HEBRON | Hebron boys basketball coach John Steinhilber had an official speak with him before his Hawks took on Boone Grove on Tuesday night.
The Class 2A Hebron Sectional brought up a point that's probably been talked about for the last 104 years of the IHSAA's “Hoosier Hysteria.”
Should it be a blind draw, like always, or should the sectionals be seeded, like many states do.
It's a debate that's been around since Bobby Plump was in a 5-under-under hoops league in Milan.
There was more thought to the subject at Hebron, where the best two teams — Bishop Noll and Lake Station — opened up against each other.
“I don't know,” said Steinhilber, who is in his 16th year coaching. He's been on the top, the middle and the bottom. He sees the subject from all angles.
“If we all had a balanced schedule like the Big Ten, I'd be in favor of it,” Steinhilber said of how the conference tourney is seeded. “But we don't. So I don't think so.”
Everyone but Noll and Lake Station are happy that the two heavyweights opened up against each other. Consequently, it opens the door for someone else to get to Saturday night.
After Hebron's 38-35 win over Boone, the Hawks will play Whiting on Friday night. Noll, 67-51 winners over the Eagles, will play River Forest.
The Eagles finished their season 15-7, with three losses to Noll, one to Bowman Academy and one to 21st Century. Do the math. It's tough for a public school to win this sectional.
The Eagles were 5-0 against all others in the sectional.
“I think it should be seeded,” Noll coach Josh Belloumini said before his team played. “If not, what's the point of the regular season?
“It's not fair to us. It's not fair to them.”
But it is “fair” to everyone else, which is why the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association keeps it the way it is.
Two Marches ago Steinhilber had the best team he's ever coached and they drew North Judson in the sectional opener, the two best teams in the field. Hebron advanced. It wasn't easy though.
“What was good was we were able to prepare for them for two weeks,” Steinhilber said. “Getting them early was good. I don't know what would've happened if we had played them on Saturday night.”
Now, he has three days to prepare for Whiting. The two didn't play in the regular season.
I get both sides of the argument. But I'm an old-school, old baller. I like great games every night of sectional week, not just Saturdays.
Keep it the way it is. More drama. More fun. More possibilities.
“We knew we had to play someone tonight,” said Belloumini, who grew up in Illinois. “So we knew we had to be ready.”
And they were.