Marquee matchups and Mr. Basketball hopefuls highlight this Saturday’s boys basketball semistate at Tiernan Center.
Richmond High School will host two South semistate meetings — No. 1 Greensburg vs. No. 2 Guerin Catholic in Class 3A at 4 p.m., followed by the Trey Lyles-led Indianapolis Tech vs. Bloomington North in Class 4A.
Tickets are $8 and go on sale to the general public 9 a.m. Thursday at Richmond’s athletic office.
“Big-time games,” RHS athletic director Chad Bolser said during Monday’s semistate luncheon at Forest Hills. “I think it will be an unbelievable atmosphere.
“(From) early indication of number of phone calls and ticket requests, I think it will be the place to be on Saturday.”
Greensburg is the defending Class 3A state champion. The Pirates are making their second straight trip to Tiernan Center for semistate.
Greensburg halted Mt. Vernon (Fortville) 62-37 last year at Tiernan in another 1 vs. 2 clash.
“We played well last year, so hopefully we’ll have the same luck,” said Greensburg coach Stacy Meyer. “We’re very fortunate. We had a great regional.”
Greensburg stopped Silver Creek 70-60 and Evansville Memorial 73-50 to reach Richmond.
Guerin Catholic knocked off Tri-West 74-58 and Edgewood 64-33 on its way to semistate.
Guerin coach Pete Smith has led his charges to Tiernan a few times in recent years. The Golden Eagles played in several of the annual Bob Wettig Tournaments held in Richmond.
They’ve had success there, too. Guerin finished third in the 2010 Wettig tournament, was runner-up in 2011 and fourth in 2012.
“We’re looking forward to it. I always love playing in Tiernan Center and coming to Richmond,” Smith said.
“We’re real excited about advancing.”
Tech is playing in its first semistate since 1978, and the Titans got there by defeating both Richmond and Pike at the Southport regional.
Bloomington North last played in a semistate in 2004. The Cougars have made a habit of close contests in their most recent run — each of their tournament games have been decided by six points or less, and they edged New Albany 46-45 in overtime this past Saturday to win the regional.
“We haven’t been at this gym since I was an assistant, when we used to play when Chad was a coach,” said Bloomington North coach Andy Hodson. “We’re excited to bring our team up here and play in the Final Four. Our kids have been playing some good basketball the second half of the year, and we’ve had a little luck on our side to get here, too, which always helps.”
Second-ranked Tech brings an eight-game winning streak into the semistate.
The Titans defeated Richmond 80-55 and Pike 60-52 to win their first regional since 1978.
“It’s a blessing to be in this position, and to be able to be one step away from playing for a state championship, which is something we’ve worked for, for three years now,” said Tech coach Jason Delaney.
Lyles, Tech’s 6-foot-10 senior, averages 23.9 points and 13 rebounds per game. He is one of the leading contenders in this year’s Mr. Basketball race.
Greensburg’s Bryant McIntosh and Sean Sellers have also put themselves in the postseason honors conversation with stellar seasons. McIntosh averages 14.1 points and 9 assists per game, with Sellers tallying 20 points and 7.5 rebounds an outing.
“We were thrilled when it was announced Sunday morning,” Bolser said of semistate assignments.
” … Without question, I don’t think we could have asked for better storylines, better games, better draw, whatever you want to call it, than we have here on Saturday.”