3A Sectional 26 at Chatard
Mt. Vernon (16-3) vs. Howe (5-13), 7
Brebeuf (9-10) vs. Chatard (14-7), 6
Guerin (14-6) vs. MV-HO winner, 7:30
Mt. Vernon defending champ. Winner advances to Danville Regional.
The odds: Mt. Vernon (85.1 rating) is the Sagarin favorite, followed by Chatard (75.7), Brebeuf (70.7), Guerin (68.4) and Howe (19.5).
Will Erica Moore (recovering from knee surgery to repair a meniscus) be available for the sectional?
MV coach Julie Shelton: “She’s still not a go, yet. She’s not a go, for sure, against Howe (Tuesday). When she had the surgery, they said 4-6 weeks, and Tuesday will be four weeks. We’re hoping to have her for Friday. That will be her first attempt at playing, so we’re not sure how much she’ll help, but any Erica is better than no Erica.”
Shelton added that Krista Shockley (ankle) and Morgan Stricker (concussion) are also questionable.
If the bracket plays out according to what seem to be the best teams, you’ll meet Chatard in the championship. Are they capable of giving you a challenge?
“Definitely. I’ve seen them play probably seven times this year and they’re really good. And Guerin is playing better since we saw them. They both play a very aggressive style, run-and-gun, which isn’t always our strong suit. We’ll be in for two very good games.”
Forecast: Despite losing two starters to knee injury, including Olivia Coleman permanently early in the year, the Marauders have Sydney Shelton and Rachel Houck, and that’s enough to turn away an improving, but still overmatched, sectional field, regardless of Moore’s health. MV won three sectional games last year by a total of 153 points, and their first two contests this time around won’t look much different. Howe doesn’t stand a chance Tuesday, and Mt. Vernon beat Guerin, its semifinal foe, by 25 points two weeks ago. The best game in this sectional will be the Chatard-Brebeuf semifinal matchup, with Brebeuf looking to avenge an eight-point loss last Friday. If Chatard wins the rematch, the Trojans will have won 12 of their previous 14 games heading into the battle with Mt. Vernon. One of Chatard’s two losses since late December was a respectable 58-43 setback to 4A Roncalli (17-3). So I don’t think we’ll see a repeat of Mt. Vernon’s 77-32 sectional-championship win over the Trojans from a year ago, but MV will be 10-12 points better than Chatard next Saturday. — Brian Harmon, sports editor