South Central's girls basketball team appears to be in position for the program's first Porter County Conference Tournament crown.
The Satellites (11-3, 5-0) are just two wins away from a first-ever perfect round-robin mark. Victories over eighth-place LaCrosse (4-9, 0-4) and seventh-place Morgan Township (1-3, 6-8) on Jan. 25 and 26 will secure that goal.
Even though the Satellites have defeated Nos. 2 through 6 already, I believe appearances are quite deceiving -- even for a 1984 S.C grad.
S.C. meets the host Cherokees in Monday's opening round. Morgan Township has struggled this season, but junior guard Trina Coleman can take over a game -- especially if it's on her own home floor.
Also, two of South Central's strongest-ever teams have struggled in the opening round.
The Satellites were seconds away from a Class A state finals appearance in 2005, but that same time also fell 61-37 to Boone Grove in the PCC first round. South Central finished 20-2 a season later and won its first round-robin crown with most of the talent back in the lineup, but Hebron sent them packing early in the PCC tourney with a convincing 74-56 decision.
I have been impressed by the 5-0 conference start, considering that one of the early victories was a 68-63 win at Hanover Central. That one certainly surprised me, especially since Wildcats guard Blayr Poston had 36 in the game.
Last week's wins over Boone Grove (31-27), Hebron (61-51) and Kouts (60-56) in successive days was impressive, but the Satellites had to rally in the second half to win each contest.
Any of those four teams could meet S.C. in the title game. Poston is still nursing a broken hand (non-shooting arm), but Boone Grove coach Candy Wilson said the guard looked '"the same" scouting the Wildcats in a win over Morgan last week.
I have no doubt, the Satellites are driven to win this crown. South Central coach Rick Budka told me two weeks ago that he'd love to post another banner on the gym wall -- one showing a PCC tournament crown. During a preseason interview, junior Jill Rosenbaum said that was one of their major goals.
Even with that said, S.C.'s youthful roster (no seniors) and the multitude of regular-season PCC close calls makes me think it will be Hanover Central 55, South Central 50 for the crown.
I've got a feeling I'll hear from some of my classmates -- either way.
This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.