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Sports Column

Montgomery County Remembers: Girls Sectional History

Barry Lewis takes a look at the girls' basketball sectional history

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It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again but Sunday was the IHSAA drawing for the Girls State Basketball Tournament.

To be honest the postseason has not been the best of times for the three county teams, especially in the past decade. In fact, despite playing in two different classes and two different sectionals some years the county was able to only come up with one sectional title – that coming in 2014 when Southmont won its eighth overall title.

Looking back at the decade which just ended here is how the three county teams fared:

- Crawfordsville went 4-10

- North Montgomery went 6-10

- Southmont went 3-9

So let us dig a little deep into the past.

North Montgomery has had the most success in the sectional tournament. The Chargers have posted a 42-35 record in its 44 sectional appearances. That makes the Chargers the only team to have a winning record since the girls’ state tournament began in the 1975-76 season.

The Chargers have also cut down more sectional title nets that any of the other county schools. The Chargers have claimed titles in every decade except the last one.

Here are the years the Chargers have won the titles: 1976, 1980, 1981, 1995, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. The run in the 2000s gave the Chargers a record of 13-5 with five straight titles – all under the guidance of Terry Bartell. That is the best record and the most titles in any given decade for any of the county teams.

The Chargers have struggled recently going 1-5 in the last six sectional tournaments. The Chargers’ lone win in the opening round of the sectional tournament came three years ago when it defeated Frankfort 41-39 before falling to Lebanon 34-26.

Southmont comes into the sectional with an overall record of 31-36. Its best decade came back in the 1990s when the team posted a 13-6 record and won four titles (1991, 1992, 1993 and 1999). However, since that time the Mounties have gone 6-19 and have bowed out of the sectional tournament in its first game in nine out of the last 10 years.

The only year in the last decade the team was not a one-and-done team came when it won the sectional title in the 2013-14 season. That year the Mounties ended the regular season with an 11-9 record and beat Riverton Parke 63-60 in overtime and then knocked off Seeger 34-33 to move into the sectional finals against Fountain Central. After surviving two close games, the Mounties cruised in the sectional final by beating the Mustangs 56-35 and advance to the regional where they were beaten by Wabash 55-48.

In addition to the sectional title in 2014 — and the four in 1990s — the Mounties won sectional crowns in 1979, 1984 and 1986 for a total of eight, one behind North Montgomery.

Crawfordsville ended the past decade 4-10 and when it won its sectional opening game last year against Southmont (64-53) that ended a five-year stretch when the Athenians had suffered an opening-game loss.

Crawfordsville’s best decade came in the 2000s when it went 6-9 and won its only sectional title. That sectional title came under the leaderships of Darren Haas who guided his team to the sectional (and regional) title in 2009.

In 44 years of sectional play the Athenians have posted an overall record of 17-43.

So will the County end a five-year absence of not winning a title this year? Odds aren’t looking the best, but that’s why they play the game. Good luck Athenians, Chargers and Mounties.

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.

           70s  80s  90s 00s 10s Total

CHS 1-4 3-10 3-10 6-9 4-10 17-43

NM   6-3 9-8   8-9 13-5 6-10 42-35

SM   4-3 8-8 13-6 3-10 3-9   31-36

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