Thursday, November 26, 2015

Elkhart Christian senior Tanner Watson (24) dribbles the ball up court during Eagles' 67-38 home win over Bethany Christian on Feb. 7 2014. The teams will meet again in the Hamilton Sectional. (James Buck / The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)

Bethany Christian junior Sol Brenneman (10) makes a low pass in a Feb. 7, 2014 game at Elkhart Christian. The teams meet again in the Class 1A Hamilton Sectional. (James Buck / The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)
No. 4 ECA sports spiffy record, but Blackhawk has had spiffy schedule
Posted on March 2, 2014 at 6:23 p.m.


Tuesday, March 4

Game 1 — Lakewood Park (10-10) vs. Lakeland Christian (3-18), 7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 5

Game 2 — Howe (0-19) vs. Fort Wayne Blackhawk (13-9), 6 p.m.

Game 3 — Bethany Christian (3-17) vs. Elkhart Christian (16-4)

Friday, March 7

Game 4 —  Hamilton (5-14)  vs.Game 1 winner, 6 p.m.

Game 5 —  Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner

Saturday, March 8

Championship, 7:30 p.m.


A Coach's Perspective

Ryan Culp, Elkhart Christian — "The point spread did significantly decrease from the first time (54) to the second time (29) we (beat) Bethany, so now you're talking about playing somebody a third time, and this is Indiana basketball, so anything can happen. We can't let our guard down. Bethany knows us better now and is going to come out hungry. If we are fortunate enough to move on, then you probably are looking at Blackhawk with Coach (Marc) Davidson and the Davidson boys (6-4 junior Will and 6-2 sophomore Wes). It's a team with good perimeter shooting, some size, and they're pretty intense and aggressive. Like we tried to do, they set themselves up with some tougher opponents this year. It's a nice team, well-coached, balanced attack, and they're quick."


Things To Know

Bethany: The Bruins are trying to break a school-record 13-game losing streak. ... Coach Jim Buller, Elkhart County's all-time leader in boys wins (371) and in his 35th year at Bethany, won four 1A sectional crowns from 1998 to 2009.

Elkhart Christian: The 1A No. 4-ranked Eagles, entering their 10th year of IHSAA tourney play, are seeking their first-ever sectional title. They've already clinched their best record over that span and have won eight of their last nine, the exception a 52-47 decision at Warsaw. ... ECA went 6-0 against the sectional field during the regular season, but did not face Blackhawk. ... Culp captured back-to-back sectionals in 2004 and 2005 while coaching Concord.

FW Blackhawk: The No. 10-rated Braves have faced decidedly the toughest schedule of all 1A teams in the state based on the Sagarin Ratings. Some of the opponents include 4A's Fort Wayne North (21-1), Hamilton Southeastern (19-3), Marion (17-4) and Fort Wayne Snider (14-7), and 3A's New Haven (18-3). Overall, they've faced 14 3A and 4A foes to ECA's eight. ... Marc Davidson went to Blackhawk this season from Lakewood Park, where he was 30-15. ... The Braves won seven sectional titles in eight years from 2003 to 2010.

Hamilton:  The Marines have lost nine straight. ... Hamilton's dropped its sectional opener six of the last seven years despite hosting three times during that span.

Howe: The Cadets are one of just two winless teams in the state (Indianapolis Arlington) and are in danger of finishing with one win or less for the fifth time in 13 years. ... The school last won a sectional in 1958.

Lakeland Christian: The Cougars are in just their second year as an IHSAA postseason member, having dropped their debut sectional game last year to Bethany, 49-36. ... They lost to Lakewood Park 66-42 during the regular season.

Lakewood Park: Among the five teams in the sectional field that played ECA during the regular season, the Panthers easily came closest to beating them, falling 64-61 at home on Feb. 15.  ... Lakewood, in its 13th IHSAA postseason, is seeking its first sectional title.