By Steven Kochersperger
It’s that time of year again and March Madness is upon us. The high school sectional basketball games begin this week and for the Mount Vernon boys’ basketball team the sectionals look to be a great place for redemption. The Wildcats hope to take the lessons they have learned this season and continue their great run in Boonville this week.
But what will it take for Mount Vernon to take a sectional crown? Coach Hostetter believes the team that wins the sectional will be the team that plays unselfish team basketball.
“To win this sectional you have to be able to a few things well,” Hostetter said.” First you have to be able to defend man-to-man in the half court situations and get stops. That will help in executing the offense. You have to be able to play hard all four quarters and play together as well. If you do that you will be able to win every game you play. “
This is a sectional that has a good mixture of teams in it. On Tuesday the opening game will be Princeton (10-12) taking on Memorial (9-11). The winner of that game will play Bosse (17-5) on Friday. Mount Vernon (16-6) will play Friday against the winner of Tuesday night’s match up between Gibson Southern (8-14) and Boonville (8-13).
The overall favorite seems to be Bosse who has star junior JaQuan Lyle back in the lineup and is playing great basketball to end the season. But in sectional play no one is guaranteed anything. And according to coach Hostetter the winner will be the team that plays best as a team.
Defense will play a huge part in post season play. Mount Vernon has held its opponents to an average of 59 points a game this season, the best a defensive Wildcats unit has done since the 2004-2005 season when the Cats held their opponents to 54 points a game. The Cats were able this season to hold Gibson Southern to 39 points and Boonville to 44 points in their games and hope to continue those great efforts this week.
Offensively Mount Vernon has averaged 63 points a game this season. The team has seen great games from seniors Brian Koch and Collin Varner as well as junior Bryce Newman offensively and hope to continue to see great games from all their players. In the final three games of the season alone Newman has averaged 15 points a game while Koch has averaged 16 a game. They have also seen great performances off the bench from players like Colton Irvin who had 13 against Bosse and 18 at Mount Carmel to help the Cats.
But it will not be the individual efforts that Mount Vernon will rely on this week in post-season play. The Wildcats will need to pull together as a team and rely on one another to get things done on the court.
Mount Vernon has fared well this season against their sectional opponents. The Wildcats ended up 4-1 against their sectional foes with the only loss coming last week at Bosse High School.
Mount Vernon has lost three of their last four sectional games with their last sectional win coming in 2009 against Bosse. But this season has been a very good season for the Wildcats.
So how far could Mount Vernon go? As far as they want if only they believe in themselves and in each other. Good Luck Wildcats!