Melissa Marlow loved the competitive spirit the former Sectional 27 brought each year. It made for great rivalries and great games.
But Marlow is glad the sectional that included Hamilton Heights, Mt. Vernon, New Palestine, Shelbyville and her Rushville unit has been left to the history books.
“We can reap the benefits (now),” said the 13th-year RV coach. “You could get knocked out in the first round back then.
“There’s no doubt we were all glad when we got redistricted.”
Stretched across three counties and lasting from the 2007-08 to 2010-11 seasons, Sectional 27 became known as one of the toughest opening rounds in the state.
Rushville claimed the first three Sectional 27 crowns of that era, felling Hamilton Heights — which beat defending state champ Ft. Wayne Concordia Saturday — twice and NP once. MV lost to Rushville in 2008 and 2009 before falling to Hamilton Heights in 2010.
The 3A No. 6 Marauders (21-4) and No. 7 Lions (22-3) will clash in Saturday afternoon’s Richmond semistate, set to tip-off at approximately 3 p.m.
No. 2 Hamilton Heights (22-2) and No. 4 Benton Central (22-3) square off in Saturday’s semistate at Crown Point, the winner playing the Richmond victor a week from Saturday at Indiana State University’s Hulman Center with the state championship on the line.
Though it reached the state finals a year ago and the regional championship in 2011, it wasn’t too long ago that Mt. Vernon was stuck in a postseason rut.
After advancing to semistate in 2004-05, the Marauders were one-and-done in the sectional round four out of the next five seasons
The setbacks typically came at the hands of former Sectional 27 tenants Rushville and Hamilton Heights, with three of the four losses coming to the Lions and the Huskies.
MV finally broke through in February of 2011.