It is Sectional final night in Indiana. All week, 5-8 teams have been gathering at centralized sites (under the abomination of class basketball) for sectional tournaments. Everyone is in with a blind draw that treats everyone equally. There are 64 champions and winning one of those titles is justification for an entire season of work. Tonight was the championship round, where 128 teams went down to 64 (except for a handful of sites that had weather delays this week or a school where their girl's team was playing in today's state finals).
Honestly, there are few things in sports more beautiful than sectional week and regional Saturday, which moves nearly 400 teams down to 16 in roughly 10 days.
All three currently Purdue commitments were in action tonight, along with several taragets. Let's see how they did:
Ryan Cline - Carmel - After last night's performance save Class 4A No.2 Carmel, Cline had another solid night. He had 19 points as Carmel won 51-44, avenging last season's sectional final loss to Hamilton Southeastern. The Greyhounds now move on to the regional and will face McCutcheon at Marion at noon this Saturday. The other regional semifinal will feature Carroll (Ft. Wayne) against Monday's Homestead-Jay County winner. The Homestead game (with Caleb Swanigan) is on Monday because Homestead's girl's team was in the Class 4A state final tonight.
Grant Weatherford - Hamilton Heights - The Huskies had to go to double overtime to secure a 55-52 win over Yorktown in the Muncie Central sectional. I scoured Twitter for his stats, but couldn't find any. He did hit some key free throws down the stretch for the win. Hamilton Heights moves on to the Blackford Regional and will face Fort Wayne Dwenger, who also won in double overtime.
CJ Walker - Indianapolis Tech - In one of the biggest surprises of the night Lawrence North beat Tech 67-46. I say biggest surprise because Lawrence North won the regular season game 98-86, so there was actual defense played tonight. Walker had a rough night with three offensive fouls and he fouled out with 5:39 left. He was held under 10 points after going for 34 last night.
Kevin Easley - Lawrence North - I confused Easley last night with Kris Wilkes of North Central, who is already out of the tourney and can't really be that highly rated of a recruit if his team was eliminated after one game. Easley had 12 tonight for Lawrence North, who will face KJ Walton and Brownsburg in the Southport regional next week.
Paul Scruggs and Joey Brunk - Southport - What a rough way to end the season for Southport. They went 23-1 against everyone else, but lost to Pike in four overtimes in the Marion County Tournament and 49-48 in the sectional final. They lost when a final putback rolled off the rim as time expired. No stats, but it is surprising that this was so low scoring like Tech-Lawrence North.
Zach Gunn - Hamilton Southeastern - Gunn had 15 for HSE in the loss to Carmel. He is definitely a player to watch next year.
Jaren Jackson - Park Tudor - The defending Class 2A state champs move on to the regional with a 75-60 win over Indianapolis Scecina. I couldn't find any stats.