IHSAA announces pairings for girls basketball tournament


With the annual random draw, the opening two weeks of pairings were announced Sunday for the 49th Annual Indiana High School Athletic Association Girls Basketball State Tournament presented by the Indiana Fever and Indiana Pacers.

Sectional games are scheduled to begin Tuesday, Jan. 30, and run through Saturday, Feb. 3 with regionals on Saturday, Feb. 10.

For the second year, the regional is a single-game championship, and the semistate a two-game affair with the winner advancing to the state championship game.

Two regional championship games will be played back-to-back at the same site with the winners finding out their next opponent and host site the following day. The semistate games – scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 17 – will be randomly drawn and announced in a special pairings show.

The four state championship games that make up the State Finals will be played at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday, Feb. 24.

Two South Madison County schools will participate in two sectionals.

Last year’s Class 2A state championship runner-up, Lapel, will play in Class 2A Sectional 40 at their home gym, while Pendleton Heights will play host to Class 4A Sectional 9.

The Lapel Sectional has a seven-team field with one game on Tuesday, Jan. 30, two games on Wednesday, Jan. 31 and semifinals to be played Friday, Feb. 2. All championship games are Saturday, Feb. 3.

Lapel (18-4) is the defending sectional champion and is currently ranked No. 6 in the ICGSA poll.

The Bulldogs will play in the second of two quarterfinal games on Jan. 31. The Bulldogs take on Alexandria-Monroe (17-4) for the third time this season. Lapel won both of the prior matchups by scores of 55-45 and 48-31.

The tournament opens with Winchester Community (9-12) playing Muncie Burris (2-14), with the winner to play Wes-Del in the first of two semifinals.

The winner of the Lapel and Alexandria-Monroe matchup will take on the winner of Wapahani (16-5) and Monroe Central (14-6).

The Bulldogs held a record of 4-0 against the sectional field and played Wapahani after press time on Tuesday with the chance to make it 5-0.

The Pendleton Heights Sectional gets underway Tuesday, Jan. 30 with one game. Three-time defending sectional champion Mt. Vernon (8-13) opens against Anderson (8-13).

On Wednesday, Jan. 31, in a rematch of a Dec. 10 contest won by Greenfield-Central in overtime, G-C (15-6) takes on New Palestine (11-9). In a second quarterfinal game on Wednesday, host Pendleton Heights (14-7) will play Muncie Central (1-18).

In the first of two semifinal games on Friday, Feb. 2, Richmond (11-10) plays the Mt. Vernon/Anderson winner. The second game will be a matchup of Wednesday’s winners.

The Arabians enter the tournament with a 3-1 record against the field, defeating Greenfield-Central, Mt. Vernon and Anderson, with the lone loss coming to New Palestine.

The Pendleton Heights Sectional winner will play the Indianapolis Cathedral Sectional winner for the Regional 6 Championship at a site to be determined.

The Lapel Sectional winner will face the Elwood Sectional winner in the Regional 20 Championship, also at a yet-to-be-determined location.

To conduct the random drawing for the girls basketball state tournament, the IHSAA places ping-pong balls representing each school in each sectional into a lottery-style air mix machine. A motorized fan in the bottom of the machine blows the balls around the inside of the transparent container and air then forces each ball up through a tube in random order. For example, the first ball retrieved from the machine will be the visiting team in Game 1 with the second ball representing the home team in Game 1. The third ball to come out is the visitor in Game 2 and the fourth ball the home team in Game 2. That same method is followed through all 64 sectionals and 16 regionals.

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