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Former foes important in gauging girls’ draw

When it comes to the postseason, success can come down to scheduling.

Whom you faced is almost as important as whom you are about to play.

The IHSAA girls basketball sectional draw was unveiled Sunday with the sectionals beginning Feb. 11.

Third-ranked Garrett comes into its own Class 3A sectional undefeated (19-0), but may not be the sectional favorites with its strength of schedule at No. 251 according to the Sagarin Ratings.

“I know a lot of people talk a lot about that, but a lot of our tough games we have handled pretty well,” Garrett coach Bob Lapadot said. “Schedule is important, but everybody plays good teams somewhere along the way.”

In the same sectional, 16-3 Concordia’s schedule ranks 74th, and Bishop Luers (15-4) is No. 75.

“I love our schedule as far as the difficulty of it,” Concordia coach Dave Miller said. “You are in a lot of close games, and you really have to get up for every game and bring energy and focus to every game. That really prepares you for the tournament.”

The SAC champion Cadets and Knights will play for a third time this year in the first round of the sectional. Concordia won the previous games, 46-43 in the regular-season and 56-44 in the SAC tournament.

“I figured we would have to play them eventually because I think they are the favorites,” Luers coach Denny Renier said of Concordia. “It doesn’t really matter, play them early or play them late. It doesn’t make much of a difference.”

Lauded as one of the top sectionals in the state regardless of class, the field at Garrett has three teams ranked in the top 14, with No. 3 Garrett, No. 10 Concordia and No. 14 Bishop Luers.

“Their strength of schedule is very similar to ours,” Miller said of the Knights. “We just need to come out with energy and play hard and hopefully make some shots.”

The sectional field also has Leo (16-2). The Lions’ two losses were to Garrett.

Scheduling also will play a part for 2012 and 2013 1A state champion Canterbury, which will take part in the 2A postseason for the first time. The Cavaliers will open against Adams Central in the Bluffton Sectional.

The Cavaliers (14-3) are ranked No. 2 in 2A and play a schedule filled with 4A and 3A foes.

“In moving into this new sectional, we don’t play any of those squads during the regular season so we will have to go ahead and do our homework to prepare for that sectional and those sectional opponents that we might face,” Canterbury coach Wayne Kreiger said.

“If you want to go into the tournament deep, you have to play teams that are quality teams throughout the year, and that’s what we have tried to do that with our schedules in the past.”

At the 4A South Side Sectional, No. 5 Homestead (17-1) will open against Wayne in the first round with another sectional matchup against 2013 4A state runner-up South Side (12-6) waiting in the second round if the Archers can get past Jay County.

gjones@jg.net

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