Three top-10 teams, and one just on the outside, are on the way to Tiernan Center this Saturday.
Richmond High School is once again the site for the south semistate in girls basketball, and will feature Class A and Class 2A matchups.
No. 4 Vincennes Rivet (21-4) meets No. 8 Jac-Cen-Del (19-3) at 1 p.m. in the Class A game, followed by top-ranked Heritage Christian (25-1) vs. No. 11 North Knox (19-5) in the Class 2A contest.
Rivet defeated Southwestern Shelbyville 58-50 at Tiernan in last year’s semistate.
“We feel real fortunate to have the opportunity to do this again for the state,” Richmond athletic director Chad Bolser said Monday during a semistate luncheon at Forest Hills. “I think that Richmond is very appreciative, and we want to put on a great event. We want this to be a great experience for these teams.”
Richmond hosted Class 3A and Class A games in 2013.
Oregon-Davis (21-2) meets Lafayette Central Catholic (19-5) in the Class A north semistate at Crown Point, while Fort Wayne Canterbury (19-4) takes on Tipton (18-4) at the Class 2A north semistate at Warsaw.
Winners meet March 8 at the Hulman Center in Terre Haute for the state finals.
“We have a pretty good scouting report on North Knox, and it should be a pretty competitive game,” said Heritage Christian coach Rick Risinger. “My girls are playing real well right now. We’ve had a very successful season. When it comes tournament time, it’s probably more the mental approach to the game than the X’s and O’s.”
Risinger graduated from Richmond High School in 1969. He was a standout basketball player for the Red Devils, and was the program’s first Indiana All-Star since Lamar Lundy made the team in 1953.
Risinger led Richmond to a repeat as regional champion, and was the North Central Conference’s top scorer as a senior. He is eighth on Richmond’s all-time scoring list with 1,084 points.
“It’s a great opportunity to come back and be able to play in Richmond,” Risinger said. “I have a lot of strong roots here.
“Having grown up here and then coming back and working on two different occasions in Richmond, it’s very special.”
Tickets are $8 and available in the Richmond athletic office.
“We’re fortunate to have two of the final fours in the state of Indiana in our building,” Bolser said. “The winner of that gets an opportunity to play for a state championship, and I think that they deserve to have the best experience they can possibly have, and hopefully we can provide that for them.”
Richmond will also again host a south boys basketball semistate on March 22.
Tiernan Center featured both tournaments last season.
Richmond also hosts the annual Bob Wettig Tournament, a 16-team event played over three days.
“The logistics of all of this is the single most important part of it, to be able to have the teams come in, to know what they’re doing, to make sure that you have a schedule you try to stick to as much as possible,” Bolser said. “There are things that you cannot control. But we have tried to eliminate a lot of those obstacles, from shuttling people to making the lines accessible.
“The first time you do it, you realize you don’t have a sign here, (or) there’s a different way to route people in and out of the building. We’ve taken a lot of those things and we’ve tried to make sure we reflect on each of the experiences and then we go from there.”