Pioneer, who is 5-17 and who moved up from Class 1A to Class 2A for this cycle due to increased enrollment, suffered a 56-42 loss to Lewis Cass on Jan. 13. They have lost six consecutive meetings against Lewis Cass.
In the other half of the draw, Winamac drew North Miami with the winner to play Wabash. Winamac and North Miami will meet since Winamac beat North Miami 60-40 in the 2002 sectional semifinals. Oddly enough, that game was also played at Rochester, and that marked the last time Rochester hosted a sectional.
Wabash does not play Winamac during the regular season. Wabash beat North Miami 75-33 on Jan. 20.
The Sectional 36 champion will play the Sectional 34 champion
Two days after wrapping up the outright Three Rivers Conference title, Valley learned that they will play John Glenn in a Class 3A, Sectional 18 quarterfinal at Knox on Feb. 28.
The game will be a rematch of a Dec. 10 game in which Valley beat the Falcons 55-43. John Glenn was 1-4 after that loss, but they have gone 12-4 in 16 games since.
Coach Travis Hannah has not won a sectional in 16 seasons at John Glenn, but he did guide Oregon-Davis to the Class 1A state title in 2007.
The John Glenn-Valley winner will play Bremen (1-19) in a semifinal.
In the other half of the draw, Knox drew Culver Academy. The Eagles are 14-6 but do not play any of the other teams in the sectional during the regular season.
The Sectional 18 champion will play the Sectional 19 champion in a regional at South Bend Washington on March 11. No. 2 Mishawaka Marian, the defending semistate champion, is in Sectional 19.
Valley will host Mishawaka Marian in their regular season finale Friday.
Caston will play Frontier in a Class 1A, Sectional 52 quarterfinal at West Central at 6 p.m. Feb. 28. The game will be a rematch of a Dec. 10 game that Frontier won 52-46 in overtime in Chalmers.
The Frontier-Caston winner will play Tri-County, who received a bye, in the semifinals at 6 p.m. March 3. Tri-County beat Frontier 41-39 on Jan. 20. Caston does not play Tri-County during the regular season.
In the other half of the draw, West Central will play South Newton with the winner to face defending sectional champion North White.
North White is just 5-16, but they already have wins over both West Central and South Newton in Midwest Conference play.
No team in Sectional 52 has a winning record. Frontier and Tri-County are tied for the most wins of anybody in the sectional with nine.
The Sectional 52 champion will play the Sectional 50 champion in a regional at Triton on March 11. No. 10 Marquette Catholic is part of the Sectional 50 field.
For the fifth straight year, Argos will play Triton in the sectional. But for the first time in that span, they will not meet in the sectional final.
Instead, they will play in a Class 1A, Sectional 50 quarterfinal at Triton at 6 p.m. March 1 after they drew each other. That game will be a rematch of Argos’ 50-45 overtime win over Triton at Phil Weybright Gymnasium on Feb. 2.
Argos beat Triton in the 2019 and 2020 sectional finals at Triton. Triton beat Argos in the 2021 sectional final at Culver and the 2022 sectional final at the Trojan Trench.
The Triton-Argos winner will play the Marquette Catholic-Westville winner in the semifinals. Marquette Catholic and Westville have identical 15-7 records, and Marquette Catholic is ranked No. 10.
Marquette Catholic won six straight sectionals from 2014-19, and they also won three regionals, two semistates and the 2014 1A state title during that span, but they have not won a sectional since.
In the other half of the draw, Culver drew Trinity Greenlawn with the winner to face Oregon-Davis in the semifinals.
Culver, who improved to 10-10 with a 55-25 win over Tri-Township on Saturday, already has a 44-29 win over Trinity Greenlawn on Dec. 17. They also have two wins over Oregon-Davis – one in the Bi-County Tournament and also their regularly scheduled meeting – to their credit as well as a 37-28 win in last year’s sectional.
Trinity Greenlawn and Oregon-Davis are a combined 6-36.
The Sectional 50 champion will play the Sectional 52 champion in a regional at Triton on March 11. No team in Sectional 52 currently has a winning record.