Sports Column

LEWIS: Montgomery County Remembers — Sectional history

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Now that the sectional draw has been made for the 2019-2020 tournament it would only be wise to look back at the past history of our county schools.

Of course, Crawfordsville has the most post-season tournaments, titles and games played. Afterall the school has been playing in the postseason since 1911 when it defeated Lebanon for the first boys’ state title 24-17 at Assembly Hall in Bloomington.

Since that time the Athenians have played 355 postseason games. Overall, Crawfordsville has played 2,813 games and have a winning record overall that period going 1,561-1,532. The school has a postseason record of 249-106. However, in the past decade that record is just 6-10 and since 1980 the school has posted a 23-40 with just three of its 41 overall titles. Those titles came in 1985, 1989 and 2014. The 25-year stretch from winning the sectional in 1989 until it won against in 2014 was the longest stretch without a sectional title in the school’s history. The next longest stretch without a sectional crown was just six years from 1949-1955.

The Athenians really fell on hard times from 2000-2013 when it went just 5-14 and had nine first-game exits from the tournament. That included seven straight years of one-and-dones from 2007-2013.

Since 2014, Crawfordsville has posted a 6-5 record in the sectional round of the state tournament, the best of all the three county schools.

For North Montgomery the postseason has been one of ups and downs.

Overall, the Chargers have posted a 37-48 record in its 85 postseason games. That includes a 34-37 record in sectional competition. That has been good enough for a total of 11 sectional titles – the last one coming in 2009.

Since 2009, the Chargers have struggled going just 2-10 in sectional games. Wins came in 2011 and 2015. The 10-year drought for a sectional title is not a school record. The Chargers won the sectional title in 1984 and did not win another title until 1999 or 15 years. During that stretch of time the Chargers we out in the first round 10 times and that included seven years in a row from 1987 through 1993.

During its first 13 years of being in existence, the Chargers cut down the sectional nets six times. It only took three seasons for the school to win its first sectional as it took home the hardware in 1974 by beating Southwestern (85-58), Crawfordsville (81-79) and then Wainwright (98-81).

Finally, we have Southmont which has had little postseason success as it enters its 49th sectional tournament.

The Mounties are just 15-48 and have but one sectional title in its trophy case. That came back in 1994 when the Mounties were able to knock off Western Boone (74-55) and then downed Crawfordsville 84-81 in double overtime in what has to be one of the all-time best sectional finals (or at least one of the best I have ever witnessed in person).

Since winning that elusive title, the Mounties have gone 5-25 and have only been in two sectional finals – that in 1998 and 2011. The Mounties went one-and-out 12 years in a row from (1999-2010) before beating North Montgomery 68-63 in 2011. The last win for the Mounties in the sectional came in the Class 2A sectional in 2014 when it beat Clinton Central 62-60. Since then the Mounties have lost six-straight sectional contests. In those last six losses one was by six points, one was by two and another was by three in overtime.

So what does this mean?

Absolutely nothing. For those of you who may not remember there was a New Market team that had just two wins during the regular season and long and behold the Purple Flyers walked off with the sectional title in 1967 – one of just two title for that school. That just proves that once tournament time starts anything can happen.

Good luck to all three teams and here is to hoping we get another sectional title.

Barry Lewis has been playing or covering sports in Montgomery County for more than 40 years and enjoys helping to keep our sports heritage alive with his bi-weekly column for the Journal Review.

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