Regionals have a different look to them this year compared to what we have seen in years past. The same 4 sectionals are all heading to the place with this year it being at Logansport but this season there are two different regional championships going on the same day at Logansport. This is happening because the IHSAA now has made regionals just one game and semi-state two games. Meaning that two local area teams are heading down to Marion on Saturday to play for a regional title. The North Side Legends and Wayne Generals.
Wayne vs Noblesville
Wayne Season Overview: The Generals are in the middle of one of the best seasons they have had in the past 30 years. Getting their first sectional title since 1994 and their first outright conference title since the 70s. They did have one rough patch this season as they started 2023 with three straight losses but they have been able to win the 12 games since that losing streak. During this winning streak, they have picked up some big wins in the final moments as they beat Blackhawk by two and have beat Homestead twice off of Jevon Lewis buzzer beaters.
Noblesville Season Overview: The Millers have had some fantastic seasons so far themselves and do enter this game on a five-game win streak. Although a 19-6 record may not look like a fantastic season it is because of the difficult schedule they have played as they have the 16th strength of schedule in the state according to Sagarin ratings. They are also an impressive 10-6 versus the top 64 teams in the state compared to Wayne who’s just played four games and is 3-1 against the top 64. Overall the Millers have tested themselves and are ready for whatever they face this postseason.
Key Generals: Obviously Jevon Lewis is going to be key for the Generals as he leads this team in points and assists. He will once again need to be the factor for this team and help the Generals play at their own pace. Another key piece is Chase Barnes as he has shown his ability to shoot lights out in some big games this year already. When both Barnes and Lewis get it going this team becomes very hard to stop and as they face one of the top teams in the state they both will need to step up to help push the Generals to a regional title.
Key Millers: Luke Almodovar has been the main scorer this season for the Millers and they will look to him in this regional title game once again. Very often the Generals have been able to go one run this season when they get hot, which has been deadly to their opponents, and will likely be Almodovar who will need to silence those runs.
What to expect: The Generals are to try and get out running as they have averaged 65 points a game this season which is good for 30th in the state this season. Wayne will be looking to play aggressive defense to force some turnovers and get transition points. As for Noblesville, they will try to control the pace while playing their own style and relying on their defense as they allow just 45 points a game.
North Side vs Kokomo
North Side’s Season Overview: The Legends have been able to put together a pretty good season through an unfortunate amount of adversity as they have had to deal with many injuries this season. Even with those injuries they still have managed to have a 16-9 record and a sectional championship. That sectional title is certainly something the Legends should be very proud of as they have turned around the program from when it won just one game three years ago.
Kokomo’s Season Overview: The Wildkats have been one of the best teams in the state this year with a 21-4 record overall and a 14-0 record in 2023. They were tested in their sectional though as they had a game against Harrison go to overtime before they were able to get the 5-point win. Then in the title game, they dominated Marion 85-51 as they had four players reach double digits in the win.
Key Legends: Tae Johnson gets it done in so many different ways as he averaged 20.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 3.7 steals a game this season and has been so vital to the Legends success as he has been a consistent piece as this team has dealt with injuries. Bohde Dickerson has also been a key piece as he has been the glue guy for this team all year and is the only Legend that has played in every game this season.
Key Wildkats: It’s very clear Bidunga is vital to this team’s success as he averages nearly 20 points and 14 rebounds a game along with 4.4 blocks. Shayne Spear is another key piece as he has been the second scoring option for this team all year averaging over 10 a game while also setting up his teammates for success as he gets 4.3 assists a game.
What to expect: This one should be very fun to watch two of the biggest stars in high school athletics clashing as Flory Bidunga and Tae Johnson go head to head but it’s also not just about those two as there will be a lot of great talent all around the floor. The Legends overall will need to get hot shooting-wise and try and speed up the pace as Kokomo is a very stout defensive team. The Wildkats will be looking to feed Bidunga down low as they look for their 2nd straight regional title.
You must be logged in to post a comment Login