Most years, Columbus North girls basketball coach Pat McKee hopes his team doesn’t draw a first-round bye and plays in the opening round of the sectional.
But with this year’s sectional taking place at East Central — an hour-and-a-half by bus — McKee was glad his Bull Dogs (16-5) drew a bye. They will play the winner of the first-round matchup between Columbus East (13-7) and Shelbyville (1-19).
“Most years, we’d rather play, but this year because of the location, we’re delighted with the bye,” McKee said. “In theory, when you have to make that trip three times, it gets weary, but now, we only have to make it twice.”
The East-Shelbyville matchup will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 30. The winner will play North in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Feb. 2.
Neither East nor North play Shelbyville during the regular season. The Bull Dogs edged the Olympians 57-54 on Dec. 14 at North.
On the other side of the bracket, Bloomington South (11-10) will play East Central (13-8) at around 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30. The winner will face Blooomington North (4-16) at around 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2.
The sectional championship will be the evening of Feb. 3.
“I’ve yet to hear anyone say they won a sectional because they got an easy draw,” East coach Danny Brown said. “You have to be at your best because it’s lights out. We have to be ready to go. You can’t slip up. That’s what make sectionals in Indiana so unique.”
In another 4A sectional, Jennings County will play New Albany at around 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31 in the first round of the Seymour Sectional. The winner will meet the winner between North Harrison and Bedford North Lawrence in the semifinals at around 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2.
Meanwhile, in Class A, Hauser drew a rematch with Morristown at 6 p.m. Jan. 31 in the opening round of the Waldron Sectional. The Jets upset the Mid-Indiana Conference-leading Yellow Jackets 57-56 in their most recent outing on Thursday. The winner will play Waldron or Rising Sun in the semifinals on Feb. 2.
Also in Class A, Edinburgh will face Medora at around 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 in the first round of the West Washington Sectional. Class A No. 8 Trinity Lutheran will meet the winner at around 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2.
South Decatur moved up to 2A this season and will play rival North Decatur at around 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 in the first round of the South Ripley Sectional. The winner will face South Ripley at around 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2.
Brown County drew a first-round bye in the Class 3A Owen Valley Sectional and will meet the Edgewood-Owen Valley winner in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Feb. 2.
All sectional finals will be Feb. 3.