Boys Basketball Sectional Preview


Golda Kitchell

Junior Isaac Russell inbounds the ball in the fourth quarter against Oak Hill. The Berries later lost 46-51 to Oak Hill.

The boys basketball team has yet to win a sectional since class basketball was instituted in 1997. However, the level of play in the North Central Conference is historically one of the toughest conference in the state considering the NCC has 29 state titles, the most of any conference in Indiana. Marion and Muncie Central have both won eight state championships and are tied for the school with the most boys basketball state titles.

On Logansport’s side of the bracket, they play Marion on Tuesday, Feb. 28. The Berries (8-15) recently played Marion (14-8) in late January. The match-off was at Marion and resulted in an 83-53 loss for the Berries.

The resulting tournament draws for the 7th Sectional for 4A schools set up multiple potential rematches for the Berries. (Golda Kitchell)

The first time we played Marion our team struggled to move,” sophomore starter Chrisanthony Del Valle said. “We were tired and probably played our worst game as a group. I think this is a great chance to catch Marion off guard and take them out first round. I expect we’ll play much better, considering Grayson Long is returning.”

Since the sectional is being held at Kokomo, a neutral location for both teams, Logansport can expect a better environment without home court advantage. If the Berries manage to pull off a win against Marion, they’ll go on to play McCutcheon. Logansport previously played McCutcheon on their home court and it resulted in a 62-56 win for the Berries.

We already beat McCutcheon earlier in the season,” Del Valle said. “If we just play hard and not take them for granted, we will be in the sectional championship on Friday. Right now, as a team, we need to take it one game at a time and not get caught up in the result. We need to focus on the now.”

The other side of the bracket kicks off with Harrison (17-6) playing Lafayette Jefferson (13-10). Harrison is favored to win their match off since they have beaten Lafayette Jefferson twice this season. Kokomo received the bye on that side of the bracket, and they are favored to win not only the sectional but also the regional.

Kokomo is (19-4) and is ninth in the state. Kokomo already won the NCC with a 9-0 record in which their key player was Flory Bidunga, their 6’10” center from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bidunga dominates the team in points, rebounds, steals and blocks.

The Berries have had a tough time this year with injuries, whether it’s smaller injuries that can be battled through or larger ones, like Grayson Long’s, which has had him playing on and off throughout the season.

“Stability is a great thing, and most people strive for stability in their life,” coach Matt Lange said. “This year we have had some instability associated with injuries, which have made it a bit difficult to manage, but the guys have done a great job of working through this.”