Canterbury celebrated its first Class 2A regional title three hours away in another time zone at Rensselaer Central on Saturday. If the Cavaliers are able to capture a semistate title, at least the party on the court wont be so far away this time.
The IHSAA released the girls basketball semistate placements and times Sunday, with Canterbury and Norwell headed to Warsaw on Saturday.
No. 3 Canterbury (20-4) has No. 5 Tipton (19-4) in the 2A semistate at 4 p.m., and No. 12 Norwell (21-4) will play No. 6 Western (21-3) in the 3A semistate at 6 p.m.
The other northern semistate is in Crown Point, also a three-hour trip from Fort Wayne.
Being closer is a big factor, Canterbury coach Wayne Kreiger said. Those 3-hour bus rides can take a pretty good chunk of energy out of you. It doesnt seem like it would, but it really does.
The Knights won a Class 3A regional title with a 61-52 win over Muncie Central at Bellmont, while the Cavaliers beat Westview 77-52 in the finals at Rensselaer Central.
Canterbury has won seven straight regional titles; the first six came in 1A.
On the tournament trail, the teams are different, Kreiger said of the conversion to 2A. But we have always believed you play the regular season to prepare yourself for the tournament. We have continued to do that. Obviously the teams are different, but it is the same philosophy that we have been successful with.
Norwell has played all of its postseason games nearby with sectional and regional titles coming at Bellmont.
Thats huge to be able to go to Warsaw instead of Crown Point, Norwell coach Eric Thornton said. To have (fans, friends, family) be able to travel to Warsaw and support the team is huge for us. Obviously we are thrilled to be playing in the semistate anywhere but it is definitely an advantage for our fans to be able to come to Warsaw and support our girls.
It was Norwells first regional title since 1977. The only two regional titles in school history came in back-to-back years in 1976 and 1977 behind the exploits of 1977 Miss Basketball Teri Rosinski.
Thornton said Concordia coach Dave Miller, who won 3A state titles in 2010 and 2012, called Sunday to congratulate the Knights coach.
I asked him what advice he had, and he said just enjoy it but you wont really be able to really enjoy it until after the season is over, Thornton said. I still cant believe we are playing for a semistate, it hasnt sunk in yet.
The 3A semistate winner would play the winner of Indianapolis Bishop Chatard (21-5) and Evansville Mater Dei (25-1) in the state title game.
The 2A semistate winner would get either Heritage Christian (25-1) or North Knox (19-5) in the state championship March 8 at Indiana State University in Terre Haute.