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Less than two weeks remain in the regular season, and teams are looking to build some momentum heading into sectional play. There are also several matchups that carry conference title implications.
Here are the best matchups to watch for this week.
FISHERS vs LAWRENCE CENTRAL – Feb. 18
Lawrence Central (19-2) has already wrapped up conference play with a 6-1 record, enough to clinch at least a share of the MIC title. A Tuesday showdown against Fishers is considered the toughest test remaining before Lawrence Central hosts the Sectional 10 playoffs in March. With Nijel Pack and Dre Davis leading the way, the Bears remain one of the favorites to mount a state title run in March.
Fishers (16-5) is picking up momentum after stumbling through January. The Tigers went into a slump beginning with an early January loss at home to Lafayette Jeff, but they have now won three in a row over Westfield, Anderson and Pendleton Heights. Along with Tuesday’s matchup against Lawrence Central, Fishers still needs to go through Zionsville and North Central to close out the regular season.
PIKE vs LAWRENCE NORTH – Feb. 21
On the other side of Lawrence Township, Lawrence North (19-1) is also looking to clinch a share of the MIC title. A Lawrence North win on Friday night clinches a co-MIC title between both Lawrence Township schools. The Wildcats will also look to clinch their first 20-win season since 2009.
Pike (14-7) is looking to snap a three-game losing streak. Despite Pike’s improved record this season, the Red Devils have struggled in the MIC. Four of the Pike’s seven losses have come against conference opponents. With games still to come against Lawrence North and Warren Central, Pike needs to avoid limping into sectional play.
CARMEL vs WARREN CENTRAL – Feb. 21
This matchup between two MIC foes has had a recent history of insane finishes. Carmel (13-6) shook off a disappointing loss to Hamilton Southeastern with a 38-33 win over Fort Wayne Carroll. The Greyhounds have thrived all season at denying the paint to opposing offenses. Through 19 games, Carmel boasts the best scoring defense in the MIC with 43.1 points allowed per game.
Warren Central (13-5) has relied on Malik Stanley all season, but the Warriors will need all hands on deck come Friday night. Role players like Sean Black, Elijah Ray and Chandler Jackson have each had signature performances this season, albeit not all at the same time.
BROWNSBURG vs HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN – Feb. 21
A Hoosier Crossroads Conference title is on the line on Friday night. Brownsburg (17-3) clinched at least a share of the HCC title after beating Noblesville, 50-46, and can clinch the title outright with a win on HSE’s floor. The return of Malek Edmonds from injury will provide a spark to a Bulldogs team that averages 57.6 points per game.
HSE (15-5) is peaking at the perfect time. The Royals have won 11 in a row, their most recent win in comeback fashion over Carmel. Much has been said about Cleveland State commit Mabor Majak, but other upperclassmen like Vinny Buccilla and Deandre Rhodes have stepped up their play in recent weeks. If HSE comes away with the win on their floor, the conference title will be shared between the two teams.
FRANKLIN COMMUNITY vs PLAINFIELD – Feb. 21
A win on Friday night separates Plainfield (16-4) from clinching at least a share of the Mid-State conference title. The Quakers have the second highest scoring offense in the Mid-State conference (57.7 points per game) and the second best scoring defense (45.7 points allowed per game).
Franklin Community (9-8) is led by senior F Drew Byerly, who averages 20.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Plainfield will need to limit Byerly to come away with a win and a conference title on Friday night.
Along with Plainfield, Greenwood (13-5) will have a chance to win the Mid-State Conference title on Friday night when the Woodmen host Mooresville.
OTHER NOTABLE MATCHUPS
Ben Davis vs Cathedral – Feb. 21
Franklin Central vs Westfield – Feb. 21
Fishers vs Zionsville – Feb. 21
Mooresville vs Greenwood – Feb. 21
Greenwood Christian vs University – Feb. 22