Sectional pairings for the 2017 IHSAA girls basketball state tournament were announced Sunday evening, and North Harrison had trouble containing its excitement, per coach Missy Voyles.
Now 18-1 on the year and a perfect 7-0 in Mid-Southern Conference play, the defending Class 3A runners-up gathered as a team to watch the televised draw, which yielded a meeting with Silver Creek (8-12, 2-7 MSC) in Sectional 30 at Corydon.
In other opening-round matchups, Brownstown (13-8, 4-4 MSC) will meet Scottsburg (12-7, 6-2 MSC), and Charlestown (10-9, 4-4 MSC) will take on Salem (12-8, 3-4 MSC). Host Corydon (11-9, 4-4 MSC) drew a bye and will await the winner between North Harrison and Silver Creek.
No. 1 North Harrison walloped the Dragons 76-36 back on Nov. 23, 2016 and are 4-0 in games played against sectional opponents this season.
Sectional play in Indiana begins on Tuesday, Jan. 31, with semifinal play slated for Friday, Feb. 3 before the championship round that Saturday evening. Official times will be released at a later date.
“The kids were excited,” Voyles said. “They’re sitting down there watching (the draw) together. We haven’t seen Silver Creek since November, so that’ll be something that we’ll have to get out and watch, but we’re just pretty fired up to get started.”
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North Harrison has won 42 of its past 46 games dating back to the beginning of the 2015-16 season. After winning 14 straight to open this year’s campaign, North Harrison dropped a 61-37 decision to Greenfield-Central at the Hall of Fame Classic final in New Caste on Dec. 29, 2016. Since then, though, Voyles’ club has won four straight by an average of 45.3 points per game.
“They’ve played very well coming back from that loss,” Voyles said. “They’ve developed a little bit of balance in what they’re doing on offense, a little more patience in what they’re doing on offense, so I think it helped us a lot – just to be more disciplined.”
The latest mark in the win column for North Harrison came against Clarksville (2-19, 0-8 MSC) on Saturday – a 105-20 victory for the hosts. Sophomore forward Lilly Hatton poured in 48 points, which solidified the program’s new single-game high.
Hatton is one of several offensive weapons at Voyles’ disposal. In addition to Hatton’s averages of 19.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.1 blocks per game, junior guard Cali Nolot posts 13.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and a team-high 3.4 steals per game for North Harrison.
Taylor Rennirt, another junior guard, averages 8.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.1 steals, while two others – junior guard Hallie Hinton and senior guard Stevi Burns – average over four points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals per outing. Hinton averages a team-high four assists.
North Harrison hosts Corydon on Tuesday before a bout at 4A Bedford North Lawrence (14-4, 6-1 Hoosier Hills), featuring 6-foot-1 Jorie Allen, on Thursday. North Harrison concludes regular-season play on Jan. 26 at Brownstown after a home matchup with Madison (4-14, 0-5 HHC) on Jan. 24.
“They’re just excited to get going,” Voyles said. “ … (The show) probably got them fired up a little too soon, I don’t know. Hopefully they don’t overlook the next two weeks.”
Class 3-A Sectional 30 at Corydon:
North Harrison (18-1, 7-0 Mid-Southern) vs. Silver Creek (8-12, 2-7 MSC), winner vs. Corydon (11-9, 4-4 MSC)
Brownstown (13-8, 4-4 MSC) vs. Scottsburg (12-7, 6-2 MSC), winner vs. Charlestown-Salem winner.
Charlestown (10-9, 4-4 MSC) vs. Salem (12-8, 3-4 MSC), winner vs. Brownstown-Scottsburg winner.