Clint Swan has been a part of 17 IHSAA boys basketball state tournament draws in his coaching career. Sunday gave the Crown Point coach a new experience with it.
“It was the least stressful draw in all of my career,” said Swan, whose Bulldogs drew Michigan City in their opener in the Class 4A Valparaiso Sectional.
“There wasn't a really good draw, there wasn't a really bad draw,” Swan said. “It's the most even this has ever been. You could've thrown the ping pong balls back in there that would've given three or four scenarios that were about the same.”
C.P. lost to Lake Central 77-43 on Friday night at home, but the 'Dogs came back on Saturday and beat Lowell 46-44 on a last-second shot.
“That gave our guys a lot of confidence because Lowell is a very good team,” Swan said.
The draw has 403 teams involved in the IHSAA's 104th annual state tourney. Sectional play will begin on Tuesday, March 4, with the sectional finals on March 8. The regional games will be played on March 15 and the semistate on the 22nd.
The state finals will be held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 29.
In the Class 4A East Chicago Sectional, favorite Lake Central drew Highland in the opener. The winner will play the winner of a game against the host Cardinals and West Side.
Lake Central beat West Side in the regular season and lost to E.C.
Indians coach Dave Milausnic felt good on Friday night after his team dismantled Crown Point.
“A game like this gives the kids a lot of confidence,” Milausnic said on Friday night. “This is a good Crown Point team, much improved over last year. You want to be playing your best basketball at the end of the year and this was one of our best efforts this season.”
Andrean, a four-time defending sectional champion at Class 3A Kankakee Valley, will play to the host Kougars in the opener.
“Our sectional will be who plays the best basketball in one week,” Swan said. “There isn't a great favorite or a team people want to play. There are a lot of teams who have a chance at Valpo.
“I think that will make it exciting.”