The basketball regular season is winding down and most teams are
preparing for the second season, the state playoffs, but in Northwest
Ohio there remain some very interesting league races that should
provide excitement. Excitement is also something several other athletes generated in their sports last week.
The basketball regular season is winding down and most teams are preparing for the second season, the state playoffs, but in Northwest Ohio there remain some very interesting league races that should provide excitement.
In the Toledo City League, which is one of the rare leagues in the state that conducts a season ending tournament to determine its league champion, the positioning for the four available spots continues in earnest.
On the boys’ side of the ledger, no fewer than seven teams remain in contention and unraveling the log jam for the available spots is a herculean task. Only Waite at 7-0 appears to be a certainty for the tournament.
On the girls’ side, two teams, Start and Waite, are on an apparent collision course for a rematch of their season opening contest that saw the Lady Spartans escape with a 49-48 victory. Since then nearly every Toledo City League fan has anxiously awaited the rematch and both teams have flown through the league since then with only minor difficulty. Central Catholic, although not having one of their stronger years, is a lock for the third spot while the fourth team will come from either Scott, Notre Dame or Clay.
Over in the Northern Lakes League, it is all but over in the girls’ race as the Perrysburg Lady Jackets are steamrolling their way toward another conference title. The Lady Jackets are undefeated on the season and the remainder of their schedule offers few challenges.
In the boys’ race it is a rematch of last season as Perrysburg and Sylvania Southview battle it out. Southview won the first meeting between the two teams, 60-55, and the rematch on February 20 should be great entertainment.
The TAAC, like the NLL, is a two team affair. The two top boys’ teams are Toledo Christian and Ottawa Hills and, also like the NLL, their upcoming rematch will determine the league champion. Toledo Christian won the first game, 36-34, in a game in which neither team put forth their best effort. Both teams feature post players,
Ethan Michaels (Air Force Academy) for Toledo Christian and Phillip Beans (Holy Cross) for Ottawa Hills, that are bound for Division I programs next year but, as interesting as the battle is between these two, neither is the entire show for their respective teams.
The girls’ TAAC title is likely to result in a tie between Ottawa Hills and Cardinal Stritch. Stritch has a remaining game with Danbury Lakeside that may cause them problems but if they get by that contest a co-champion will result in the TAAC girls’ race.
Next week, we will review the races in the other northwest Ohio conferences.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Samantha Zuch, Napoleon, Girls Swimming: With the swimming playoffs beginning next week, Zuch is a young lady who swims for the Napoleon Wildcats that deserves watching. Only a junior, Zuch, is considered to have a legitimate shot at a state title in two events (200 freestyle and 500 freestyle). Zuch holds five school records. Last season she finished second in both the 100 and 200 freestyle. Unfortunately, she will not be competing in the 100 this year as she concentrating on the 500 instead.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Lima Shawnee, Boys and Girls Swimming: In a sport that receives little media attention but may require more individual dedication than any other the Lima Shawnee boys’ and girls’ swimming teams merit special attention this week. This past weekend the Shawnee girls’ team won its’ ninth straight WBL swimming championship while the boys’ team captured its’ fourth straight. The Shawnee teams not only continued their league dominance but did so in impressive style by easily outdistancing the rest of the field.
NEWS, NOTES AND NUGGETS
High Scorer: Sylvania Southview’s Tim Hausfeld broke the school career scoring record by tossing in 21 points against Oregon Clay.
Still Undefeated: In girls’ basketball, the Perrysburg Lady Jackets remained perfect on the season by downing their closest pursuer, Sylvania Southview, 44-35.
Five Hole: The balance of power in hockey continues to sway back and forth in the Northwest Ohio Hockey League. Every day brings a surprise or two and this past week was no exception. Findlay upset league leader, St. John’s, 4-1, and the following night St. John’s again stumbled by allowing rival, St. Francis, to tie them, 1-1.
ON TAP (What’s happening this week)
Wauseon at Archbold, Girls Basketball, Thursday (Tonight): The big game
this week is on the girls’ side where Archbold and Wauseon meet. Both
teams are undefeated in the league and this game will likely be for all
the marbles. This is always a hotly contested game but with the league
title on the line it takes on greater significance.
Toledo City League Basketball Race: This is a huge week for the league as the teams struggle to survive in the playoff race. On Friday evening, Scott visits St. John’s looking to upset the Titans. Scott has been playing well with the return of several players and should provide St. John’s with a good contest. In two other big games, Waite visits Start in what may determine who receives the number one seed in the league playoffs. Waite, featuring one of the leading candidates for City League player of the year, Darius Glover, remains undefeated in the league but Start and their two big offensive weapons, Devin Russell, bound for the University of Toledo next season, and sharpshooting junior Anthony Henderson, are only one game back. Finally, the game between Rogers and St. Francis also has huge playoff implications. Rogers is looking to rebound from an upset loss to Central Catholic while St. Francis must win to keep pace with the rest of the contenders.
Toledo Christian at Ottawa Hills, Boys Basketball, Friday: All eyes will be on this game. A Toledo Christian victory gives them the outright title but an Ottawa Hills win creates co-champions for the second year in a row.
Liberty-Benton at Pandora-Gilboa, Boys Basketball, Friday: Aaron Craft and the Eagles remain the hot story. LB travels to Pandora-Gilboa this weekend in an effort to keep its perfect league record (5-0; 11-1 overall) intact.
Tinora at Hicksville. Antwerp at Ayersville, Boys Basketball, Friday: The big showdown between Tinora and Antwerp is still two weeks away but both teams have tough contests this weekend.
Marion Harding at Lima Senior, Girls Basketball, Friday: The rematch between the Marion Harding Lady Presidents and Lima Senior occurs on Friday. Harding can strengthen its’ hold on first place with a victory. Harding won the first contest, 56-45.