Many of them have been down this road before.

Eastern Hancock’s girls basketball team is in the regional round of the IHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament for the second year in a row. Mt. Vernon’s girls basketball team is playing in the Decatur Central Regional for the fourth straight time, and a number of Hancock County wrestlers are making their annual trip to the New Castle Semi-State.

They all have one thing in common. Their postseason lives are on the line.

Eastern Hancock (23-1) will take on Parke Heritage (23-3) 7 p.m. tonight in a Class 2A regional championship game at Southmont High School in Crawfordsville.

Ranked No. 3 in the final Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association poll, the Royals are the highest-ranked team remaining in Class 2A.

No. 1 North Knox and No. 2 South Knox were unable to get out of the North Knox Sectional. North beat South 56-45 in a semifinal game, but then lost to No. 18 Linton-Stockton — state champions in 2020 and 2021 — 43-36, in the sectional championship game.

Parke Heritage comes in ranked No. 13 in Class 2A and have won 17 straight since a Dec. 2 loss at Class 3A No. 7 Benton Central.

Parke Heritage is led by 5-7 junior Emma Simpson. She averages 19.8 points, 10.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 4.5 steals per game.

Eastern Hancock reached the semi-state round a year ago, defeating University in a tightly-contested game at Southmont.

The Royals have won nine in a row since a 71-39 Dec. 30 loss to Class 4A No. 9 Lawrence North in the championship game of the Lawrence North Wildcat Classic.

EH is led in scoring by fantastic frosh Kenzie Koch. She comes in averaging 19 points, 4.3 rebounds. 3.0 steals and 2.9 assists per game. She’s a newcomer to the Royals’ postseason push.

The team has five seniors — Sammie Bolding, Makenzie O’Neal, Sydney Springman, Ruby White and Brooklyn Willis —junior Ellie Meyer that were all big parts of last season’s 23-4 team that was eliminated by North Knox at the Shelbyville Semi-State.

Mt. Vernon is in very familiar territory, too.

For a fourth straight year, the Marauders are in the regional round of the tournament.

They’ve had a rough year, record-wise, by Mt. Vernon standards, taking a 13-13 mark into a 4 p.m. Class 4A regional matchup against top-ranked Lawrence Central.

The record is deceiving. The Marauders played most of December without three key players, all out with injuries. They’ve won six straight and nine of the last 11 games.

Still, Lawrence Central (26-1) provides the toughest task of the season. The Bears have won 21 straight games. Their lone loss was a 52-51 decision on Dec. 2 against George Rogers Clark High School out of Kentucky.

Lawrence Central has four players averaging in double figures, Jaylah Lampley (18.3 points), Aniyah McKenzie (11.8), Laila Abdurraqib (10.8) and Lola Lampley (10.6).

Mt. Vernon is led by senior Indiana All-Star candidate and DePaul signee Ellery Minch. She’s been a key part of the Marauders four-year run of sectional titles, a starter the last three years. Senior Easton Wampler is also a three-year starter. Kaitlyn Laffey and junior Kanyonrae Kenny are both two-year starters.

Like Eastern Hancock, Mt. Vernon has had a freshman play a big part in its success.

Gabby Thomas, a junior varsity player in December, is shining in a varsity uniform. Thomas had a career-best 20 points, including five 3-pointers in last week’s sectional championship game win against rival New Palestine.

Today’s regional winners will compete at to-be-determined semi-state sites next Saturday.

On the mats at New Castle, it’ll take two wins for wrestlers to advance to next week’s IHSAA Boys Wrestling State Finals in Evansville.

Hancock County has 21 wrestlers seeking spots at Evansville’s Ford Center. New Palestine leads the way with eight. Greenfield-Central has six, Eastern Hancock four and Mt. Vernon three.

All three of Mt. Vernon’s wrestlers, Connor Bayliss (113), Eli Broady (126) and Devin Kendrex (215) were state qualifiers last year, as were New Palestine’s Gunner Butt (126) and Bryce Doss (144).

There are no more easy draws, but some wrestlers should have better first-round matches than others. Coming off individual regional titles, Eastern Hancock’s Bradyn Volz (113), Greenfield-Central’s Jett McGuire (120), Clay Guenin (190) and Brayden Flener (285), Mt. Vernon’s Broady (126) and Kendrex (215) and New Palestine’s Cole Vandygriff (132) will all wrestler fourth-place finishers from other regionals.

There are 16 wrestlers in each weight class. A first-round win moves them to the quarterfinals, better known as the “ticket” round. A win in the quarters punches their state tournament ticket to Evansville.

Action at New Castle is scheduled to get underway at 9 a.m.