Story by Tristan Jackson
After an exciting year of basketball, the Hoosier Hills conference sports three top-6 teams in state. No. 6 Jeffersonville, No. 3 New Albany, and No. 4 Floyd Central have a combined record of 65-5.
Unfortunately, two of these teams won’t make it out of the Seymour sectional. Jeffersonville and Floyd Central will face off in the semifinals, and the winner will likely face off against New Albany, who is two years removed from a state championship, and led by the No. 5 prospect in the nation, senior Romeo Langford.
Assuming New Albany beats Seymour, Jeff and Floyd will determine the finals matchup. The last time these teams went head-to-head, Floyd won in a 55-51 grudge match at home, with no team leading by more than six at any point of the game.
My point of view:
Jeffersonville- Jacob Jones will dominate Weimer in the open court, if Jeff gets fast break opportunities Jones will be able to get by Weimer with ease. Bailey Falkenstein can get it done from anywhere on the court, and there’s no one on Floyd who can shut him down for four quarters. The Coleman brothers are both freak athletes, and both can knock down an open three when given the opportunity. With these two roaming the paint Floyd will be forced to take more jump shots than they are accustomed to. Zeke Smith is probably Jeff’s least refined offensive player, but is a strong defender and glass eater, and can shoot the three when he is able to get open. I see him pulling down some important offensive boards on Friday night.
Floyd Central- Luke Gohmann and Cobie Barnes will handle the majority of Floyd’s scoring. They are both very talented players and Jeff will have a hard time defending them both. Floyd’s guard play is a liability on the offensive end, but they are decent defensively. Hobson is tall and lengthy center, so he’ll be able to lockdown Jeff’s guards in the paint. However, he’s not as athletic or as strong compared to Jeff’s big men, so the Coleman brother will likely get by him fairly easily. Floyd are as a whole better jump shooters, but they can’t match Jeff’s athleticism.
As I stated in my last preview, this matchup will be decided by the pace in which the game is played. A fast paced game plays into Jeff’s hands, as Floyd will not be able to keep up with Jeff’s high flying bunch. However, the last game was a slow paced, half-court dominated game, and Jeff still stayed in the game the entire way through. Knowing what I know about the previous meeting, I think Friday will be a different story. On a neutral court Jeff will be able to play more of their own game, and I think they’ll be able to come out with a victory on Friday if they do so.
Just like the last game, this one is too close to call. Jeff and Floyd will both travel well, so neither team will have an advantage when it comes to fan support. That is a huge variable that is changing from the last matchup, which was played in Floyds Knobs. I personally believe Jeff will win on a neutral court, but either way it goes I think both sides will be pleased with the talent shown on Friday night. You can expect a hard fought battle on both sides.