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2016 Indiana High School Basketball State Tournament: Semi-State Preview

We're one step away from the state finals and three Purdue targets can still make it.

The IHSAA State Tournament is down to its penultimate round, and on Saturday the semi-states take place at four gyms around the state. Each site will have two games, sending eight teams to next week's state finals in Indianapolis at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Here is a quick breakdown of all eight games, with the potential Purdue ties in each:

Class 4A

North Semi-State at Lafayette Jeff 6pm

No. 5 Warsaw (25-1) vs. No. 4 McCutcheon (27-3)

2018 recruiting target Robert Phinisee will be playing close to home in a gym where the Mavericks have already played four times this year. They survived last week by hitting a late three-pointer to send their regional semifinal to overtime against Carmel. Now they are playing a team whose only loss is to Carmel. McCutcheon is averaging almost 74 points per game while giving up just 50. Warsaw plays a much slower style, averaging only 52.8 per game while giving up just 39.5.

South Semi-State at Richmond 6pm

No. 9 Southport (22-6) vs. No. 1 New Albany (25-1)

A pair of Purdue targets will square off in this one. Southport's Paul Scruggs has the Cardinals in a semi-state for the first time in 26 years. 2018 target Romeo Langford is possibly the best player in the state regardless of age and he has New Albany in a semi-state for the first time since 2008, when they had one Donnie Hale. He has New Albany scoring 77.5 points per game, while Southport averages 61.9 per game. Both teams are loaded with talent, and Southport is on a roll since losing in the Marion County tournament on January 15th. New Albany's only loss was to Pike 73-68 on December 12th, and Southport eliminated Pike in the Sectional.

Class 3A

North Semi-State at Lafayette Jeff 4pm

Marion (21-7) vs. No. 3 Griffith (25-3)

Griffith made a run to Indianapolis last year, so they are looking for a return to the state championship. Marion has a pair of 2016 Division I prospect in Vijay Blackmon and Reggie Jones. They also dropped down to 3A this year due to enrollment, but played many of the top 4A teams in the state to make them tournament tested. With two more victories they will tie Muncie Central with an 8th state championship. Marion has been playing excellent basketball in the tournament and their style is a lot like Indiana's before the Hoosiers started playing defense. Griffith has won all five of their tournament games comfortably, but Marion will be a different test.

South Semi-State at Seymour 6pm

Tri-West (22-6) vs. Evansville Bosse (18-10)

This is a bit of a surprise as Tri-West was the shock winner last week out of the regional that had Brebeuf and Park Tudor. Evansville Bosse entered the tournament at just 13-10, but they are getting hot at the right time. Bosse has won three state championships, but none since 1962. Tri-West has never even been to the state finals. The winner will likely be a decided underdog against the north winner next week.

Class 2A

North Semi-State at Huntington North 3pm

No. 2 Lapel (24-4) vs. Fort Wayne Canterbury (16-10)

Lapel won a great game with No. 3 Oak Hill by a point last week in the regional after demolishing a really good Eastern team in the morning session. Canterbury is a bit of a mystery. They had not won more than three games in a row before winning their four tournament games. Both teams average about 60 points per game, but Lapel is the better defensive team at just 47.8 per game compared to Canterbury's 64.

South Semi-State at Richmond 1pm

No. 7 Indianapolis Howe (22-7) vs. Providence (19-7)

Howe is loaded with athletes and held its own in the tough Indianapolis area. They average 73 points per game and played well against the likes of Cathedral, Lawrence Central, and Lawrence North. Don't count out Providence, however, as they played New Albany to a 10 point game in February. Neither team has been to the state finals before, so this should be quite a game. Providence only averages 52.3 points per game, but gives up just 44.2.

Class A

North Semi-State at Huntington North 1pm

No. 1 Liberty Christian (24-4) vs. No. 7 Gary 21st Century (20-6)

Is this the year Liberty Christian finally breaks through to Indy? They have won the regional each of the last two years only to lose to Marquette Catholic in the semi-state. Marquette is gone now, having had to play up in 2A. In their place is a Gary Charter school that is trying to model themselves after the recent success of Bowman Academy. These two did play once this season on January 29th with Liberty Christian winning 77-76.

South Semi-State at Seymour 4pm

No. 3 Bloomfield (25-3) vs. West Washington (20-8)

Bloomfield was the first ever Class A state runner-up in 1998 during the first class tournament, and it has not been back since. West Washington just won a regional for the first time ever. They are on a 10-game winning streak, while Bloomfield owns a very nice win over Barr-Reeve, who was No. 1 in the state in 2A before the Tournament.