Blog Post #87 – IHSAA Men’s Basketball Sectional 8 Preview and Recaps (Live Updates)


Sean Grove

Sectional 8 is no doubt the best sectional in the state this year, and it really is anyone’s to win. Today, we are going to dive into each team and give a preview with predictions for the way the sectional tournament will play out. Let’s dive in.

Record: 12-10 (4-3 in HCC)
Marquee Wins: Zionsville (66-47)
Marquee Losses: LN (56-50), Chesterton (64-54)
Against those in Sectional: L @ Carmel (64-49), L @ Fishers (76-65), W @ Zionsville (66-47), L v Westfield (69-52), W v HSE (74-65)
Leading Scorer: Aaron Fine (14.2 ppg)
Key Player for Sectionals: EJ Smith (Sr. G)

Record: 14-7 (4-3 in HCC)
Marquee Wins: Carmel (45-42), Ben Davis (50-49), Westfield (67-65 OT)
Marquee Losses: Cathedral (74-62), Pike (60-56), WC (55-51)
Against those in Sectional: W v Carmel (45-42), W @ Westfield (67-65 OT),
L v Noblesville (66-47), W @ HSE (58-51), L v Fishers (53-39)
Leading Scorer: Logan Imes (18.5 ppg)
Key Player for Sectionals: Nick Richart (Sr. C)

Record: 18-6 (2-5 HCC)
Marquee Wins: Cathedral (74-63), Carmel (43-42)
Marquee Losses: Homestead (58-55), Brownsburg (53-44), Avon (59-57)
Against those in Sectional: L v Zionsville (67-65 OT), W v Carmel (43-42), L v HSE (66-58), W @ Noblesville (69-52), L @ Fishers (73-48)
Leading Scorer: Braden Smith (18.1 ppg)
Key Player for Sectionals: Alex Romack (Jr. F)

Record: 9-13 (3-4 HCC)
Marquee Wins: LC (59-54), Westfield (66-58)
Marquee Losses: Brebeuf (61-57 OT), Pike (66-60), Homestead (69-45)
Against those in Sectional: L v Fishers (60-58), W @ Westfield (66-58), L v Zionsville (58-51), L @ Noblesville (74-65), L v Carmel (59-29)
Leading Scorer: Sam Jacobs (19.9 ppg)
Key Player for Sectionals: Reph Stevenson (Jr. C)

Record: 21-2 (7-0 HCC)
Marquee Wins: Ben Davis (69-61), Homestead (50-48), LN (53-47)
Marquee Losses: Carmel (44-39), Pike (66-60 OT)
Against those in Sectional: W v Noblesville (76-65), L @ Carmel (44-39), W @ HSE (70-68), W v Westfield (73-48), W @ Zionsville (53-49)
Leading Scorer: Jeffrey Simmons (17.2 ppg)
Key Player for Sectionals: Jalen Haralson (Fr. G)

Record: 17-5 (6-1 MIC)
Marquee Wins: North Central (45-41), Valpo (45-32), Cathedral (71-57), Ben Davis (43-42 OT)
Marquee Losses: Zionsville (45-42), Homestead (48-37), WC (41-38)
Against those in Sectional: L @ Zionsville (45-42), W v Noblesville (64-49),
W v Fishers (44-39), L @ Westfield (43-42), W @ HSE (59-29)
Leading Scorer: Pete Suder (13.8 ppg)
Key Player for Sectionals: Sam Orme (Jr. G)

Zionsville v Noblesville Game Preview (6:00pm, 3-1-22)
With both of these games on “Upset Alert” for tonight, don’t be shocked to see this one not only be a tight game, but it wouldn’t shock me if either team won. Noblesville is a streaky team, and you don’t want to catch them on the wrong side of that streak, however so is Zionsville, so this matchup is kind of tough to talk about. For Noblesville to win, you have to limit Logan Imes. With all due respect, other than Imes there isn’t much going on for Zionsville, so if you can limit him to 15 points or less, you feel pretty confident winning that game. For Zionsville to win, just play your offensive game. Run the ball through Imes but don’t make him create all his shots, help him out, create for him. All in all, even though Noblesville beat Zionsville by a bunch of points earlier in the year, I think the Eagles get revenge and win at Noblesville tonight.
My Final Score Prediction: Zionsville wins 58-53

Fishes v Westfield Game Preview (7:30pm, 3-1-22)
The second of two very intriguing games tonight will be the most anticipated matchup of the sectional other than a possible Carmel v Fishers matchup. It brings the star power and packs a punch too. Braden Smith v Jalen Haralson might be the most fun guard matchup in the state to watch. However, looking into the paint you see an obvious (or is it) matchup advantage for the Tigers who have Jeffrey Simmons averaging 17.2 ppg. Alex Romack will have to step up big. For Westfield to win, its pretty simple. Go back to ol’ reliable and have Braden Smith get to 25 points with Haffner getting to 20. For the Tigers, its also pretty simple. Don’t let Westfield do that. In picking this game, I go back to making shots, energy, and star power. Who has the power to outscore the other in what will likely be a quick moving, high flying contest? This is my upset pick. Give me the Shamrocks.
My Final Score Prediction: Westfield wins 72-69

Noblesville v Zionsville Game Recap (Nob wins 67-53)
In the first of two games on Tuesday night, it was a game that nobody saw coming. If Noblesville was going to win this game, we all assumed it would be a back and forth showdown that took both teams to the wire and Noblesville would pull away at the very end. Little did we know that couldn’t be further from the truth. Noblesville took home the playoff win 67-53, and never trailed the Eagles. First off, I said that if the Millers kept Imes to under 15 points, that they would win; they held Imes to 9. For the Millers on offense, EJ Smith finished with a quiet 14, while Almodovar led the way with a loud 16. The big man for the Millers Preston Roberts got it done, finishing with 15 points and putting a man on a poster. All-in-all, it was a solid outing for the Millers in front of their BIG home crowd, and now they have to look forward to their home game against the Carmel Greyhounds on Friday.

Fishers v Westfield Game Recap (Westfield wins 62-44)
I knew it was pretty bold of me to pick Westfield to win this game simply because of Braden Smith, but never did I imagine that Westfield would win by 18 points. I picked them to win by 3. All I can say is that this game was never close, it was dominated by the Shamrocks the entire time. Holding the #2 team in 4a at arms distance the entire game is not an easy task, especially when that team had a HUGE student section and fanbase who took one basket to get their momentum going. What do you need to do to beat a team like that? Making big shots, and constantly making those big shots. Braden Smith fits this mold and nabbed 28 points on the night, propelling Westfield to a win, and a surer path to the sectional championship. They’ll face HSE Friday night.

Carmel v Noblesville Game Preview (6:00pm, 3-4-22)
Here we are Greyhounds fans, it’s been a long week and a lot of intrigue, but we have arrived at GAMEDAY. Saying that the student body is excited is an understatement, and I personally cannot wait. Let’s start by saying that The Mill is going to be absolutely rocking tonight, and it’s going to be an electric environment to be a part of. Both sides will bring huge student sections and the adults will fill the place up. Make sure to be there early. For the Greyhounds to win, it’s pretty simple: Do what you’ve done in the games you’ve dominated this year. Drive in, kick out, find open shooters, but also find the man cutting to the hoop. My key player for the Hounds is going to be Sam Orme, as he is going to have to figure out the shooting woes tonight. For Noblesville to win, dominate the game like you did against Zionsville. At no point so far in these sectionals has a team trailed early and won, and for Noblesville to get the job done tonight, the Millers are going to have to lead early, and hold it all the way. Watch for this game to be low scoring, grind-it-out, classic Indiana High School basketball. In this type of game, give me the team that has been there, and done that. Give me the Greyhounds.
My Final Score Prediction: Carmel wins 48-39

Westfield v HSE Game Preview (7:30pm, 3-4-22)
Okay, the second matchup for tonight, and definitely the one that is producing less excitement and draw. HSE has been downright bad all year long, and I just don’t know how much they can test the Shamrocks tonight who are RED HOT. Westfield comes off of a huge, program building win over the Fishers Tigers on Tuesday. Not only did they beat the #2 team in 4a who had been 21-2 coming into the game, but they did it in dominant fashion. The Shamrocks never trailed in this game, and absolutely beat the rails off of a REALLY good Fishers team. Now, all of you are going to point at the fact that HSE beat Westfield by a bunch of points earlier in the year, and you make a good point. This loss to HSE came after the Shamrocks beat the Hounds in a thriller the week before. Not only that, the Shamrocks lost on their home court to a bad HSE team. How do I see this? The Shamrocks slept on HSE after a huge program win over Carmel, and I could see something similar happening tonight. However, I cannot pick a bad team over a good team, give me the Shamrocks.
My Final Score Prediction: Westfield wins 59-43

Carmel v Noblesville Game Recap (Carmel wins 64-41)
What a rollercoaster of a game it was on Friday night at the Mill. A HUGE crowd turned out to see Carmel and Noblesville battle it out for the second time this season. First quarter, it was a rough start for the Hounds behind a roaring ovation from the Miller faithful who weren’t playing all that great, but nonetheless led 11-4 at the end of the first quarter. We have seen the Greyhounds have bad quarters at times, and this was definitely one of the worst. Second quarter, the Hounds started on a 15-0 run and led at halftime 23-20. It was shooting, slashing, and defense that allowed the Hounds to win that quarter 19-9. The second half did not match anything that we were expecting. The Hounds came out on fire early, and did not slow down. 25 third quarter points, and 16 fourth quarter points put the exclamation point on yet another sectional win for the Greyhounds. Why did the Hounds offense get rolling? 4 guys, yes 4 guys, got into double digits last night for the Greyhounds! That is the first time that has happened this year. Sam Orme put up 18, Garway Dual had 13, Pete Suder had 11, and Charlie Williams had 10. That is a great total for each guy, and its certainly something they’ll need tonight against Westfield.

Westfield v HSE Game Recap (Westfield wins 77-50)
For the second game of the night, it wasn’t much of a rollercoaster. Westfield led, dominated, and beat down the Royals all game long. By the end of the first quarter, the Rocks led 23-11, and by the halftime break they led 40-23. All credit however to the Royals for fighting the entire way to stay in and not fall back too much. 77-50 final score, and it sets up the third straight sectional championship between the Greyhounds and the Shamrocks. Also, let’s take a peek at the Shamrocks scoring. Cam Haffner went off for 24, and was unconscious from three, Braden Smith got 22 and was also unconscious from three, and finally Alex Romack finished with a cool 15 to pace the Shamrocks in the paint. This all sets up another sectional championship between the Hounds and Rocks which is bound to be fun.

Carmel v Westfield Game Preview (7:30pm, 3-5-22)
Well here we go…again. At this point the Greyhounds and Shamrocks have so much pent up aggression that this matchup is going to be incredible. Both teams start 3-4 seniors who have now played each other so many times. The Shamrocks took the regular season matchup 43-42 in January while the Hounds were missing Charlie Williams and Josh Whack to illness. Braden Smith was healthy for that one, and he will be again this time. The big X-factor that the Hounds get for this game is Josh Whack, who held Smith to under 12 points last year in the sectional finals, and seems to be the only defender in the state that can guard Smith. For Carmel to win, they need to shut down everyone not named Braden Smith and just hope that Josh Whack can do his job. If the Hounds hold Smith to under 20 points, Haffner under 15, and everyone else under 10, that should translate to a Hounds win. For the Shamrocks to win, they need shots to fall early, and to jump passing lanes all night, as they don’t have the size/strength to guard the Hounds cutters and drivers. All in all, its going to be an electric environment, and one that will mean the world to every student, fan, and player at the Mill tonight. So if I have to make a pick, I’ll go with the team that has been there, done that, and won these games before. Give me the Hounds winning their 8th straight sectional championship.
My Final Score Prediction: Carmel wins 59-52