Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

March 4, 2014

Boys BB: Class 3A sectional preview

Western, NW, Mac, Peru set for Twin Lakes Sectional

(Continued)

Northwestern beat Peru 57-47 in an MIC contest on Feb. 13 at Peru.

The Bengal Tigers are led by 6-foot-11 center Seth Adelsperger.

“They have a lot of size and a lot of athleticism. Anytime you can put 6-11 on the floor to anchor the middle, it presents a lot of problems both offensively and defensively for the opposition,” Gish said.

“It has to be a team effort to contain him,” Gish added, noting Northwestern will need to take away passing angles.

Gish pointed to limiting Peru to one shot per possession as a big key. He added ball security as another key, noting his squad needs to limit its turnovers.

Northwestern is led in scoring by senior wing Graham Ortmann (15.7 ppg).

WESTERN (13-6) VS. WEST LAFAYETTE (14-6)

Why have these squads met so often in sectional play? The biggest reason is they are constantly in the mix for the title. The Panthers have won the sectional six times since 2003 and the Red Devils have taken the hardware three times since 2009.

They are two of the favorites again this year. They own the best records in the field, which Miller sees as full of challengers.

“At this time of the year, it doesn’t matter what your record was in the regular season, everybody is 0-0 and you’re looking to go 1-0 if you play Tuesday or Wednesday,” Miller said.

“The sectional, in my opinion, is wide open. We’re obviously going to have to come ready to play.”

Western won the teams’ regular-season meeting, beating the Red Devils 61-57 on Feb. 15 at Russiaville. Like most games between the squads, it was tightly contested. The Panthers broke away from a late 52-all tie to grab the win.

The rematch comes Wednesday.

“Coach [Dave] Wood does an outstanding job with his club. They’ll be solid,” Miller said. “We won by four at our place. We’re playing on a neutral court now so take away those four points automatically. It should be an excellent game. Both teams, I’m sure, will be ready to battle on Wednesday night.”

Western is led by its All-Area backcourt of junior Des Balentine (21.1 ppg) and senior Evan Warden (15.2).

TWIN LAKES SECTIONAL Today 7 p.m. -- Maconaquah vs. Twin Lakes Wednesday 6 p.m. -- NW vs. Peru 7:45 -- Western vs. W. Lafayette Friday 6 p.m. -- Benton Central vs. Mac-TL winner 7:45 p.m. -- NW-Peru winner vs. Western-WL winner Saturday 7:30 p.m. -- Championship

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