Girls hoops reach regional finals, teams will battle for state berth

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Regina’s Tay’Ler Mingo is aiming to lead the Royals to their seventh state tournament and sixth title (Photo by Gary Housteau)

The girls basketball regional finals will tip this weekend with 32 teams vying for a spot in the state tournament next week in Columbus.

We have an in-depth look at each regional final as teams hope to punch their tickets to the state tournament.


The girls basketball regional finals will tip this weekend with 32 teams vying for a spot in the state tournament next week in Columbus.

Three of the four top-ranked teams from the regular season are still alive with Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame in Division I, Tipp City Tippecanoe in Division II and Convoy Crestview in Division IV looking to punch their tickets to Columbus.

Top-ranked Marion Pleasant in Division III fell to Middletown-Madison 59-39 on Tuesday in the semifinal game.

MND (24-1) has won an unprecedented three straight Division I titles and is the favorite once again making its seventh straight regional finals. The Cougars could end up meeting No. 5 West Chester Lakota West (23-2) out of the Westerville Region in the state championship in a rematch of last year’s controversial title game. But Lakota West will have to get past No. 2 Dublin Coffman in the regional finals first. The Lady Firebirds lost just two regular season games but they were to MND and Coffman (25-0).

Unranked Kettering Fairmont is making its second appearance in the regional finals in school history and will take on MND. Fairmont (22-3) lost to MND twice in the regular season by double digits in both games. 

Mentor and Canton McKinley – both unranked – are set to square off in the Canton Regional Finals. Mentor (20-5) has only made the state tournament one other time in 1977 and McKinley (21-3) is looking for its third trip to state with the last appearance in 1995. The winner will play the winner of the MND-Fairmont match up in the state semifinals.

No. 7 Perrysburg and Toledo Start will battle in the Norwalk Regional Finals. Start (20-3) and Perrysburg (24-0) have yet to make the trip to Columbus. The winner will play the winner of the Westerville Region in the state semifinals.

Division II is stacked with a combined nine state championships among the eight teams left.

Unranked Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit (19-6) claimed its only title in 2005 and will play Wapakoneta in the Ontario Regional Final. Wapakoneta (23-1) is in the hunt for its first state tournament appearance.

The winner of the Ontario Regional will take on the winner of the Zanesville Region in the state semifinals, which will be either No. 7 Warsaw River View or Millersburg West Holmes. River View (22-2) has four state championships including back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007. West Holmes (20-4) won back-to-back-to-back titles from 1984-86.

River View edged West Holmes 40-39 in the regular season in early December.

On the other side of the bracket, unranked Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown is playing for its third straight state tournament appearance after finishing state runner-up last season. The Blazers (18-6) will play Canton South in the Barberton Regional. The Wildcats (24-1) are looking for their first appearance in the state tournament.

The winner of the Barberton Region will play the winner of the Vandalia Region, which includes defending state champion Kettering Alter. The Lady Knights (23-2) are on the quest for their third state tournament but have to get through top-ranked and undefeated Tippecanoe (25-0).

Five of the eight teams remaining in Division III have state tournament experience, most notably, No. 2 South Euclid Regina.

The Royals (25-0) claim five state championships and have made six tournament appearances, including a runner-up finish to Versailles last season. Regina will play undefeated Smithville (25-0) in the Barberton Regional Finals. The No. 3-ranked Smithies have played in the state tournament twice – most recently in 2004.

The Regina-Smithville winner will play the Lexington Region winner, which squares No. 4 Findlay Liberty-Benton against unranked Castalia Margaretta. Liberty-Benton (22-2) is playing for its first trip to the state tournament while Margaretta (21-3) is aiming for its fifth, although the Polar Bears are still in the hunt for that elusive state championship.

In the Lancaster Region, No. 5 Oak Hill will play South Point. The Oaks (23-1) finished state runner-up in its only other state tournament in 2004 and South Point (22-2) is looking to make its maiden voyage to Columbus.

Oak Hill defeated South Point 61-55 in the regular season in early January.

The winner will play either defending state champion Versailles or Middletown Madison out of the Vandalia Region. Neither Versailles (17-8) nor Madison (20-5) finished the regular season in the state’s final top 10 poll. The Tigers of Versailles are on the prowl for their fifth state tournament while Madison is aiming for its first trip to state.

The Division IV bracket boasts each of the four state semifinalists from a year ago with Berlin Hiland, Columbus Africentric, Convoy Crestview and New Reigel all in the mix. Each team has a chance to advance to the state tournament with the way the brackets break down.

Hiland (24-1) is a regular in Columbus this time of year. The No. 2-ranked Lady Hawks have won four state titles in nine trips to the tournament and will face Cleveland Heights Lutheran East (20-4) in the Massillon Region.

Lutheran East has never made it to the state tournament.

The winner will play the winner of No. 6 New Reigel and Carey out of the Elida Region. New Reigel (21-3) fell to Hiland in the state semifinals last season in its second trip to the state tournament. A win for Carey (22-2) will mean its first berth in the state final four.

Carey topped New Reigel 49-45 in the regular season in early December.

Last season’s runner-up, No. 4 Africentric, has experienced great success in the school’s short time in existence. The Lady Nubians (20-4) won the 2007 state title and are vying for their third straight state tournament berth. They will face No. 9 Canal Winchester Harvest Preparatory (21-3), which is has never qualified for the state tournament.

The winner will play the winner of the Vandalia Region in the state semifinals, which pits Crestview against unranked Cincinnati Seven Hills. A win for Crestview (24-0) will send the Lady Knight to their fifth state tournament while Seven Hills (21-4) is looking to make its first trip to the state tournament. 

Click below for full regional brackets:

Division IDivision II  | Division III  | Division IV

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