RPI: February 15February 15th, 2013 at 4:22 pm by Ross Rowling under Ross Rowling's Roundup, WTHI Blog
Last week the RPI featured girl’s sectional predictions, this week we get back to the boys game. I correctly predicted 1 out of 5 sectional champions in the Wabash Valley. Congratulations to the Sullivan Lady Arrows for proving me right, also to Shakamak, North Vermillion, Greencastle, and Mooresville for proving me wrong. Needless to say 20% isn’t a terribly high success rate, so it’s time to get back on track this week. Here goes nothing.
Attica at Rockville
Rockville enters play this weekend just two wins away from a perfect regular season. They are 20-0, ranked tops in the state, they’ve beaten good teams from bigger schools, and look like an invincible machine this season. Attica comes to the Rock-o-dome Friday night and bring with them an 8-8 record. The Red Ramblers are a conference foe, so you better believe the Rox will be focused and pumped up for this one. With a game against Terre Haute South looming as the season finale next week, it would be easy for Rockville to overlook Attica. I just don’t see that happening. Lane Mahurin has taken his game to the next level. The biggest difference I see from Lane is the improved ability to beat defenders off the dribble consistently. He’s scoring at will, and has such a feel for the game to find talented teammates when the opposition doubles or even triple teams him. The possibility of a trap game helps Attica, but not enough. Rox keep rolling in this one.
Bloomfield at North Knox
The Bloomfield Cardinals travel to North Knox Friday night winning four of their last five, however that loss was in their last game to a really tough Sullivan team. Matt Britton’s team is getting better as the year goes on and more threats develop alongside standout guard Ben Hayes. North Knox is 7-13 and lost three of their last four including an overtime battle against Wood Memorial. With Eastern Greene, Linton, and Sullivan all looming in Sectional 47, it’s going to be very competitive, but Bloomfield is moving into that upper level with the way they are playing right now. With a sectional that deep it could come down to the draw. I think Hayes and Kyle Robinson combine for 35 in this one and Bloomfield continues to win.
Clay City at Northview
This Clay County battle features a great one on one matchup. Blake Cesinger for Clay City and Craig Peters for Northview will be fun to watch in this one. Class A Clay City picked up a marquee win this week with a 3 point win over Linton this week. The Miners are extremely big and talented and the Eels knocked them off. Cesinger is the real deal. He’s athletic and can shoot it. He has a nose for the basketball and seems to put himself in the right place to collect loose balls and rebounds. For Northview it starts with Peters at the point. He can really shoot it. After a great start to the season, Northview is 2-11 in their last 13 ball games. If theirs anything to get pumped up about, it’s a county rivalry and the Knights will be there to play. Credit the fans, Northview always has a brimming student section that creates a great environment to play in. Rivalry games always seem to come down to the wire, and this one will be no different. I think Cesinger makes a play to win it down the stretch for the Eels and Clay City keeps the momentum rolling.
Pick: Clay City
Shakamak at Eastern Greene
Shakamak makes the trip to Eastern Greene also peaking at the right time. With a 4-2 record in their last six the Lakers losses came to Barr-Reeve and in overtime to Clay City, certainly not losses to be ashamed of. What really makes the Lakers tough is the fact the Brodie Crowe has proven night after night that he can go for 30 at any point. The T-Birds counter with a standout of their own. Tyler Brough has great elevation and a quick release on his jumper. When Brough gets one to go, lookout, because more 3-point bombs are coming. Watching these two snipers go back and forth Friday night should be fun because both can absolutely light it up. The T-Birds are 12-7 and have a physical presence to go alongside Brough’s ability to fill it up. They lost to Edgewood last week and will be hungry to get back on the winning side of things. I wouldn’t want to see either one of these teams on opening night in sectionals, and this is a tough one to call so I’ll go with the home team. Eastern Greene comes out on top on their home court.
Pick: Eastern Greene
Robinson at Oblong
9.2 miles of pavement on Route 33 in Illinois separates these two communities. Both have a star and energy will be high when the Maroons go on the road to visit the Panthers. Anthony Johnson leads Oblong. He’s a big guard that’s athletic and can range from deep. Johnson is probably the most likely local player in this year’s class to play at the Division One level. He’s got the frame and the game to play at that level. To date, Aaron Siler put on the performance of the year, at least that I’ve been able to witness. He couldn’t miss during the second round of the Pizza Hut Classic, and turned lots of heads on the big stage of the popular tournament. Robinson creates all kinds of matchup problems for Oblong with their size and physicality. Siler is the player everyone knows, but he’s not the only contributor to this Robinson team. All five starters are capable of double figures in the scoring department on any given night. Derrick Nicholas provides toughness in the post while Braden Scott gets on the floor after 50-50 balls as well as anyone. Robinson has a serious chance to make a run in the Illinois playoffs and they’ll prevail in this matchup Friday night.