Lafayette Jeff was still a work in progress when it met up with McCutcheon in Week 3. The Mavericks stopped a two-game losing streak in what started a string of five wins in the last six games.
Now with both sides on hot streaks, they’ll face each other in the first round of the four-team Class 5A, Sectional 11 tournament on Oct. 30, as revealed during Sunday’s IHSAA tournament selection show. The other semifinal features a rematch of last year’s sectional championship with Harrison playing two-time defending champion Westfield.
West Lafayette learned that Friday night’s upcoming showdown at Central Catholic is just the beginning of a tough road ahead.
The Class 3A, Sectional 28 favorite Red Devils (8-0) enter a deep and talented tournament against another ranked foe in 7-1 Western Boone, which suffered its only loss at Harrison in Week 2.
Hamilton Heights and Crawfordsville are on the same side of the bracket. In the top half of the Sectional 28 bracket, Tipton and Twin Lakes will play for the second week in a row. The Indians and Blue Devils conclude the regular season against each other on Friday, then play in the first round of the state tournament. The winner will face either North Montgomery or Benton Central.
Class A favorite Central Catholic, which won four straight state titles before playing in Class 2A the last two seasons, will open against a former conference foe.
The Knights face Clinton Central, a matchup that used to happen annually when both were members of the Hoosier Heartland Conference. Clinton Central hasn’t faced Central Catholic since 2010, losing 48-0. The two sides met in the sectional opener in 2007, a 28-27 Clinton Central victory.
The winner of that Class A, Sectional 42 opener will face either Covington or Attica in the semifinals. Other first round matchups include Seeger vs. Carroll and Frontier vs. Clinton Prairie.
A pair of unbeatens meet up to open Class A, Sectional 41 play. Last year’s Class A runner-up Pioneer faces North White in a loaded sectional that also includes South Newton, which will face South Central (Union Mills) for the right to play the Pioneer/North White winner. On the bottom half of the bracket, West Central plays Lake Station and Tri-County battles North Judson.
In the south half of the Class A tournament defending state champion North Vermillion plays Wabash River Conference rival Turkey Run. Covenant Christian or Riverton Parke will await the winner. Fountain Central plays Rockville and Sheridan faces South Putnam in other first-round games in Sectional 45.
Delphi faces Oak Hill (6-2) in the 2A, Sectional 34 tournament. The winner will play either Bremen or Rochester.
Last year’s Class 2A state champion Rensselaer now plays in 3A and will open Sectional 25 play against Griffith.
In Class 4A, Frankfort travels to Roncalli in Sectional 21’s first round.