Columbus East and Hauser will face tall orders tonight in the semifinals of their respective boys basketball sectionals.
The Olympians will face Class 4A No. 5 Bloomington South at 6 p.m. in the Columbus North Sectional. The Jets will meet Class A No. 9 Oldenburg Academy at around 7:30 p.m. in the Southwestern (Shelby) Sectional.
East is coming off an emotional, come-from-behind 59-58 overtime win against Bloomington North in Tuesday’s opening round. The Olympians trailed by as many as 14 in the first half and 13 in the second half before rallying to win on a layup by sophomore Tyler Boyer at the overtime buzzer.
"You just have to find a way to win and move on," East coach Brent Chitty said.
[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]
Senior Matt Frost leads the Olympians (12-10) with 14.6 points and 6.2 rebounds a game. Senior Drew Johnson averages 10.7 points and 3.0 assists, and Boyer adds 9.3 points.
Junior Anthony Leal leads Bloomington South (20-2) with 21.1 points and 4.9 rebounds. He has several scholarship offers, including Stanford, Butler, Iowa, Maryland, Northwestern, Xavier and Bradley.
Junior point guard Noah Jager averages 13.0 points, and senior Grayson Rolen adds 10.4 points for the Panthers, who are shooting 54.0 percent from the field.
"We better block out and rebound, and we better hit some shots," Chitty said. "Bloomington South doesn’t miss many, and they have some nice-sized players."
The Panthers beat East 64-53 on Jan. 11 in Bloomington.
Shelbyville (12-10) and East Central (16-7) will meet in tonight’s second game at North. The winners will play for the sectional title at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Meanwhile, Hauser (11-13) will play Oldenburg (16-5) in the second semifinal at Southwestern. The host Spartans (12-10) will face Class A No. 8 and defending state champion Morristown (20-4) at 6 p.m. The final is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Jets, who did not play Oldenburg during the regular season, played only 10 of their 23 games against Class A opponents. Hauser closed the regular season with a win against a Rising Sun team that lost to Morristown by only one point on Tuesday. The Jets opened sectional play with a 68-48 win against Waldron on Wednesday.
"We have some momentum, but what happened in the regular season is the regular season, and now we just have to take it one game at a time, and right now, our focus is on Oldenburg," Hauser coach Nate Cangany said.
Senior Sean Miller leads the Jets with 12.7 points, while senior Will Trotter averages 12.6 points and 4.9 assists. Junior Trey Johnson adds 11.6 points and 6.6 rebounds, and junior Jackson Paradise chips in 10.7 points.
Junior Jacob Johnson leads the Twisters with 20.3 points and 5.2 rebounds.
"Defensively, we have to know where Johnson is," Cangany said. "He’s a really nice player. He can shoot from about anywhere on the floor. He gives people some matchup problems, so we have to make sure that we defend him, but they also have some other guys that can shoot the ball. We have to make sure we defend the 3-point line, and then from an offensive standpoint, they’re a zone team, and we have to make sure that we’re getting movement in and out of that zone and finding gaps and still making sure we play inside-out."