County tourney should be good fun

If seeding is the indicator, Whiteland is the favorite to win the Johnson County Boys Basketball Tournament.

But if records are the gauge, Indian Creek is the favorite.

Then again, if history is the marker, then Center Grove and Franklin are the favorites.

All of which can mean only one thing — the county tournament not only is up for grabs but should be entertaining for local fans. At the very least, it should be unpredictable.

Whiteland, with a 7-2 record, is the No. 1 seed heading into Tuesday’s first-round games. Although seeding guarantees nothing, it certainly hasn’t hurt to be No. 1.

In the past nine years, the top seed has won the championship eight times — including last year, when Center Grove beat Whiteland in the final.

Clearly, seeding is good news for the Warriors.

By comparison, seeding is not good news for Indian Creek, in that the Braves aren’t seeded. But the news is sunnier on other fronts.

At 10-1, Indian Creek has the best record in the six-team field. It also has home-court advantage, a five-game winning streak and the confidence of contending in a field Center Grove and Franklin have dominated.

Which brings us to Center Grove and Franklin.

After a long hiatus, the county tournament was reconstituted in 2004-05. Since then, the champion has been either Center Grove or Franklin. Center Grove has won five times, and Franklin has won four times. Only once was the winner not the No. 1 seed (the Grizzly Cubs were No. 2 in 2010).

This time, Franklin is No. 2 and Center Grove is No. 3. The Cubs, which beat the Trojans 57-52 on Jan. 5, are 6-2. Center Grove was 4-5 heading into Friday night’s game at Carmel — all of which means nothing when the games begin.

Yet one way or the other, the county will be history making. It already is.

For the first time in a decade, a team other than Center Grove or Franklin is the No. 1 seed. For one of the few times, the team with the best record is unseeded. And for the first time, Whiteland is the favored team.

Besides Indian Creek, Greenwood (4-5) and Edinburgh (3-9) are unseeded but can’t be discounted. No team should be.

So get ready, fans. No matter how things shake out, the county tournament should be a good one.

Regardless of favorites, it usually is.

If you go

What: 2015-16 Boys Basketball Johnson County Tournament

First round: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Edinburgh at Center Grove; Greenwood at Indian Creek

Semifinals (at Indian Creek): 6 p.m. Friday, Franklin vs. Edinburgh/Center Grove winner; 7:30 p.m., Whiteland vs. Greenwood/Indian Creek winner.

Championship and consolations (at Indian Creek): 4 p.m. Saturday, fifth-place game; 5:45 p.m., third-place game; 7:30 p.m., championship game

Author photo
Rick Morwick is sports editor of the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2715.