ZIONSVILLE — After a busy end of the regular season, the Zionsville Eagles have had a little break as they get ready for sectional play.
Zionsville last played on Tuesday, Feb. 21 against Cathedral, and have had 10 days to prepare for their sectional semifinal at Carmel.
Head coach J.R. Howell said this week his team took advantage of that time to make sure they are ready to go come Friday,
“We were really able to focus on ourselves for a few practices and take some days off,” Howell said. “We kind of got rejuvenated, not only physically, but mentally. It was a nice opportunity for us to reset, find out how to get better and be ready to compete at the highest level.”
The Eagles will face off against Fishers, who topped HSE on Tuesday night.
Zionsville faced Fishers on February 17 and lost 52-45, but had a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter.
“We just have to be us, first and foremost,” Howell said. “We have to be confident and do what we have been working on. We don’t have to be anything we are not, or do anything crazy. They have a really nice player we have to keep in check, and have a good supporting cast around him. We have to be solid on defense without fouling, and on the offensive end, we have to be playing like we have the last month or so. We have had some ups and downs, but we’re playing pretty good basketball.”
Jalen Haralson leads Fishers with 22.9 points a game, along with 7.8 rebounds. He is one of the top sophomore players in the country.
Taden Metzger averages 10.2 points.
Howell said it’s opponents like Fishers where the Eagles schedule pays off. While they are an extremely good team, the Eagles have faced nearly all the top teams in Class 4A and won’t be surprised by anything.
“We build our schedule to try and play the best every night,” Howell said. “We have, and we’ve competed every night. Now it’s about resetting and using those experiences – both good and bad – and learning from them. Hopefully those experiences help us, including that game with Fishers a couple weeks ago.”
Logan Imes leads Zionsville, averaging 15.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists. Nick Richart is averaging 11.0 points and 8.3 rebounds.
Drew Snively is averaging 9.4 points and Maguire Mitchell is averaging 8.3 points.
Imes is averaging more than 18 points a game over his last 11 games.
“He’s played within himself,” Howell said. “He was pressing a little at the beginning of the year, and reset himself to get back to doing what he does well. He’s been playing at a pretty good pace and has a good mindset. He’s had that potential all year, and he’s playing really well right now.”
The Eagles are looking for their first sectional title since 2019.
Howell said if the Eagles are going to advance, they have to play their game.
“We have to be us,” Howell said. “It’s another opportunity for us to compete and show our stuff. There isn’t a lot we haven’t seen, but there is going to be a little bit of adversity in every tournament game and we have to be ready to handle those and not panic.”
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