By Neil Burk

nburk@thepaper24-7.com

Four teams remain in each of the local boys' basketball sectionals. In Class 3A at the Frankfort sectional, Western Boone and Lebanon will meet in the first semifinal on Friday. North Montgomery and Frankfort will play in the second semifinal.

In Class 2A at Southmont, the host Mounties will open Friday night against Seeger. Fountain Central and Riverton Parke will clash in the second semifinal.



North

Montgomery

(14-9)

Vs. Frankfort (9-14)

Records don't tell the story in this matchup. The Chargers have put together a very solid season, but the Hot Dogs beat them on Feb. 12 in Frankfort.

It's widely believed that the road to a sectional goes through the Hot Dogs on any given season, and this is no exception.

The Chargers have more momentum entering this contest after beating Montgomery County rival Crawfordsville in the sectional opener on Tuesday, 73-49.

Frankfort got a bye in the sectional and closed the regular season with a loss to Logansport, 90-52. The Hot Dogs last won the sectional in 2013, under then coach Tom Weeks. Jared Catron is at the helm for his first season as a varsity head coach.

The Chargers last won the sectional in 2009. They have just two postseason wins in five years under head coach Joel Grindle. The Chargers aren't looking at the past, however. Many believe that this is their year to win the sectional, and they have the team to do it.

Over the last 30 years, Frankfort owns a 20-11 advantage in the series. The Chargers have a higher Sagarin rating, which uses advanced metrics to rank teams. They are ranked 54th in 3A based on Sagarin. Frankfort is ranked 59th.



Western Boone (11-11)

Vs. Lebanon

(7-15)

A classic clash of Boone County rivals will kick Friday night off.

Western Boone has had an up-and-down year, but has won seven of its last nine games coming into the postseason. The Stars most recently defeated Clincon Prairie, 58-46.

The Stars haven't won a sectional since 2000, but has shown the ability to get hot down the stretch. They could very well find themselves cutting the nets Saturday night, if shots fall.

Lebanon is a bit of an enigma. Its 7-15 record is the worst in five years under Albert Hendrix, but nine of those losses came to Class 4A schools. In total, the Tigers played 10 schools in the state's largest class; Western Boone played two.

The Tigers won the regular season meeting between these teams, 55-39 on Dec. 12 and they hold the series advantage over the last three decades, 31-10. The Tigers have a big sectional drought of their own, not winning a title since 2002.

In the Sagarin rankings, Lebanon is 58th in 3A while Western Boone is 71st.



Southmont

(5-16)

Vs. Seeger

(11-12)

Southmont might only have five wins, but 11 of its 20 games were against Class 3A opponents. No one in the sectional comes close to that number. Seeger and Riverton Parke played teams in a larger class three times and Fountain Central did it four.

Seeger took the regular season meeting, 54-49, but the Mounties have been playing better since then.

Seeger got to the semifinal by knocking off South Vermillion in the opener, while Southmont took a bye to the semis. In the Mountie's last outing, they lost to Fountain Central, 50-45 on the road.

Southmont's first, last and only sectional title came in 1994. Since then, the team has only won five postseason games. Two of those came under current head coach Jon Sparks and another came under Dan Chadd, a current assistant and former head coach.

In the Sagarin, Seeger is No. 72 in Class 2A and Southmont is 89th.



Fountain Central (18-8)

Vs. Riverton Parke

(2-21)

There's no perfect road through a sectional, but Fountain Central got just about the best path it could have asked for.

The Mustangs beat a winless Clinton Central team in the sectional opener and Riverton Parke has won just twice this year. The Mustangs beat the Panthers in the season opener, 95-41.

A loss here by Fountain Central would be one of the biggest of the postseason in any sectional. The Mustangs have dominated the series over 30 years, 21-9. Riverton Parke, which got a bye, most recently lost to Clay City, 75-25 in the regular season finale.

Fountain Central is rated 45th in Class 2A by Sagarin ratings while Riverton Parke is 100th.

Semifinal action starts Friday night at 6 p.m. at the respective schools. It will continue at approximately 7:30 p.m. Finals are set for Saturday at 7:30 p.m. to crown sectional champions.