Wes-Del, Wapahani advance to sectional semi-finals

Wapahani senior Isaac Andrews dribbles Feb. 28 during the sectional No.40 quarterfinal round against Lapel at Alexandria-Monroe High School. Zach Carter, DN.
Wapahani senior Isaac Andrews dribbles Feb. 28 during the sectional No.40 quarterfinal round against Lapel at Alexandria-Monroe High School. Zach Carter, DN.

ALEXANDRIA, IN - Three Delaware County teams entered Sectional No.40 at Alexandria-Monroe High School with one purpose; to advance. 

After two games of playoff basketball, Wes-Del and Wapahani will play each other in Friday’s semi-finals. 

Wes-Del (9-13) vs Burris (4-20)

The contest at the Jungle opened with the Warriors dominating on offense. Junior Josiah Love pounced on the Owls, scoring six points in the first few minutes. However, the white and blue did not give up as they responded with some momentum of their own.

“We wanted to put the pressure on them,” first-year Wes-Del head coach Josh Burkett said. “We switched up some things, which we had a lot of things in our back pocket to throw at them.”

After the Warriors regrouped during a timeout, the maroon and black returned to their fiery playstyle. That allowed them to go into halftime up 40-18. Once the second half began, the Warriors were off to the races and never looked back. 

Love ended the game with 23 points – a season-high – and helped set up multiple plays for the other Warriors. 

“I was just feeling it,” Love said. “There are some nights where you just feel it.” 

For the Owls, multiple turnovers and missed shots didn’t allow them to make a run. Near the end of the game, senior Asher Donahue exited and was hugged by first-year Burris head coach Blair Broussard. 

“Without [our eight seniors], we don’t have the success that we had outside of wins and losses,” Broussard said. “Just trying to take a culture and lay down the foundational work… They will forever have a home away from home as long as I’m here.” 

While they looked good in the win, Burkett knows it only gets more challenging the farther his team goes in the tournament. 

“Our margin of error against good teams is low,” he said. “We can’t turn the ball over and make mistakes. We have to get every defensive rebound.” 

Wes-Del will face Wapahani on Friday, March 1, with the game starting at 7:30 p.m. 

Love looks to pass.jpg
Wes-Del junior Josiah Love looks to pass Feb. 28 during the sectional No.40 quarterfinal round against Burris at Alexandria-Monroe High School. Zach Carter, DN.

Wapahani (21-2) vs Lapel (18-6)

The contest between the Raiders and Bulldogs tipped off in front of a packed gym. For the first few minutes, whenever someone scored, the other team scored. That continued throughout the first quarter until Wapahani found some success. 

One of the biggest pieces of the contest came during the second quarter. While Lapel scored nine points in the opening period, they only recorded two in the second and eight in the third. This was due partially to how the Raiders out-rebounded the Bulldogs 23-14. 

“We lost the eye-contest,” Wapahani head coach Matt Luce said. “At the jump ball, you see their size and athleticism. I thought we were very disciplined with our blocking out, and we were good on defense.” 

Throughout the rest of the game, the Raiders’ explosiveness continued as Lapel had no answer. 

Coming into the contest, senior Isaac Andrews was 22 points away from breaking the Delaware County scoring record. While he finished with 15 points, he found ways to feed his teammates and work around Lapel’s game plan. 

“The first time [we played Lapel in the regular season], they did a lot of switching on ball screens,” Andrews said. “It didn’t really work for them the first time, so I knew they were going to switch it up.” 

While the Raiders’ leading scorer was defended, others rose to the occasion. Sophomore Camden Bell and senior Nick Cook added 12 points each in the victory. 

“I think it was just playing the right way and moving around without the ball,” Bell said. “Not just trying to hunt shots and [instead] letting it come to me through the offense.”

According to Luce, the way the Raiders were able to step up started with Andrews. 

“It says we have a captain that makes the right plays and believes in his teammates,” he said. “The best team wins. We believe in our entire team, but we believe in our point guard giving the ball up and making the right play. I’m very proud of all of them.” 

When it comes to their match with Wes-Del, the Raiders know they cannot give an inch. 

“We’re facing a Delaware County rival,” Luce said. “The records are 0-0, and we have to get a quick day’s rest and come back playing hard.”

Contact Zach Carter with comments at zachary.carter@bsu.edu or on X @ZachCarter85.


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