Holding court

A look at Saturday’s Class 4A girls basketball regional at Columbus North:

Semifinals

Center Grove vs. Columbus North, 10 a.m.

Bedford North Lawrence vs. Evansville Central, noon

Championship

Semifinal winners, 8 p.m.

Columbus North Bull Dogs (24-1)

Players to watch: Maliah Howard-Bass, 5-9 junior guard (18.7 points per game, 5.0 rebounds per game, 40 assists, 73 steals, 41-percent 3-point field goal); Ashlyn Huffman, 5-5 junior guard (8.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 112 assists, 60 steals); Imani Guy, 6-4 junior center (8.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 41 steals, 77 blocks); Paige Littrell, 5-10 senior guard (8.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 73 assists, 48 steals, 36-percent 3-point FGs); Elle Williams, 6-0 senior forward (4.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 29 assists, 24 steals).

Head coach: Pat McKee (sixth season, 142-17)

Sagarin rating: 100.45 (6th in Indiana, 5th in Class 4A)

Road to the regional: Beat Columbus East, 61-42; beat Bloomington South, 62-35.

Against regional opponents: No games this season against teams in regional.

Noteworthy: The Columbus North senior class has 100 wins and six losses, eclipsing the 99 victories earned by last year’s seniors.

Center Grove Trojans (12-12)

Players to watch: Lauren Rau, 5-5 senior forward (14.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 94 assists, 44 steals); Cassidy Hardin, 5-10 sophomore guard (13.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 37 steals, 38% 3-point FG); Allison Utterback, 5-5 junior guard (7.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 28 assists, 28 steals); Madelyn Bitterling, 5-8 junior guard (8.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 52% 3-point FG); Emma LeMasters, 5-8 junior guard (4.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg).

Head coach: Shawn Sanders (seventh season, 96-64)

Sagarin rating: 82.37 (45th in Indiana, 31st in Class 4A)

Road to the regional: Beat Franklin, 63-54; beat Greenwood in overtime, 90-85.

Against regional opponents: Defeated Bedford North Lawrence, 58-51, on Dec. 12.

Noteworthy: The Trojans, who lost five of six to end the regular season before winning their sectional, have the worst record of any remaining Class 4A team.

Bedford North Lawrence Stars (19-7)

Players to watch: Jorie Allen, 6-0 freshman forward (16.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 35 assists, 30 steals, 24 blocks); Kennedy Bunch, 5-9 junior forward (8.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 36% 3-point FG); Mckenzie Messmore, 5-7 sophomore guard (6.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 56 assists, 35 steals); Loren Bailey, 5-5 senior guard (3.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 62 assists, 40 steals); Erin Bradley, 5-8 senior forward (4.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 26 assists, 27 steals); Kaitlyn Poole, 6-0 senior center (3.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg).

Head coach: Jeff Allen (second season, 45-8)

Sagarin rating: 90.04 (21st in Indiana, 15th in Class 4A)

Road to the regional: Beat Floyd Central, 33-23; beat Jennings County, 39-38; beat Jeffersonville, 42-36.

Against regional opponents: Defeated Evansville Central, 51-37, on Jan. 9.

Noteworthy: The Stars, who lost to Columbus North in last year’s regional final, have won 10 of their last 11 games.

Evansville Central Bears (23-2)

Players to watch: Alexis Thomas, 5-9 junior (17.0 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 25 assists, 36 steals, 45% 3-point FG); Zion Sanders, 5-8 junior (15.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 96 assists, 51 steals); Errin Hodges, 5-10 junior (10.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 44 steals); Mykiah Jones, 5-6 junior (7.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 41 assists, 38% 3-point FG); Hya Haywood, 5-6 freshman (7.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 34 steals); Claire Geiser, 5-9 sophomore (5.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 26 assists); Alaijha Baltzell, 5-6 junior (5.0 ppg).

Head coach: Brittany Maners (third season, 62-11)

Sagarin rating: 90.25 (20th in Indiana, 14th in Class 4A)

Road to the regional: Beat Evansville Harrison, 70-29; beat Castle, 67-57.

Against regional opponents: Lost to Bedford North Lawrence, 51-37, on Jan. 9.

Noteworthy: Hodges is a midyear transfer from Pontiac (Illinois) High School; Evansville Central’s lone other loss this season came against then-unbeaten Princeton on Jan. 2.

Author photo
Ryan O'Leary is sports editor for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at roleary@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2715.