Boys Basketball Sectional Preview

Mustangs looking to defend sectional crown


In 2022-23 everything went right for Fountain Central boys basketball as the Mustangs went on a historic run all the way to the semi-state with a 23-5 record. This season has been different for the Mustangs with a little adversity thrown in along the way. While the regular season probably wasn’t what the Mustangs had hoped for as they ended it with a 10-12 record, FC still poses a threat as the post-season is here. Fountain Central once again will host the Class A Sectional 54 tournament and the host Mustangs drew the bye on the bottom part of the bracket which means they’ll wait until Friday and only have to win one game to play for another sectional crown.

FC takes will  take on Rossville in the second semi-fina after the Hornets defeated Attica 64-34 on Tuesday. Back on Feb. 3 the Mustangs squeaked out a 48-47 win over Rossville.

“This time of the year is always an exciting one,” Mustang coach Greg Dean said. “They’re really hard to win and we know that from last year. We know also that this year we’re going to get everyone’s best shot and we’re going to have to put our best foot forward and be playing our best basketball.”

This season the Mustangs have been led by 6’5 senior Isaac Gayler. Gayler on the year is averaging just over 17 points per game while grabbing 7.5 rebounds. Freshman Eli Foxworthy and senior Owen Acton both score right at 7 a game for the Mustangs. Seniors Brayden Prickett, Koby Wolf and Aiden Owen have also given FC valuable playing time.

“I really do think we’re where we finally need to be to be clicking on all cylinders,” Dean said of his squad. “I’ve been telling our kids that we’re really close to breaking through. Getting the bye is a fortunate thing for us because that gives us five to six more practices to get ready and lock in. I think the Crawfordsville game really helped us because it felt like a sectional type game with no team really gaining an advantage but we did enough to win.”

The Mustangs also have the advantage of getting to play in front of their home fans. A season ago the Mustang faithful made their impact felt throughout the post-season. Dean is hoping that it will be the same atmosphere at Dave Sanders Court when the Mustangs get underway next Friday.

“Our fans do a phenomenal job of showing out every single game for us,” Dean said. “With the stakes being risen in the post-season I know that it’s going to be a great environment on Friday. That’s what you want in a post-season is for everyone to feel like they have an impact on the game. Our kids have done a great job of handling that raucous environment and now we just have to get better in practice and get after starting on Friday.”

The top half of the bracket will see Faith Christian taking on North Vermillion in the first semi-final after the Eagles defeated Clinton Central 82-52 on Tuesday.