HAMMOND | Only two sectionals in the state have zero teams with winning records.
As the Class 3A Clark Sectional is one of those, the title really is anyone's for the taking.
The host Pioneers, however, are operating from the standpoint that it's their sectional to seize. The former three-peat champs were the runner-up last year when All-American Branden Dawson and Lew Wallace wore them down in the title game.
Clark and Roosevelt both overcame deficits to advance Tuesday night and move within one win of .500. The Pioneers beat Gavit 47-41, while ‘Velt beat Griffith 74-56 in the nightcap. Both advanced to Friday's semifinals.
"It's unfinished business," Clark's Laroi Harmon said. "We're here to show we are the sectional favorites and going to be the champs."
Harmon, who was on the junior varsity last year, helped ignite a big second-quarter run along with teammate Jean-Michel Bernateau after Gavit led 10-6 through one quarter.
"It's finals week this week, and we're all tired," Bernateau said. "We tried to relax a little, but (Gavit's) defense was too good and we had to get focused on the game. I don't think we played to the best of our ability, but we're glad we survived."
Bernateau led Clark with 16 points, eight of them in the pivotal second quarter. His 3-pointer late in the half gave Clark a 21-19 halftime lead, and they never trailed again.
"He's a tough, strong kid," Clark coach Joe Delgado said of Bernateau. "He's got great size for a guard, and when he gets a good head of steam, it's hard for the other team to control him. He's got to get to the basket. That's his game."
Harmon had 13 points and seven rebounds. Clark (10-11) shot 8-for-14 (57 percent) from the field in the second half after a 41 percent showing in the first half.
"To host again is an honor, and we're striving to get back and finish what we started last year," Delgado said.
Shalon Bell hit five 3-pointers, including one at the final buzzer, to lead Gavit (4-18).
Roosevelt (9-10) got 25 points from Michael Jenkins in welcoming Griffith to its new sectional. Drevon King scored 11 of his 14 in a raucous fourth quarter that Roosevelt won 36-28, and Brandon Hollingsworth had 12 points.
Griffith (4-17) broke a 20-20 halftime tied and led 24-20 early in the third quarter, but Jenkins broke out of a slump and had 15 points in the game's final 12 minutes.
"When you're a shooter you don't want to get bumped off the block, so we put him at the point and moved him around through some picks," Roosevelt coach Larry McKissack said. "We've been down in the dumps lately, but this is the playoffs. Everyone's 0-0."