Section 3A South boys' basketball tourney set to begin
WORTHINGTON -- The boys are back on the court. The Section 3A South boys' basketball tournament opens with three play-in games today (weather permitting). No. 9 Mountain Lake-Butterfield-Odin (4-20) visits No. 8 Round Lake-Brewster (7-16) in Okab...
WORTHINGTON -- The boys are back on the court.
The Section 3A South boys' basketball tournament opens with three play-in games today (weather permitting). No. 9 Mountain Lake-Butterfield-Odin (4-20) visits No. 8 Round Lake-Brewster (7-16) in Okabena, while two games -- No. 10 Edgerton (3-20) vs. No. 7 Murray County Central (13-9), along with No. 11 Fulda (1-21) vs. No. 6 Westbrook-Walnut Grove (14-10) -- are scheduled for Edgerton's Southwest Christian.
The winners of these games will move on to Super Saturday in Worthington.
ML-B-O vs. RL-B
Both teams enter the playoffs on losing skids. Round Lake-Brewster has dropped eight of its last nine games, while Mountain Lake-Butterfield-Odin has lost 16 of its last 18 games.
RL-B's Cole Baumgard and Lon Eichenberger spent part of the season among the top 10 in 3-point shooting in the Red Rock Conference, and Eichenberger hit six 3s in the Raiders regular-season finale against Westbrook-Walnut Grove. Eichenberger also has played well on defense and has been among the leaders in steals in the RRC -- and had six steals against SSC when Baumgard was out earlier in the season.
The main weakness for the Raiders is rebounding, where they have only one tall player (6-2 Tim Haberman) who regularly gets playing time. Rebounding was a concern at the start of the season, but it has grown bigger as the year has gone on.
"It's something we were concerned about," RL-B head coach Lon Eichenberger said.
As for ML-B-O, it has been a rough season following a 16-8 campaign in 2006. The Wolverines will need a big performance from Matt Strom and Barrett Herrig in order to advance to the main bracket.
In fact, Eichenberger said one of the main keys for the Raiders will be for his team to do a good job defensively on Herrig. If they can, and also get open shots on offense, the Raiders could be in good shape.
Edgerton vs. MCC
After staring the season at 2-2, the Edgerton Flying Dutchmen have lost 18 of their last 19 games -- the lone victory coming Feb. 13 against Fulda.
Kevin Vander Schaaf and Trey Manitz are the main sparks for Edgerton, and the team will need both to have solid games in order to defeat the Rebels.
Murray County Central enters having won its last four games of the regular season and has won six of its last seven games. Derik Johnson and Paul Counter are among the top scorers in the Red Rock Conference this year for the Rebels, combining for nearly 34 points per game.
MCC won the lone meeting of the season, 74-58, in December.
Fulda vs. W-WG
Westbrook-Walnut Grove enters the postseason on a bit of a hot streak, having won its last five games in a row. In its last game against Round Lake-Brewster Monday, Jonathan Kells scored 27 points to spark an 80-70 victory.
The Chargers have already improved 10 victories from last season.
As for Fulda, the Raiders have just a road overtime victory against Adrian to show for their troubles this year. However, the Raiders played the Chargers tough in their only meeting of the regular season -- a 53-51 W-WG victory on Feb. 2. Fulda led that game at the half, 29-24.