North to host girls basketball regional

If the Columbus North girls basketball team can win its sectional for a fifth consecutive season, the Bull Dogs will get to play the regional on their home court.

The IHSAA recently released sectional and regional assignments for the winter sports. The North and Columbus East girls will play in the sectional at Bloomington North and the Columbus North and East boys will play in the sectional at East Central.

The girls regional will return to Memorial Gym on Feb. 13 for the second time in three years. Columbus North and Bedford North Lawrence have alternated hosting the regional the past four years.

“We’re excited to have it,” Columbus North athletics director Jeff Hester said. “It’s a real big deal. I think people remember the last time we hosted what a great crowd was here. It involves a lot of work on our part, but it’s a lot of fun hosting big events like that.”

The home court might not yield a big advantage for the Bull Dogs, though. The last time they hosted, Bedford North Lawrence beat them in the regional final. Two of the past three times Bedford has hosted, Columbus North has beaten the Stars in the regional final.

“(Memorial Gym is) a wonderful facility, and the upgrades over the summer with the floor and the bleachers make it even better,” North girls basketball coach Pat McKee said. “There’s a lot of positives to hosting, but we can’t look at that yet. We have to play the season, play well and get ready for the tournament and then take care of business when the time comes.”

Meanwhile, Hauser, which has hosted a boys sectional the past few years, will play in a sectional at South Decatur this season. The Hauser girls will continue to play their sectional at Jac-Cen-Del.

The sectional involving the Jennings County boys will continue to be at Seymour. Bedford North Lawrence, which lost the girls regional, will host the girls sectional involving the Panthers.

Seymour will continue to host the Class 4A boys regional that the Columbus schools would feed into. Seymour and Richmond will host semistate boys games, and Jeffersonville and Richmond will host semistate girls games.

Panthers set for team event

The Jennings County wrestlers will compete in the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association Team State Championships on Saturday at Fort Wayne’s Memorial Coliseum.

Thirty-six teams — 12 in each of three classes — will battle for the IHSWCA titles. The Panthers are in the Class AAA (large school) division and are in a pool with Avon and top-seeded Warren Central.

Teams were selected and seeded in part with the aid of a computer program. The IHSWCA duals were started in 2013 after the IHSAA discontinued its postseason dual-meet state tournament.

North coach recognized

Columbus North coach Ben McDaniel has been selected as District Baseball Coach of the Year.

McDaniel, who represents District G, led the Bull Dogs to a 23-7 record and a Conference Indiana title. He was named Conference Indiana Coach of the Year in the spring.

McDaniel and the other district winners will be honored at Jan. 22 at the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Awards Banquet at the Sheraton at Keystone Crossing in Indianapolis.