Stars prepared for tough sectional test

Feb. 26—DOVER — Record wise, the regular season didn't go the way the Western Boone boys basketball team had hoped.

But the good news is, none of that matters anymore.

So when the Stars kick-off sectional play on Tuesday night at Lebanon against Danville, it is a brand new slate.

"It's a whole new season, everyone is 0-0," Western Boone head coach Dustin Oakley said. "These guys just come in and prepare hard every day, it doesn't matter who we play whether it's Danville or whoever. These guys just work hard and love being around each other. This is a great opportunity for us."

The Stars got a few extra days to prepare for the sectional opener, when their regular season finale against Traders Point last Thursday was cancelled due to a lack of available players for the Knights.

Oakley said the Stars are healthy and ready to go heading into the game, and has liked the way the team has approached the last week.

"We have been watching a ton of film and have worked a lot about handling their pressure," Oakley said. "I think they are going to come after us and in their mind think the game is going to be over early. Our staff has done a great job of putting us in a position to win defensively and we just have to take care of the ball. The last five games we are only averaging eight turnovers, which is pretty good. We have to take care of the ball, control the pace a little bit and make sure we can get some stops on defense."

The Warriors come into the game with an 18-3 record and were ranked second in the final poll of the season.

Evan Lawrence leads the Warriors with 13.0 points and 11.1 rebounds.

Jace Scrafton comes in averaging 11.4 points and 4.7 rebounds. Elijah Tricker is averaging 11.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists.

Zachary Waits is scoring 9.3 points and Lukas McMahon is scoring 8.1 points.

For Western Boone, Gavin Hawkins is scoring 11.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists. Marcus Fortner is scoring 10.0 points and 4.0 rebounds and Tristyn Faulk is scoring 8.8 points and 5.3 rebounds.

Western Boone and Danville met on Jan. 24 with the Warriors winning 62-37.

"I thought it was one of the more physical games we have had," Oakley said. "Everyone played hard in that first half and the rebounding was really good. That has been a main focus — can we play with them on the boards, because they crash hard. We did a good job on Lawrence in the first half, then took control in the second half. He is a force, and that is something we have to do a good job of limiting what he does."

The game will be the first game of the night, tipping off a 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

The winner will face Crawfordsville.

The second game of the day will be Monrovia and Tri-West.

"I know people look at the records and there probably isn't a lot of people that think we have a chance," Oakley said. "But I know our players and coaches do, and I think we believe in each other and can get the job done."

Will Willems is the Sports Editor of the Lebanon Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @Will_Willems.