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Last updated: Mon. Jan. 28, 2013 - 06:23 am EDT

Knights have seen 'more downs than ups' this season

Bishop Luers may not dominate tournament this year

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With nine state championship appearances over the last 14 years and six titles, it has become habit to pencil in the Bishop Luers girls' basketball team as one of the favorites to win Class 2A season after season.

This year has been the exception as the postseason looms just a few weeks away. The Knights enter the final week of the regular season with an 8-10 record, already the most losses in over 15 years for the program.

Bishop Luers Coach Denny Renier said in the preseason that his team would be young and inexperienced, with over 70 percent of the scoring and rebounding from a year ago having either graduated or now injured (junior Addie Reimbold). It has shown promise at times this season, but a second season looms that is full of opportunity.

The Knights learned who they would open with in sectional play on Sunday when the 38th Annual IHSAA Girls' Basketball State Tournament draw was held. Bishop Luers will take on Adams Central (7-12) in the first round of the Bluffton Sectional on Feb. 5.

“It has been really up and down,” said Renier about this season. “Maybe more downs (than) ups, but then again, you have to take into consideration which players we lost.”

One of the latest losses has been Reimbold, who injured her foot and was on crutches until recently. The forward goes back to the doctor this week and could be cleared to play, but has not ran or shot a ball for several weeks.

“My wish would be that she can come back for sectionals or regional week if we get there,” Renier said.

While the Knights do not have the type of record the program is accustomed to having, the odds are that they will notch their sixth consecutive sectional championship. None of the six teams in the sectional have a record above .500, with just a pair of seven-win teams in Adams Central and South Adams representing the main competition. However, the schedules of those two teams are in marked contrast to Bishop Luers, which has played just one Class 2A team, perennial power Heritage Christian.

The Flying Jets and Starfires have combined to play 19 programs from Classes A and 2A.

“Our schedule has been such where we knew we would struggle this year with wins and losses,” Renier said. “But what I have always said is that due to who we play, there is nothing we will see in the tournament that we have not seen in the regular season.

“We have seen teams like Concordia that slow it down and play man-to-man, to teams that press. Anything you want to talk about, we have faced it.”

Despite the positive attitude, Renier knows his team is looked at differently despite being the two-time defending state champions.

“I don't think many people expect much of us,” Renier said. “Maybe that takes some pressure off of us. This is a different feel (than the last two years), but we are still excited about the tournament.

“If we play well, we will have a good run.”

Girls Basketball Sectional Pairings

CLASS 4A

Snider

Tuesday, Feb. 5

Northrop (6-12) vs. DeKalb (9-9), 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 6

Carroll (9-10) vs. Columbia City (7-14), 6 p.m.

East Noble (11-7) vs. Snider (15-3), 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 8

North Side (3-14) vs. Northrop/DeKalb, 6 p.m.

Carroll/Columbia City vs. East Noble/Snider, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 9

Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Homestead

Tuesday, Feb. 5

South Side (17-3) vs. Wayne (6-11), 6 p.m.

Jay County (7-12) vs. Homestead (18-2), 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 8

New Haven (2-16) vs. South Side/Wayne, 6 p.m.

Huntington (5-14) vs. Jay County/Homestead, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 9

Championship, 7:30 p.m.

CLASS3A

Bishop Dwenger

Tuesday, Feb. 5

Leo (17-3) vs. Concordia Lutheran (12-6), 6 p.m.

Woodlan (10-7) vs. Garrett (15-5), 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 8

Bishop Dwenger (6-11) vs. Leo/Concordia Lutheran, 6 p.m.

Angola (16-3) vs. Woodlan/Garrett, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 9

Championship, 7:30 p.m.

Mississinewa

Tuesday, Feb. 5

Mississinewa (3-16) vs. Norwell (17-3), 6 p.m.

Bellmont (4-15) vs. Heritage (12-7), 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 8

Eastbrook (14-5) vs. Mississinewa/Norwell, 6 p.m.

Whitko (6-13) vs. Bellmont/Heritage, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 9

Championship, 7:30 p.m.

CLASS 2A

Bluffton

Tuesday, Feb. 5

Bishop Luers (8-10) vs. Adams Central (7-12), 6 p.m.

Bluffton (5-13) vs. South Adams (7-11), 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 8

Eastside (1-17) vs. Bishop Luers/Adams Central), 6 p.m.

Churubusco (3-16) vs. Bluffton/South Adams, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 9

Championship, 7:30 p.m.

CLASS A

Canterbury

Monday, Feb. 4

Lakeland Christian (4-14) vs. Hamilton (5-12), 6 p.m.

Bethany Christian (9-9) vs. Howe School (1-4), 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 5

Elkhart Christian (4-15) vs. Lakewood Park (13-4), 6 p.m.

Blackhawk Christian (6-12) vs. Canterbury (17-3), 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 8

Semifinals, 6 and 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 9

Championship, 7:30 p.m.

nssports@news-sentinel.com


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