Irish and North Central to battle in Sectional opener

Head coach notes the strengths of his team’s opponent


Ashlynn Bakemeyer

The bench reacts to senior Luke Hern’s basket during the team’s regular season game at Bishop Chatard.

William Mayer, Sports Editor

The men’s basketball regular season came to a close on Feb. 22, as the Irish defeated Zionsville 74-62. The team finished with a 19-6 record on the regular season and now shifts their focus to the daunting Sectional 10.

Sectional 10 consists of the Irish and six other teams: Warren Central, Lawrence North, Lawrence Central, Crispus Attucks, North Central and Arsenal Tech. Five of those seven teams are ranked in the MaxPreps Indiana Top 20 Class 4A rankings. The Irish will compete against North Central on March 2 at 6 p.m. in the opening round.

Basketball Head Coach Mr. Jason Delaney shared his reaction to his team’s draw.

Delaney said, “It’s difficult because there’s no great draw in our Sectional. You’re watching all the other classes and all the other Sectionals and you see that some of the best teams in those brackets have something along the lines of an 11-9 record. You wish sometimes that our Sectional was different. You have dream scenarios sometimes of what you think would be a good draw, but at the end of the day there are six other really good teams in there and there’s no escaping it.

“North Central is really good. Their new coach has done a great job in his first year there. They also lost a really talented player to a prep school last year and for them to be as good as they are without him says a lot about their coach and what he’s instilled there. It’s going to be a really difficult game. They were the Marion County champs. So basically you have the County champs vs. the City champs.”

The Sectional tournament will played at North Central High School.

From a player’s standpoint, Delaney said, “The players seemed really upbeat about our draw. They know that the reason we played such a tough schedule this year was to prepare us for this very moment in the Sectional. No matter how the draw came out, you knew it was going to be a tough first round unless you got the bye.

“Our seniors this year, they are veterans and have seen us go through the last few. The margin of error, especially in the Sectional, is so small that you’ve got to be able to finish games, convert, defend where needed and do all those things to the best of our ability so that we do not let this year’s Sectional slip away from us.”

North Central Head Coach Mr. Kevin Gant did not reply to a reporter’s email request for comment.