Local squads in action Thursday


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Class 4A Sectional 9 at Greenfield-Central

Thursday

Pendleton Heights (13-14) vs. Connersville (12-19), 6 p.m.

Greenfield-Central  (22-11) vs. Richmond (12-16) , 7:30 p.m.

Saturday

PH-CO winner vs. GC-RI winner, 11 a.m.

#1 New Castle (31-2) vs. Anderson (10-15), 12:30 p.m.

Championship, 7 p.m.

The skinny: As the only other team besides New Castle in the sectional with a winning record, Greenfield-Central is the favorite to meet the state’s top-ranked team in the championship. The Trojans defeated the Cougars  25-17, 25-17, 19-25, 25-14 on Sept. 6 at G-C, which is also the site of the sectional. ... The Cougars did not face quarterfinal foe Richmond this season. Against common opponents, G-C defeated Pendleton Heights (3-1) and Connersville (2-0, twice), while Richmond lost to PH (3-1). Richmond defeated Connersville 3-2.

Coachspeak: “No team is going to completely shut down (Lauryn) Gillis, but we need to slow her down as much as possible by attacking aggressively and forcing them out of system, so it’s not easy for them to set up her up for the big swing. And, secondly, use the three rotations she is in the back row to run up points and keep her off the net. Those need to be our three big rotations to catch the momentum and score.” — Greenfield-Central coach Rita Rouse on a possible rematch with New Castle and Gillis, a junior and one of the top hitters in the state

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Class 3A Sectional 26 at Brebeuf

Thursday

Guerin (20-10) vs. Arlington (NA), 6 p.m.

Howe (NA) vs. Mt. Vernon (5-23), 7:30 p.m.

Saturday

GU-AR winner vs. HO-MV winner, 11 a.m.

#3 Chatard (26-7) vs. #9 Brebeuf (14-12), 12:30 p.m.

Championship, 7 p.m.

The skinny: This sectional features two top-10 teams (Chatard, Brebeuf) and another squad (Guerin) receiving votes in the state coaches’ poll. In last year’s tourney, Chatard defeated Mt. Vernon 3-0 in the semifinals, then swept Brebeuf in the championship. Chatard eventually lost to Yorktown in the 3A state championship. Chatard beat Brebeuf 3-0 again this season, on Sept. 13. ... Mt. Vernon could face Guerin in the semifinals. In a tourney at Ritter Aug. 18, Guerin beat the Marauders 25-11, 25-20. ... In Thursday’s opener, Mt. Vernon will face Howe, which is coached by former Greenfield-Central and New Palestine coach Kelli Marchello. A won-loss record for Howe wasn’t available, but Howe sports sports program, like a handful of other Indianapolis Public Schools taken over by the state, have suffered this year.

Coachspeak: “I’m hoping we can be the element of surprise this weekend. It’s been a rebuilding year and we’ve taken our lumps, but I’m optimistic. We’re playing much better now than when we played Guerin the first week of the season. If we play well and luck would go our way and we can beat Guerin, I think we could give Chatard a run for their money.” — Mt. Vernon coach Kris Lashaway

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Class 2A Sectional 41 at Eastern Hancock

Tuesday

Hagerstown (12-14) vs. Cambridge City Lincoln (19-10), 7 p.m.

Thursday

Eastern Hancock (24-9) vs. Centerville (13-14), 6 p.m.

Knightstown (11-19) vs. Union County (21-11), 7:30 p.m.

Saturday

Northeastern vs. HA-CC winner, 11 a.m.

EH-CE winner vs. KN-UC winner, 12:30 p.m.

Championship, 7 p.m.

The skinny: All signs point to an Eastern Hancock-Cambridge City Lincoln championship match. CCL defeated Hagerstown 3-1 in the regular season, while the Royals beat Centerville (3-1), Knightstown (3-0) and Union County (2-0) handily. EH’s only regular season loss to a sectional foe was against CCL on Aug. 16 when the Golden Eagles took a 25-23, 20-25, 25-20, 18-25, 19-17 win. The Royals, however, were without their best hitter, Frannie Stephenson.

Coachspeak: “We are focused on Centerville; that is who we drew, so we cannot look past them. You have to win before you can even think about look at your next opponent. That rematch (with CCL) would not come until the finals. We have to go out and compete against our opponent that is on the other side of the net from us; does not matter who it is. We have to take care of what we control on our side of the net and let the pieces fall as they do.” — Eastern Hancock coach Mike Eastes on the importance of not looking ahead to a possible rematch with Cambridge City Lincoln

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State Tournament Notables

Defending Sectional Champions

4A: Avon, Carroll (Fort Wayne), Castle, Elkhart Memorial, Franklin, Huntington North, Martinsville, McCutcheon, Munster, New Castle, Penn, Roncalli, Seymour, Shelbyville, Valparaiso, Westfield.

3A: Andrean, Batesville, Bellmont, Brownstown Central, Edgewood, Fairfield, Fort Wayne Concordia, Griffith, Indianapolis Bishop Chatard, Jasper, Mount Vernon, South Bend St. Joseph, Tri-West Hendricks, West Lafayette, Western Boone, Yorktown.

2A: Casade, Delphi, Eastern Greene, Evansville Mater Dei, Fort Wayne Bishop Luers, Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter, Madison-Grant, Park Tudor, Prairie Heights, Providence, Rochester, South Ripley, Southwood, Union County, Wapahani, Wheeler.

A: Borden, Clay City, Culver Community, Edinburgh, Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian, Frontier, Hauser, Indiana Deaf, Loogootee, Pioneer, Randolph Southern, Riverton Parke, Tecumseh, Trinity Lutheran, Washington Township, Wes-Del.

Active Consecutive Tournament Win Streaks

13: Penn.

7: Wapahani, Wes-Del, Yorktown.

Active Sectional Championship Streaks (Three or more years)

18: Castle.

15: Brownstown Central.

11: Avon.

10: Tecumseh.

9: Wes-Del.

8: Fairfield.

7: Batesville, Bellmont.

6: Pioneer.

5: Elkhart Memorial, Southwood.

4: Munster, Penn, Washington Township, Wheeler.

3: Carroll (Fort Wayne), Eastern Greene, Fort Wayne Bishop Luers, Fort Wayne Concordia, Madison-Grant, Yorktown.

Most Consecutive Sectional Championships

20 by Evansville Mater Dei (1978-1997).

Top 10 All-Time Sectional Championships

33: Jasper.

30: Castle.

29: Evansville Mater Dei.

28: Bellmont, Carmel.

27: Muncie Burris.

26: Providence.

24: Center Grove, Clinton Prairie, Roncalli.

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