Sectional Bracketology

In an extremely competitive Sectional 8, here are the preemptive rankings for all 6 teams in the Royal’s bracket.

With the drawing for the Sectional 8 bracket this Sunday, February 19th, it is time to take a look at how one of the most competitive and exciting sectional groups matches up this season. First thing is first, the sectional bracket is randomly drawn and, therefore, despite how the regular season shakes out for these teams their matchups and/or byes are chosen at random. This opens up an entirely unique and exciting can of worms when it comes to sectional predictions. Because any team has a chance to play anyone there is potential we see number one and number two on this list play each other in the first round with number four getting a bye. Despite the pure chaos of the random sectional draw, there is still plenty of predictions that can be made looking at the different pieces each team possesses as well as how they have performed in competitive matchups. Important note: liked to each team is their respective page as they were our main source of statistics. So, let’s get to it:

#6 – Hamilton Southeastern

Despite some flashes of potential from our very own Hamilton Southeastern Royals and their ability to beat great teams in Indiana Basketball such as their win versus North Central in December. It is hard to look past their record at 5-15; 0-4 against sectional opponents, with Carmel remaining to play on February 10th, despite most of these games being brutally close and down to the wire. However, this is not to say we can count the Royals out. With Senior Reph Stevenson consistently being in double digits, and explosive talent like Braeden Totton, who recently posted a 31 point showing versus Anderson the Royals have no shortage of talent. However, Donovan Hamilton is arguably one of the biggest pieces for the Royals has his increasing presence in games has led the Royals to be extremely competitive against strong opponents. This includes a single-digit loss versus Pike High School and a massive 20-point victory over the Southport Cardinals. The bottom line is, despite their record not screaming this message, that the Royals with momentum behind them is as dangerous a team as any.

#5 – Fishers

The cross-town rivals for the Royals find themselves in a slightly-better, but not by much, situation than the Royals. The Tigers sit at 11-9, with a 2-2 record against sectional opponents. Those two wins, being over the Royals and Westfield were by a net differential of 15 points. In addition to that their two losses were in a 2 point overtime game against Carmel and an 8 point game against Noblesville. Despite being very much in the mix against sectional opponents the Tigers have let some games get away from them that they were expected to win. With Jalen Haralson leading the way with 22 points per game and a game average of 7.5 rebounds. The Tigers have the talent needed to take a sectional title. However, with Haralson’s most helpful teammate being Keenan Garner as he has a total of 122 rebounds this season and shoots 53% from the floor. There remains the question of consistency, not from Haralson, but from his supporting cast. Because as we saw in Anderson, despite a school record 48 point showing from Haralson, his play alone was not enough against a top team in the state.

#4 – Westfield

The program that produced the stand-out freshman Boilermaker and Indiana Mr. Basketball Braden Smith is once-again in the mix when it comes to the post-season tournament. However, following a very strong run to open the season, the Shamrocks have dropped some games as teams try to gain momentum heading into sectional play. At 11-6 but with some notable wins such as the season opener versus a Kokomo team expected to make a deep run in the state tournament the Rocks have shown plenty of ability to compete. However, with a nail-biter loss to Zionsville they sit at 2-3 is sectional play. By beating the Royals fairly handedly and a win over Noblesville, who sits higher on this list, the Rocks would not sit at four if it wasn’t for their shortcomings the past 3 weeks. With Alex Romack dominating the team leaderboards with 15.9 points per game and averaging 9.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and a 50% field goal percentage he is the definite leader of the team. However, averaging 5 three-point shots a game, a bad shooting night could easily derail the Shamrock offense. With the competition of Sectional 8 and the craziness of Indiana Basketball in general it is hard to rely on shooting alone. That being said, if the Shamrock’s heat up they are a dangerous team to face this post-season.

#3 – Zionsville

The Eagles have been an extremely exciting and fun squad to watch this season. Starting off on a disappointing note to an opening loss to Carmel the Eagles have since defeated some impressive opponents. This includes an on-the-road win over the Kokomo Kats in a packed Memorial Gym in Kokomo, Indiana. However, the Eagles have also fallen short to some notable opponents like Bloomington North in Gainbridge Fieldhouse and sectional opponent Noblesville by a 2-point margin. Led by Logan Imes who is having a 15.4 points per game season as well as Nick Richart who averages 8 rebounds a game the Eagles are an explosively talented team. However, currently sitting at 12-6 and 2-2 amongst sectional competition the Eagles have yet to prove themselves against the top two teams on this list. With a favorable draw the Eagles would very easily be in a position to take the sectional title.

#2 – Noblesville

Prior to the season, everyone expected Noblesville to be a good team. But nobody expected them to be this good. Led by Luke Almodovar, an explosive and confident player, who averages 17.4 points per game establishes this team with the talent necessary to compete. However, with a supporting cast like Hunter Walston averaging 5 rebounds a game and Aaron Fine managing the floor with 4 assists per game. The Millers are in the position to be a dominant team heading into the postseason. As far as the records go the Millers are currently 14-5 and 4-1 against sectional rivals. Their only sectional loss came from Westfield prior to the holiday break. This includes a win over the Number 1 team in the sectional which may prompt the question: why at number two? The answer would be the quality of the losses that stain the Millers record. These losses (Westfield, Lawrence Central, Pike, Connersville, and Guerin Catholic) aren’t necessarily bad, but they aren’t good. In addition to that each of Noblesville’s sectional opponent wins were within single-digit points. Without the pull-away factor apparent in sectional matchups and some questions about consistency this impressive Miller’s team finds itself at Number 2.

#1 – Carmel

The Carmel Greyhounds are a unique team this season as they have adopted an ancient and forgotten ideology to win games: defense. By holding 10 of their 18 opponents to less than 50 points while playing in an Indianapolis area full of explosive offense this season the greyhounds have pulled some impressive wins. This includes a win over Brownsburg, holding an offense averaging 65 points a game, to 42 points. With a 4-1 record over sectional opponents, and a favorable schedule to end the year, the Greyhounds will look to have all the momentum they can heading into sectional play and, regardless of the draw, have a hopeful chance to take the title. However, with their only sectional loss being to the Noblesville Millers they are still far off from an easy favorite.


With most of the teams in the sectional trading with one another when it comes to wins and losses; and the teams in the lower rankings being just as dangerous as most; Sectional 8 will be an excruciatingly difficult and nail-biting sectional to play in. However, with the right draw, a good surge of momentum, and an amount of luck any team in the sectional could find themselves hoisting the trophy and progressing in the Tournament. – Story by Alex Boothby and Liam Kruer