The Daily Reporter caught up with Mt. Vernon boys basketball coach Travis Daugherty this week in between practices to talk about prep for the big game.
On transitioning from celebrating to preparation:
Daugherty wanted to give the Marauders a chance to soak in the moment they earned. But then came time to focus on the next step.
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“Winning a sectional in Indiana has always been a big deal. But I’d say that by Sunday afternoon, we had moved on to preparation mode, and I’ve really been proud of how our guys have made that transition as well.”
On sizing up Terre Haute South:
Daugherty likes to see regular-season opponents in person at least once before playing them, but that wasn’t an option this go-around. Instead, he’s depended on taped footage to get a sense of the competition.
“What I have seen is that they will probably be the most athletic team we have faced so far this season, which is saying something. So we know they are going to be physical and try to push the pace. As long as we play soundly and don’t let the moment shake us out of what we need to do, I think it should be a pretty even matchup.”
On the possibility of playing two games in one day:
One step at a time, he said.
“Right now, I’d say the entirety of our preparation has been on Saturday morning. If we were a truly elite team, then maybe we would also be preparing for what we might face in the evening game, but the best thing for our program right now is to put all of our focus on (Terre Haute South). We know if we win that game that the challenge gets even tougher (facing either No. 1 Warren Central or defending 4A state champ Ben Davis), but that’s to be expected when you get this deep into the tournament.”
Class 4A Southport Regional
INDIANAPOLIS – Fresh off an emotional sectional championship win against county-rival New Palestine, Mt. Vernon hopes to take that momentum forward into this weekend’s regional.
New this season to Class 4A, the Marauders face a tough road out of the Southport Regional. Up first for Mt. Vernon will be a high-scoring Terre Haute South squad in the morning game.
Should the Marauders advance, they will face one of two top-10 teams — undefeated No. 1 Warren Central or No. 8 Ben Davis. Here’s more on the two regional semifinal matchups:
Terre Haute South Braves (19-7) vs. Mt. Vernon Marauders (15-9)
Time: 10 a.m.
Coaches: Maynard Lewis, 38-15 in second year at Terre Haute South; Travis Daugherty, 69-46 in fifth year at Mt. Vernon, 187-131 in 14th year overall
Sagarin ratings: Terre Haute South, 85.77, 27th overall, 20th in Class 4A. Mt. Vernon, 80.24, 56th overall, 35th in Class 4A.
Opponents’ records: Terre Haute South 327-266, Mt. Vernon 338-244.
Points per game: Terre Haute South, 69.0 offense, 58.0 defense. Mt. Vernon, 62.0 offense, 59.7 defense.
Versus common foes: N/A
Series past 30 years: No meetings
Sectional championship: Terre Haute South defeated Brownsburg 54-45. Mt. Vernon defeated New Palestine 60-57.
Notes: The Marauders went 7-7 through Jan. 26, then won eight of their next 10 games, including back-to-back wins against Connersville and New Palestine to capture their first sectional title since 2013.
The Braves’ most recent regional crown was in 2005. Mt. Vernon is aiming for its first regional championship since 2013.
Terre Haute South is the sixth-highest scoring squad in Class 4A, netting 69 points per game. After allowing 85 or more points in three straight games (Dec. 30 to Jan. 13), Mt. Vernon has given up 52.9 points per game over its past 12 contests.
No. 1 Warren Central Warriors (28-0) vs. No. 8 Ben Davis Giants (21-5)
Coaches: Criss Beyers, 59-15 in third year at Warren Central, 72-25 in fourth year overall; Mark James, 121-52 in seventh year at Ben Davis, 559-282 in 36th year overall
Sagarin ratings: Warren Central, 101.03, second overall, second in Class 4A. Ben Davis, 97.12, fourth overall, fourth in Class 4A
Opponents’ records: Warren Central 367-300, Ben Davis 359-245
Points per game: Warren Central, 62.8 offense, 46.3 defense. Ben Davis, 59.8 offense, 47.5 defense.
Versus common foes: Warren Central 19-0, Ben Davis 12-2.
Series past 30 years: Tied 20-20
Sectional championship: Warren Central defeated Lawrence Central 47-42. Ben Davis defeated Pike 41-40.
Notes: Warren Central and Ben Davis will meet for the third time this season and their second battle at Southport High School. The Warriors downed Ben Davis 55-43 to win the Marion County Tournament championship Jan. 15 at Southport. Warren Central also won a Metropolitan Conference matchup against the Giants 47-39 on Dec. 15 at Warren Central.
Ben Davis is the defending 4A state champion. The Giants went 23-5 last season, including a 55-52 victory against Ft. Wayne North in the 4A title game.
Warren Central survived two overtime games this season en route to its perfect record — 65-62 over Cathedral and 71-67 in triple overtime against Zionsville.
Ben Davis senior forward Aaron Henry (6-foot-5) has signed with Michigan State.
Class 4A Southport Regional
Location: Southport High School, 971 E. Banta Road, Indianapolis.
Admission: $7 per session; $10 both sessions.
Time: Semifinals, 10 a.m. and noon; championship, 8 p.m.