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High Schools

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  • 2 goals give Braves boys soccer regional title
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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
New Haven’s Steve McElvene will pose a major challenge for any opponent the Bulldogs face in the Class 3A sectional at New Haven.
Boys sectionals

Favored Bulldogs face major test

Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
Mike Davis, top left, and his North Side teammates are favored to win the Class 4A sectional at East Noble. Redskins take on Snider at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Blackhawk’s Riley Reimschisel will help lead his team in the Class A sectional at Hamilton. The Braves open the tourney Wednesday against Howe.

– With New Haven’s drop from Class 4A to 3A, northeast Indiana has a shot for yet another team to reach the Class 3A state finals.

Concordia in 2013 and Norwell in 2012 came up short in the 3A state championship game. But the 3A No. 6 Bulldogs (18-3) will have a tough path to duplicate that postseason run with 3A loaded in the north part of the state with top-level teams, including No. 2 Bowman Academy and No. 5 NorthWood.

New Haven lost in the 4A regional finals to eventual state champion Carmel 63-57, but V.J. Beachem has graduated and moved onto Notre Dame.

The 2014 Bulldogs certainly have the tools in Dayton-bound Steve McElvene, Ball State-bound (in football) Jordan Hogue, Lowell Griggs and Jailan Wattley and coach Al Gooden to make a state run a possibility.

Here is a look at the 10 area sectionals, with the favorites to move on in the postseason:

CLASS 4A

Elkhart Central

Defending champion: Warsaw

Favorite: Northridge

Contenders: Concord, Goshen

Outlook: The Raiders come in undefeated (5-0) against the sectional field, looking to add a sectional title to their Northern Lakes Conference championship. But Warsaw is still in the discussion and came up short by only two points during the regular season to Northridge, 58-56.

Schedule:

Tuesday: Concord vs. Elkhart Memorial, 6 p.m.; Goshen vs. Warsaw, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Northridge vs. Winner of Game 1, 6 p.m.; Elkhart Central vs. Winner of Game 2, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

East Noble

Defending champion: Northrop

Favorite: North Side

Contenders: Snider, Carroll

Outlook: The Bruins have owned this sectional for the past three years, but a big reason (actually two) graduated in Bryson and Brenton Scott. The No. 4 Redskins, who have won the past two SAC champinships, are looking to take over for Northrop and try to win their first sectional championship in four years. They have the talent to do so.

Schedule:

Tuesday: Snider vs. North Side, 6 p.m.; DeKalb vs. Northrop, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: East Noble vs. Winner of Game 1, 6 p.m.; Carroll vs. Winner of Game 2, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Huntington North

Defending champion: New Haven (now in 3A)

Favorite: Homestead

Contenders: Huntington North, Wayne, Jay County

Outlook: The only team not above .500 is South Side, which means this sectional is up for grabs. Homestead is a slight favorite, thanks to sophomore sensation Caleb Swanigan, but the host Vikings already have a win against the Spartans this year at home and the Generals have been playing better after suffering a mid-season slump.

Schedule:

Tuesday: Huntington North vs. Homestead, 7 p.m.

Friday: Jay County vs. South Side, 6 p.m.; Wayne vs. Winner of Game 1, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

CLASS 3A

Wawasee

Defending champion: Tippecanoe Valley

Favorite: NorthWood

Contenders: Tippecanoe Valley, West Noble

Outlook: This is one of the most competitive sectionals in the state, with three teams, NorthWood, West Noble and Tippecanoe Valley with 15-plus wins. The Panthers might have a slight edge with a 6-0 record against the rest of the sectional and a 9-0 record against 3A foes.

Schedule:

Tuesday: West Noble vs. Whitko, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Wawasee vs. Tippecanoe Valley, 6 p.m.; Lakeland vs. NorthWood, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Fairfield vs. Winner of Game 1, 6 p.m.; Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3, 7:30 p.m.

New Haven

Defending champion: Concordia

Favorite: New Haven

Contenders: Garrett, Bishop Dwenger

Outlook: This sectional has a new look with the Bulldogs coming down from 4A, and Bishop Luers moving up from 2A. But New Haven should be in the driver’s seat and will try to duplicate its 4A sectional crown from a year ago.

Schedule:

Tuesday: Garrett vs. Concordia, 7 p.m.

Wednesday: Dwenger vs. Luers, 6 p.m.; Angola vs. Leo, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: New Haven vs. Winner of Game 1, 6 p.m.; Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7 p.m.

Norwell

Defending champion: Norwell

Favorite: Norwell

Contenders: Eastbrook, Mississinewa

Outlook: The Knights look to continue their recent postseason success with another sectional championship, which would be their fourth straight title. Norwell was a close loss to Concordia last year from making a second-straight semistate appearance and was the 2012 3A state runners-up.

Schedule:

Tuesday: Heritage vs. Norwell, 6 p.m.; Bellmont vs. Columbia City, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Eastbrook vs. Winner of Game 1, 6 p.m.; Mississinewa vs. Winner of Game 2, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

CLASS 2A

South Adams

Defending champion: Bishop Luers (now in 3A)

Favorite: Woodlan

Contenders: Eastside, Adams Central

Outlook: The ACAC champion Warriors are in a good position for their first sectional championship since 1997. A first-round matchup against the Blazers will help clear up any doubts about the Warriors’ ability to win the title.

Schedule:

Tuesday: Eastside vs. Woodlan, 7 p.m.

Wednesday: Bluffton vs. Canterbury, 6 p.m.; South Adams vs. Adams Central, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Churubusco vs. Winner of Game 1, 6 p.m.; Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7 p.m.

Westview

Defending champion: LaVille

Favorite: Westview

Contenders: Prairie Heights, LaVille

Outlook: The Warriors and Panthers could be on a collision course in the finals, which would be the rubber match for the season as well. The two teams split the previous two games, with Westview winning 79-69 on Jan. 17 and Prairie Heights getting revenge with a 56-54 win Feb 13.

Schedule:

Tuesday: Fremont vs. Prairie Heights, 6 p.m.; Westview vs. Central Noble, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Bremen vs. Winner of Game 1, 6 p.m.; LaVille vs. Winner of Game 2, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7 p.m.

CLASS A

Hamilton

Defending champion: Canterbury

Favorite: Elkhart Christian

Contenders: Blackhawk Christian, Lakewood Park

Outlook: The three-time defending sectional champion Cavaliers are down this year, leaving the door wide open for a new champion. Look for the winner of the possible semifinal matchup between the No. 10 Braves and No. 4 Elkhart Christian to all but decide the sectional champion.

Schedule:

Tuesday: Lakewood Park vs. Lakeland Christian, 7 p.m.

Wednesday: Howe vs. Blackhawk Christian, 6 p.m.; Bethany Christian vs. Elkhart Christian, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Hamilton vs. Winner of Game 1, 6 p.m.; Winner of Game 2 vs. Winner of Game 3, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Monroe Central

Defending champion: Liberty Christian

Favorite: Liberty Christian

Contender: Monroe Central

Outlook: Liberty Christian (8-0) and Monroe Central (7-1) are 15-1 against 1A competition this year. The Lions have won the last two sectional titles.

Schedule:

Tuesday: Monroe Central vs. Cowan, 6 p.m.; Liberty Christian vs. Daleville, 7:30 p.m.

Friday: Wes-Del vs. Winner of Game 1, 6 p.m.; Southern Wells vs. Winner of Game 2, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.

gjones@jg.net

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