A year ago there were a lot of concerns about the local Class 2A sectional. With boys basketball powers Bowman Academy and Bishop Noll in the same field, which was held at Wheeler, many wondered if the Bearcats' gym was big enough to hold the crowd.
The staff at Wheeler did a great job pulling off a logistical nightmare. And Bowman Academy held off Noll 77-58. The Eagles then flew on to the Class 2A state championship game where they lost to Indianapolis Park Tudor.
Just like Noll did the year before.
The two state powers, again, are on opposite sides of the bracket at Wheeler, learned when the state tournament draw was released on Sunday in Indianapolis.
Bowman opens against River Forest, and would likely play Lake Station in the semifinal. Noll opens against Wheeler, with the winner getting Whiting in the semifinal.
"It was a good draw, especially for us," Bowman Academy coach Marvin Rea said. "Hopefully, our schedule prepares us for this. We had some losses, moving guys up and down. But everything we've done has been to get ready for the postseason.
"Last year's championship was great. Wheeler did a great job running it. It was a great atmosphere for Indiana high school basketball."
Class 4A No. 1 Munster (21-0) had its three-year sectional championship run stopped by Lake Central at West Side last season. The Mustangs did not get anything easy from the IHSAA this year.
To win another sectional, Munster must beat E.C. Central, likely West Side and Lake Central to climb up the ladder again. Coach Mike Hackett has the best team in one of the state's toughest sectionals.
But he also got the toughest draw.
There is a lot of excitement in Hammond as the Class 3A Hammond Sectional will be played at the Civic Center. A very wide-open field has Hammond and defending champion Lew Wallace both drawing the bye and on opposite sides of the bracket.
In the area's other 3A sectional at Kankakee Valley, Andrean is the odds-on favorite to win the 59ers' fourth straight sectional crown. Andrean gave Munster everything it had in a 52-50 loss on Friday.
Andrean coach Carson Cunningham hopes his players get a boost from playing Munster so close. The 'Niners open against the host Kougars in the Kankakee Valley Sectional.
Andrean beat K.V. 78-39 on Dec. 14.
"We open with the home team and that's always dangerous," Cunningham said. "We've got to finish off the regular season and then laser in on our first-round sectional opponent.
"This tournament is all about surviving and advancing. Munster helps us. Our guys know when we play well we can play with anyone. We just have to be ready because K.V. has some nice wins."