Manual’s Redskins travel Friday to the IHSAA 3A Danville Sectional on a roll. One of four Southside teams that drew byes, Manual faces the Danville-Tri West winner at 7:30 p.m. at Danville. Friday, sectional host Lutheran (9-12) meets the Greenwood Christian-Tindley winner at 6 p.m. Underdog Franklin Central (3-18) collides with the Center Grove-Greenwood winner at Center Grove at 6 p.m.
And Roncalli (5-16) goes against the Perry Meridian-Decatur Central winner at Perry Meridian at 7:30p.m. The Redskins (13-8) are coming off their second consecutive Greater Indianapolis Conference tournament championship.
Coach Donnie Bowling’s long and lean squad polished off Indiana Math & Science 84-78, Metropolitan 70-68, and Lighthouse South 74-61 for the title Saturday. Manual enters post-season play having won 8 of 10 games with losses on the road at 3A Danville and Marion. They are led by 6-8 D1 prospect Jalen Johnson, 22.4 points and 8.2 rebounds, and backcourt ace Montez McNair, 6.7 assists.
The Redskins won the GIC tourney last year, but then played three regular season games before falling to Beech Grove (75-58) in their first sectional game. Bowling firmly believes the outcome will be different this weekend at Danville.
With eight seniors, Manual has experience, height, quickness and balance on offense and defense. Beech Grove (14-7) is in the opposite bracket at Danville. The Hornets opened the post-season on a roll Tuesday.
They shot 50 percent to defeat host Lapel 61-55 on Feb. 19 and thumped visiting Whiteland 72-46 with Gavin Hess scoring 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, John Parker added 15 points and Jordan Brickley 12 points.