Conference title races on the hardwood are heating up all over the southeast part of the Buckeye state. However, for much of this past week, it was the snow and ice that won out as several games were unable to tip-off as scheduled. The weather couldn’t stop everyone though. Here’s a look at who heated up.
Conference title races on the hardwood are heating up all over the southeast part of the Buckeye state. However, for much of this past week, it was the snow and ice that won out as several games were unable to tip-off as scheduled.
In the action that did take place, there were several of the top girls’ teams making one last statement entering the tournament draw. Muskingum Valley League member Tri Valley remained perfect, as did Scioto Valley Conference member Unioto.
The Ohio Valley Athletic Conference – a 46 school conference divided up into four divisions – heads towards its own postseason in both wrestling and basketball. In other parts of the region a 61-game league winning streak went down, two extremely tradition-rich programs went head-to-head on the boys’ side – a game that produced this week’s top individual performance – a red-hot Blue Devil bowled over the competition, and some lady swimmers from John Glenn enjoyed a good week in the pool.
OK, let’s take a closer look at this week around the Southeast Huddle.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Tri-Valley Girls Basketball: Tri-Valley, the top team in the Muskingum Valley League and still unbeaten overall, faced a big challenge this week when it faced second-place Maysville. These two met earlier this season with Tri-Valley winning by only six, but Round Two this past Saturday was all Scotties. Tri-Valley recorded a 68-47 win to improve to 16-0 overall and 12-0 in the MVL. Maysville is now 13-3, 10-2. In the win for the Scotties (ranked No. 5 in the D-I AP state poll), Hanna Luburgh scored 16 points. Alyssa Miller added 13 points. Tri-Valley had four other players score at least six points as TV shot 49-percent on its way to the blowout win.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Nathan Copley, Chesapeake, Boys Basketball: For this week’s top individual honor, we head down by the river to the Ohio Valley Conference where Chesapeake’s Nathan Copley scorched Wheelersburg for 35 points in a battle of two tradition-rich programs. Playing in the hostile environment at Wheelersburg, Copley scored 21 of his team’s 24 first-half points as the Panthers beat the Pirates 56-46 to improve to 10-3. In that same game, Wheelersburg’s Andy Stegman scored 26 points in the loss. The Pirates are now 10-4.
NEWS, NOTES AND NUGGETS
PPD: This dreaded abbreviation has dominated scoreboards all week. Boys’ basketball, girls’ basketball, and wrestling combined for over 100 postponements this week in the Southeast Huddle area.
John Glenn girls capture title in the pool: In this week’s high school swimming, John Glenn received great all-around days from Julie Morgan, Katie Morgan and Miranda Walker as the Lady Muskies finished 26 points ahead of second-place Liberty Union in a field that included West Muskingum, Barnesville, River View, Heath and Portsmouth Notre Dame at the West Muskingum Invitational at the Rosecrans Pool.
Postseason Favorites: In the sectional draw on the girls’ side, Unioto and Sheridan took the top seeds in Division II for the southeast. In Division III Oak Hill and Federal Hocking earned top seeds in Division III and in Division IV Waterford and South Webster earned the top spot.
Moving to the east, River View and Maysville earned the top two seeds while Indian Creek took the top spot in the OU-Belmont Sectional. In the Division IV Union Local bracket, Shadyside is the No. 1 seed. The big logjam comes in the Division III bracket as Martins Ferry, Monroe Central and Harrison Central all could be on a collision course come districts.
The team that really gets a tough road is Tri Valley. With no big schools located in the southeast, the Scotties get shipped off to the central for their bracket placement.
Milestone Members: Scoring 1,000 career points is an incredible feat for a high school basketball player, and the Scioto Valley Conference has spent a lot of time lately welcoming new members. First, Frankfort Adena’s Ashley Jordan attained the high point at Southeastern. A day later Piketon’s Cody Smith reached the milestone against Williamsport Westfall, and the following day, it was Cody’s classmate Heather Burns joining the club when she scorched Wellston for 28 points, including five triples. That same day Paint Valley’s Matt Workman scored his 1,000th point in an upset win over Western Latham. This quartet brought the conference’s total to five this year as Adena’s Clay Roll hit the milestone mark a few weeks back. Roll is currently at 1,075 career points (48th all-time in the SVC) and is on pace to finish in the top-20 all-time in the history of the conference.
Ohio Valley Athletic Conference: It is an article in itself trying to breakdown this conference, but here it goes. First, in wrestling Cameron (A), Caldwell (AA), Harrison Central (AAA) and Wheeling Park (AAAA) all took top spots in their respective divisions in the 2009 Ron Mauck OVAC Wrestling Tournament. Harrison Central recorded the top overall score of the day.
In basketball, the conference uses a point system to establish the top four teams in each division. This gives the divisions their semifinal match-ups that start a final four for the titles. In boys the leaders in the most recent points release are Wheeling Park in AAAA. Union Local leads AAA. In AA, Fort Frye is still perfect, however, two-loss Wheeling Central is tied with them at 47.3 points in terms of average in the conference standings system. Cameron leads A as the conference’s deadline for league play approaches this week.
On the girls side, Indian Creek is undefeated and on top of AAAA. In AAA, the top team is Martins Ferry. Shadyside is on top of AA, and in A, it is Bishop Donahue with unblemished overall record holding the top spot.
Paxson bowls Zanesville to win: Andy Paxson recorded his third straight 400 series and was supported by solid performances from teammates Chris Caldwell and Kyle Melvin as Zanesville defeated Unioto at Tiki Lanes. The win improves the Blue Devils to 10-2 in the South Central Ohio Conference.
No longer perfect: Cambridge handed River View its first ever East Central Ohio League loss this week, snapping the Lady Black Bears’ 61-game conference win streak with a 37-34 road victory. The Lady Bobcats (14-2, 6-2 ECOL) recorded 15 steals while shutting down River View. Molly Ritz and Brandy Simpson led Cambridge with 10 points each while Carly Kehn finished with nine. River View star Kari Daugherty scored 21 points.
Lady Pointers win again: South Point continues to lead the Ohio Valley Conference and its most recent win improves the Lady Pointers to 14-1 as they recorded an 80-40 victory over River Valley (8-5). Ashley Goodall led South Point with 21 points. Jalynn Bradburn added 12, Kayla Fletcher and Ericka Leighty 11 each and Angelica Stewart 10.
Mirror Image: If the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League ended today, the Chillicothe Cavaliers and the Zanesville Blue Devils would headline the Day of Champions for both boys and girls basketball.
Pursuit of perfection: Unioto continues on its pursuit of perfection. Cyndy Driggs and her Lady Shermans have already clinched a share of the Scioto Valley Conference championship, and they are now only five games away from a perfect season. Unioto currently has four players (Shiann Ray, Mackenzie Arledge, Janae Driggs, and Chloe Cottrell) averaging between seven and 12 points per game, three players (Ray, Driggs, and Cottrell) averaging better than three assists and four players (Ray, Driggs, Cottrell, and Taylor Corcoran) recording better than two steals per game. The Lady Shermans are currently pounding their opponents by over 34 points per game and have climbed to No. 6 in the most recent D-II state rankings. Add it all up and what you have with Unioto is a perfect TEAM – at least to this point.
ON TAP (What’s Happening This Week)
Rescheduling: With the week of weather the southeast part of the state just went through, it is impossible to look at what is on tap for this week without looking at the rescheduling factor. Teams from all sports are looking at a busy February.
Selection Sunday: February 8. Boys basketball coaches from all over the southeast will attend their respective draw for this year’s sectional tournament. A large percentage of these coaches will be at Jackson High School.
Vinton County at Athens, Boys Basketball, Tuesday: After posting regular seasons of 20-0 and 19-1 over the past two seasons, Vinton County is up to the same thing again this season. The once beaten Vikings are still perfect in the Tri Valley Conference’s Ohio Division – extending their current streak to 28 straight division games over the past two and a half seasons, but Tuesday they face a huge challenge against a very athletic Athens team. The Bulldogs nearly knocked VC off earlier this season in McArthur in a 78-75 Viking victory.
On the mat in the MVL: Wednesday Morgan travels to Sheridan and Thursday New Lexington heads to Morgan. These three teams have been battling for the top spot in the MVL and this week should go a long way in determining who ends up on top.
Cambridge at Dover, Boys Basketball, Friday: With Cambridge beating Coshocton 64-61 this past week, the Bobcats now hold a one game lead in the ECOL over Dover, Coshocton and New Philadelphia. In that win over Coshocton, the Bobcats made good on 17-of-21 fourth quarter free throws. Thomas Norris scored 19 points and Kyle Cox added 17 and seven rebounds. For Coshocton, Dave Brown hit five threes on his way to a game-high 32 in the loss. Dom McCloskey added 12 points. Head coach Don Vogt and his Cambridge team faces a huge challenge against Dover this week.
Alexander at Nelsonville-York, Girls Basketball, Wednesday: The Lady Spartans of Alexander enter the week still perfect in the Tri Valley Conference’s Ohio Division. The Lady Buckeyes hope to use their home court to close the gap.
Minford at Wheelersburg, Boys Basketball, Friday: In the Southern Ohio Conference, Minford, Wheelersburg and Oak Hill are locked up in a great race. Wheelersburg escaped Minford earlier in the year with a one-point win. Minford looks to return the favor.