Greensburg — The Greensburg boys basketball team enters the Washington Regional as heavy favorites to repeat as the champion.
Last winter, the second-ranked Pirates outran fifth-ranked Evansville Bosse in the semifinal 82-65. The Pirates then started out fast against sixth-ranked Brownstown Central, and held off a late Braves run before winning by double digits.
Beginning tomorrow against Silver Creek (15-8), Greensburg (24-1) will commence its title defense at the same location it won last year’s regional. The Hatchet House will feature three games to decide which team will advance to the South Semi-State on March 22.
Silver Creek has advanced to the championship once in the past 20 years – a 45-43 win over Batesville in 2000. Silver Creek is unranked, but its journey to the regional level is historical. A Dragon team that went 9-12 last season enters the regional with the school’s best record since the 2007-2008 season. What is even more impressive, though, is the team’s sectional performance. Following a win over 13th-ranked Madison in the opener, the Dragons upset No. 6 Corydon Central 74-51 in the semifinal, and then upset No. 7 Brownstown Central 37-36 to win the sectional title.
With the target squarely on their backs, the Greensburg Pirates cannot afford to take any team lightly. The same Madison team that fell to Silver Creek twice this season defeated the Pirates 89-87 in overtime during the regular season.
Silver Creek is led in scoring by 6-foot-6 junior center Christian Reed, who averages 11.4 points per game and a team-high 8.6 rebounds. Junior Gabe Bauer averages 11.1 points and 3.2 rebounds.
The Dragons’ leader in assists, junior Nick Tinsley, averages 2.9 assists per game and 10.7 points per game.
Junior Jake Steele tallies 4.9 points and 4.8 rebounds. Senior Zach Davidson averages 8.8 points.
Silver Creek must deal with two confirmed Division I commits. Senior Sean Sellers (Ball State) averages 19.9 points per game and 7.1 rebounds per game, while senior Bryant McIntosh (Northwestern) averages 14.1 points and a school-record nine assists per game. Junior Ryan Welage averages 14.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.