"Thursday, Nov. 30

Ben Davis (girls) at Lawrence North

Lawrence North High School,

7:30 p.m.

The Lawrence North Lady Wildcats entered last year’s state tournament a measly 8-11, then proceeded to knock off four straight (mainly tough) opponents, eventually reaching the regional championship, where they finally fell to Hamilton Southeastern by a single point. I happened to see most of this run in person (almost by accident) and a fun ride it was. Having graduated just one key player — tough cookie Rachel Ehret — the Lady Cats are being taken a bit more seriously this season. A key early-season test comes this Thursday against always formidable Ben Davis, currently occupying the No. 1 spot in the Sagarin computer ratings.

Friday, Dec. 1

Lafayette J&C Hoops Classic

Lafayette Jeff High School,

6:30 p.m.

The years since class basketball took root have seen a distinct increase in the number of county and local holiday tournaments — an attempt to replicate the rivalries and atmosphere of the old sectionals, still missed by so many. One of the best of these is the Lafayette J&C Hoops Classic, now in its fourth season, involving eight local teams spanning three different classes. And in a field dominated by big schools, this year’s favorite might just be 1A Central Catholic, who return most of last year’s 19-win roster, including talented 6-foot-6 senior Will Hubertz. If the first-round games go the way I think they will, Friday night’s semifinals will pit Catholic against the host team, Lafayette Jeff. There’s no love lost between these two and it should be a good one — but the second game Friday looks even better: the tourney’s second-biggest school, McCutcheon, versus blue-collar West Lafayette. The big news here is that they’ve actually already played each other this year. It was both teams’ season-opener last week — and was won by McCutcheon in double-overtime. Friday’s winners play Saturday for the championship. Either night should be well worth the drive.



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