Two Randolph County programs make their bids today for semistate spots.
Randolph Southern and Winchester both play in girls basketball regional semifinals, with the Rebels contending in Class A Tri-Central at 10 a.m., and the Falcons at Class 2A Lapel at noon.
Win, and an 8 p.m. championship game awaits.
“I am very excited, even more excited than I was last year,” said Southern’s Maddi Kramer. “This year our team has confidence. We have more experience, and I think we are all excited.”
Both teams advanced to regional semifinals last season. This is Randolph Southern’s third trip to the regional in the past four seasons, and Winchester’s seventh straight.
“It’s really amazing to be able to carry on a tradition that was set seven years ago,” said Winchester senior Jill Morrison, one of the state’s leading scorers. “We’re just pumped we can carry on with it. We’re just proud of what we’ve been able to do this season.”
Randolph Southern (19-3) faces Lafayette Central Catholic (15-9) in Tri-Central’s first semifinal. North Vermillion (23-2) faces Southern Wells (16-6) in the noon semifinal.
North Vermillion was ranked seventh in the final Class A state poll, with Central Catholic 12th and the Rebels 13th.
Central Catholic is playing in its eighth consecutive regional. The Knights have made three consecutive regional finals and won the state championship in 2006.
“We’re looking forward to it a lot. We’re looking forward to going up there and taking care of business,” said Rebels coach Jerimy Stephan, who is 2-for-2 for sectional titles in his two seasons leading the program. “We’re not going up there with a ‘happy to be here’ motto. We feel like we have a legitimate shot.
“We feel like what we’re doing is right. We’re playing team basketball. We’re playing really good basketball right now.”
Southern has won nine straight. Winchester goes into today’s game on a five-game winning streak.
Wabash (17-6) meets Seeger (19-7) in the Lapel regional’s first semifinal, followed by Winchester (20-4) and Eastern (Greentown) (19-3).
Eastern finished the Class 2A season tied for No. 6 in the state poll. Winchester is 11th and Wabash 14th.
The winners of both regional tournaments will go on to either the Crown Point or Warsaw semistate on Feb. 23.
“I said this at the beginning of the season and it showed up through the sectional. The way we’ve done things this year prepares us for where we are right now,” said Winchester coach Ed Geesaman.