Success at sectionals

Beech Grove, Center Grove basketball teams move on to regional action

By Mark Ambrogi

The Beech Grove boys varsity basketball team celebrates its sectional win. *Photo by David Dixon.

Experience has served the Beech Grove basketball team well.

“We are definitely led by our seniors,” Hornets coach Mike Renfro said. “This is Jadyn Curry’s third year, so who knows better than him? He’s been under my tutelage for quite some time. He’s really been our big-time leader on the floor. Gavin Mitchell is another strong senior leader and I get a chance to coach him in football, too. They know what to expect out of me and it’s kind of like having a bunch of coaches on the floor sometimes.”

That leadership has led Beech Grove to an 18-5 record, including a sectional title. The Hornets take on Northview  at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Class 3A regional semifinals at Greencastle. The winner would  play the Guerin Catholic-Greencastle winner in the regional final. The other area team to advance is Center Grove (14-6) will face Evansville Reitz (16-4) Saturday’s Class 4A regional semifinals at Seymour. The other semifinal is Bloomington South versus Jeffersonville.

Curry leads the team with 11.6 points and 6.1 assists per game. Mitchell averages 11 points and six rebounds. Sophomore Cam Brown chips in with 8.3 points per game.

Beech Grove team pauses Class 3A sectional championship trophy. *Photo by David Dixon

Renfro, a former Beech Grove basketball player, is in third year as coach. He was previously an assistant for five seasons under the late Matt English.

This was the Hornets’ third straight sectional title, a school record streak.

“Defensively I think this is our best team,” said Renfro, whose team beat Indian Creek 67-48 in the sectional final at Beech Grove. “The kids have really bought in defensively. If you can get five guys on the floor playing and competing like we have, it’s been pretty special. I’m a firm believer in hard work breeds success.”

The Trojans advanced by defeating Greenwood 41-35 in the sectional final at Whiteland. The Woodmen finished 18-6. Center Grove has won five of the last six games with the only loss a 64-61 decision to North Central

“We have played great basketball since the Carmel game,” Center Grove coach Zach Hahn said of a Jan. 8 overtime loss. “However, we have yet to put together a full 32-minute game. We are defending the best all season. When the ball doesn’t stick on offense, and we push in transition, we become a very good offensive team. I’m hoping to see us put it all together this week in the regional.”

Center Grove celebrated with its Class 4A sectional championship trophy. *Submitted photo

The Trojans averaged 54.6 points per game while holding opponents to 47.5

Hahn, a former Butler University player, said defense is always the key to winning championships. With that comes important offensive factors like taking great shots each possession and limiting our turnovers to eight or less.”

Hahn said ball movement and shot selection are the keys to regional success.

“Off the court, staying healthy, adequate rest and hydration are all important things this weekend,” said Hahn, whose team would face the winner

Junior guard Tayven Jackson leads the Trojans with a 12.4 scoring average, followed by senior guard Landin Hacker at 12.1.

Lutheran finished 21-4, losing to Tindley 58-46 in the  Class A sectional championship at Lutheran.