East, North Boys – Noblesville Invite Preview

Updated: December 24, 2016

By James Pence
Staff Reporter

Before high school basketball rings in a new year, one of the most competitive tournaments in the state convenes in Noblesville. Undefeated Crown Point is the slight favorite, but any of the eight teams in the field have a chance to bring home the championship.
The opening round game plays at 10a.m. Tuesday featuring Columbus North and Fishers.
Fishers almost pulled off an upset over Class 4A No. 10 Hamilton Southeastern December 16, but lost in double overtime. Columbus North knows that they will have their hands full right from the start.
“We’re excited about the tournament with a lot of good teams,” Columbus North coach Paul Ferguson said. “Fishers is a really tough matchup for us. It’s a really big game and we’ll be ready to go.”
The winner of that matchup will play the winner of Pike vs. Bloomington South, which tips off at noon.
Aside from Crown Point, the Panthers, currently 6-2, are the hottest team entering the tournament on a four game winning streak that includes wins against Conference Indiana rivals Southport and Terre Haute North.
In the other half of the bracket, Noblesville takes on Chesterton with the matchup scheduled for 2p.m. and Columbus East battles against Crown Point, who is currently 6-0, at 4p.m.
Crown Point features likely the best player in the field in versatile guard Sasha Stefanovic. He is an Indiana All-Star candidate and has gotten several Division I offers that include Northern Iowa, Valparaiso, Evansville, and Loyola.
“They are really good and well-coached and (coach) Clint (Swan) does a great job,” Columbus East coach Brent Chitty said. “Sasha is the real deal and they have some other players that go with him well. We are going to have our hands full, but it is going to be a great challenge for us.”
The tournament will conclude on Wednesday. The winners of the first two games will play at 10a.m. and the winners of the last two games play at noon. The placement games will begin at 2 p.m. with the championship scheduled for 8p.m.

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