INDIANAPOLIS — The brackets were drawn up and the postseason road was paved Sunday night for the 36th annual IHSAA girls’ basketball state tournament.
Amongst 397 teams, three Whitley County teams are looking for a March 5 date at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne for the state finals. It began with the sectional draw Feb. 8-12.
Two area rivals will have to go through one another to reach the final game of class 3A.
Columbia City (10-9) and Whitko (9-10) opened the season against one another and it will end for one of them in the first round of the Columbia City sectional.
The two rivals are the third of three first-round games.
Columbia City has won the last three meetings against their southern county rivals. The last came Nov. 12 when the Lady Eagles won at home 65-59.
Wawasee (13-5) drew a first-round bye while first-round games include: Tippecanoe Valley (4-14) against Lakeland (3-14) and NorthWood (11-8) against West Noble (9-10).
Farther north, the class 2A Prairie Heights sectional will have Churubusco (5-13) watching the first round while awaiting the winner of the hosting Panthers (7-11) and Fremont (10-8).
The other half of the bracket has Central Noble (3-15) also picking up the first- round bye with a match-up against the winner of the Garrett (18-2) and Eastside (9-8).
’Busco has played all five sectional opponents with a 1-5 record against them.
Sectional game times and ticket prices will be announced later this week.