Senior staff writer
Southside basketball teams open the new year with four girl-boy varsity doubleheaders Friday.
The matchups feature Roncalli at Beech Grove, Whiteland at Greenwood, Manual at Washington and Greenwood Christian Academy at Attucks. Girls games start at 6 p.m., boys games at 7:30 p.m.
Athletic directors from the four host schools urge spectators to arrive early, particularly at Beech Grove, where the 6 p.m. game between the neighboring 3A Hornets (11-2) and 4A Rebels (11-6) is usually played in front of a capacity crowd.
Roncalli, mentored by Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame coach Stan Benge, won the four-team holiday tourney at Covenant Christian by defeating Attucks 60-50 and the host team 57-54.
Southport (10-4), the Southside’s surprise girls team, claimed the eight-team East Central tourney by defeating 2A Wapahani 58-23, 1A Jac-Cen-Del 44-41 and 4A Seymour 52-40. Senior Emma DeHart scored 21 points against the Owls in the title game. Classmate Jaelencia Williams had 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds with classmate Lindsey Frieje snaring seven rebounds.
The Cardinals are in their first season under former Roncalli assistant Bart Collins.
No. 14 Center Grove (12-3) upended then-No. 4 Pike 50-48 Dec. 17 and later grabbed third place in the Columbus North holiday tourney by defeating Mooresville 58-53.
Key upcoming games – 7:30 p.m. unless indicated: Wednesday – Franklin Central at Roncalli. Thursday – Shelbyville at Manual, Southport at No. 12 Columbus North, Lutheran at Central Christian (7 p.m.). Saturday – Columbus North at Perry Meridian, Southport at Terre Haute North.