SOUTH WHITLEY – All Whitko needs is one night of fantastic basketball.

The Wildcats have a bye in Class 2A Sectional 35 at Westview High School, and Whitko coach Eli Henson is grateful for the break.

However, he also knows who awaits him; either top-five ranked Westview or a strong Central Noble squad.

“We just gotta put one night together, one night, then we’ll get to the championship,” Henson said. “But, one night we have to play near-perfect basketball.”

Whitko will rely heavily on Spencer Sroufe. The 6-7 senior is averaging around 18 points and 12 rebounds per game.

He creates matchups problems for teams without size, but Henson said Whitko will have to rely on its guard play to excel.

That includes sophomore Brett Sickafoose.

“He does a good job from the top of the key to get to the rim, and he does a good job of finding the shooters, too,” Henson said. “But, for us to be successful, we have to be able to hit (three-pointers).”

Henson said the Wildcats will have to range between 10 and 15 treys to top Westview, so junior Clayton Ebbinghouse may factor in.

Ebbinghouse nailed four three-pointers in Whitko’s 79-71 win over Manchester Tuesday.

Henson said Whitko will have to be thoroughly prepared should they face Westview.

“It’s not gonna be one (where) you can just show up and hope things go for good,” Henson said.

“You gotta be able to execute. The good thing is, from our last game to that (the semifinal), we have a full week, so six practices.”

And, despite Westview and Central Noble being fierce competitors, the Wildcats won’t show fear.

“We’re gonna prepare as well as we possibly can,” Henson said. “We’re gonna go in with the attitude that we can beat them.”

If Whitko beats Westview or Central Noble, they’ll face another tall order in either LaVille, Prairie Heights or?Bremen.

Both LaVille and Prairie Heights are especially formidable, making for even more adversity if Whitko is to win the sectional title.

Still, Henson believes.

“I honestly think something crazy’s gonna happen, because you’re gonna have to play perfect ball three straight nights if you’re Westview.

“I’m hoping something crazy happens.”

Whitko is playing well right now and takes plenty of momentum into the sectional.

After winning just two of their first nine games, the Wildcats have won 11 of their last 13.

The Wildcats haven’t won a postseason game since 2016, and are looking for their first sectional title since 2009.

To go with Sroufe’s double-double average, Sickafoose averages 16 points, six rebounds and three assists per game, while sophomore Drake Lewis scores about 10 points per game and Ebbinghouse eight.