The two top teams in the eight-team Class 3-A Charlestown Sectional — Brownstown and No. 5 Madison — are on opposite sides of the draw, but several other teams could spoil the anticipated showdown.
Brownstown coach Karla Rieckers said her Braves and the Cubs should be wary of all the teams in what she called “a balanced sectional.”
“We just have to be ready to play, no matter who we play,” Rieckers said. “It just takes one game to advance, and it takes one game to go home.”
Despite a sparkling 16-1 record, she said her team hasn’t been consistent.
“In my mind, we haven’t put together a full game yet,” Rieckers said. “If we can get all our players to focus on playing for the entire game, we’ll be pretty good.”
The Charlestown Sectional features some of the area’s top coaches, with a combined 1,300-plus wins.
The sectional opens with two first-round games on both Feb. 11 and Feb. 12. On Feb. 11, a Tuesday, Scottsburg (13-5) will face North Harrison (10-8), followed by Charlestown (11-6) and Brownstown (16-1). On Wednesday, Salem (7-12) will take on Silver Creek (6-14), followed by Madison (12-2) and Corydon (11-7).
Brownstown and Madison were scheduled to play on Jan. 7, but the game was canceled becasue because of inclement weather and will not be made up.
In Class 2-A at Eastern Pekin, Providence coach Brad Burden called it a wide-open sectional.
“There’s several teams that could win it,” he said, “and we believe we’re one of those teams.”
In the first round, two-time defending sectional champion Paoli (14-5) will take on Henryville (10-8), followed by Clarksville (4-16) against Crawford County (7-12) on Feb. 11.
Then on in the semifinals on Friday, Providence (12-7) will face the Paoli-Henryville winner and Eastern (9-8) will tackle the Clarksville-Crawford County winner.
“This year, there’s just no juggernaut,” Burden said of the sectional.
Providence plays several freshmen and is one of the youngest teams in Southern Indiana.
“We certainly have high expectations,” Burden said. “But we’re going to keep things light and fun for this group. … We’re just very thankful to get the bye.”
In Class A at New Washington, favorite Borden (14-2) received a bye and coach Terry Rademacher said that can only help.
“Usually if you get the bye, it’s an advantage,” he said. But like many other teams, the Braves are playing makeup games, six in the last two weeks of the season, weather permitting. “We just lighten up in practice,” he said.
In the first round on Feb. 11, Rock Creek (0-18), which has lost 40 straight, will face Lanesville (6-12). The winner will take on Borden in the semifinals.
South Central (6-13) will take on New Washington (9-8) in the other first-round game. The winner will face Christian Academy (5-14).
South Central, which plays one of the toughest schedules in Class A, lost to Borden 52-51 Saturday. The Rebels have faced 14 teams above the Class A level.