This past week crowned sectional champions all over the southeast in both baseball and softball. In most brackets the seeds held true – however, there were a few exceptions that made for some early, postseason upsets. The spotlight was on track too where league and conference meets were contested.
This past week crowned sectional champions all over the southeast in both baseball and softball. In most brackets the seeds held true; however, there were a few exceptions that made for some early, postseason upsets. Many of the elite teams wait the fifth and final state poll this weekend to see where they rank in terms of the regular season, but more importantly, most of those same teams prepare for district play and a hopeful chance at this year’s regional tournament.
Track also is approaching the postseason as many leagues finish up their conference meets this past week. This is where our top individual and team comes from this week as we honor some of the top from the Scioto Valley Conference and the Muskingum Valley League. Now track teams look forward to the upcoming district meets.
This week also saw a lot of off-season activity in basketball. There are several schools still searching for basketball coaches, but the list shortened this week as a few found their replacements.
In this week’s On Tap there are several key match-ups in the upcoming district semifinals; however, one major baseball match-up looms as a possibility in next weekend’s final.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Zane Trace, Girls’ Track: The Lady Pioneers made it back-to-back Scioto Valley Conference championships this week. The team recorded six first-place finishes in the championship meet. Zane Trace was 16.5 points better than second-place Unioto and 44.5 better than Adena who finished third.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Olivia Lent, Philo Girls’ Track: The Philo senior swept the 100, 200 and 400 at this week’s Muskingum Valley League Track & Field Meet. In the 100, Lent ran a 12.91. In the 200, her 28.07 was the fastest time, and in the 400, again she ran a league best of 1:00.06.
NEWS, NOTES AND NUGGETS
Dominating the Decade: The Unioto boys took the team title in the Scioto Valley Conference Track & Field Championships Friday at Paint Valley High School. For Unioto boys, it’s their third straight SVC crown and seventh title in the last eight years, but this one was far from easy. Unioto scored less than two points more than second-place Piketon. Piketon was led by meet medalist Caleb Southworth with 38 points. He was first place in the 110 and 300 meter hurdles, high jump and second place in the 200 meter dash.
Holding Serve: Most of the top seeds in baseball held true in this week’s sectional play. In Division III, Adena, Zane Trace, Fairland, Wheelersburg, Eastern Brown, and most other higher seeds captured sectional titles. In Division IV, top seeds Eastern Meigs and Ironton Saint Joseph won sectional titles, and in Division II, Waverly continued their great season winning the sectional title with a 7-1 win over Gallia Academy.
A First Time for Everything: After a 26-year wait, the Meadowbrook softball team captured its first ever sectional championship. It came in a grind-it-out pitchers’ duel. With both teams still scoreless after seven innings, Meadowbrook plated an eighth inning run to record the walk-off win.
Sectional Softball: In Division IV, Waterford, Portsmouth Clay, Symmes Valley, Lucasville Valley, and Leesburg Fairfield all captured sectional titles this week. In Division II, Circleville, Logan Elm, and Warren all won titles.
Easterling Leads Fairland to Sectional Title: The top-seeded Dragons of Fairland took down archrival Chesapeake 7-0 to capture the Division III sectional crown. Fairland, now 15-1 was led by senior Robbie Easterling. Easterling threw a four-hit shutout on the mound and hammered a two-run homerun at the plate to lead the way for the green and white.
Snyder Steps Down at Adena: Adena girls’ basketball coach Lee Snyder called it quits this week. Snyder has a had a long run of success leading the Lady Warriors and is best known in the Ross County area for leading Adena to the 1994 state title. Snyder’s current assistant, Jeran Cox, has been named the new coach for the upcoming season.
Perfect Panthers: The Lady Panthers of Chesapeake improved to 23-0 and can now call themselves sectional champions as well. Sidney Boyle hit a fifth inning homerun to supply Allison Chapman all the offense she would need. Chapman struck out 17 on the mound while still collecting two hits including a triple and an RBI at the plate.
A State-Ranked Stunner: John Glenn entered the sectional tournament with more losses than wins, but that did not matter in their match-up against a 20-win Dover team who had spent all year in the top-ten of the Division II state poll. John Glenn plated three, seventh inning runs to take a 5-2 lead – a lead that would serve as the final score in the upset victory.
SVC Softball Enjoys Solid Sectional: Adena, Unioto, Piketon, and Zane Trace all captured sectional titles. Unfortunately for the SVC, Piketon and Huntington were forced to play head-to-head which eliminated another solid league team with Piketon defeating Huntington 4-2.
Back-to-Back: The Zane Trace girls’ track team was 16.5 points better than second-place Unioto to capture the Scioto Valley Conference championship. The Lady Pioneers have now won two consecutive SVC titles. Taylor Hatfield of Zane Trace was girls’ medal winner with 38 points. She had first place finishes in the 400 meter dash, 1600 and 3200 meter runs, and second place in the 200 meter dash.
Division III District Semifinal, Adena vs. Zane Trace, Monday, May 18th, Northwest High School, 4:30 p.m. This all Scioto Valley Conference showdown is between a Zane Trace program that has been the league’s best team for most of this decade against this year’s champion in Adena.
Southeast District Prelims, Boys & Girls Track, Wednesday, May 20th, Washington Court House High School, 4:30 p.m. Most of the Division II schools from around the southeast will be looking to secure a spot in the finals later in the week.
Division III District Semifinal, Chesapeake vs. Piketon, Softball, Thursday, May 21st, University of Rio Grande, 5 p.m. A great district match-up between two great pitchers. The undefeated Lady Panthers are led by their great pitcher Allison Chapman while the Lady Redstreaks of Piketon are led by hard-thrower Shella Zimmerman.
Division IV District Semifinal, Eastern Meigs vs. Whiteoak, Baseball, Thursday, May 21st, University of Rio Grande, 5 p.m. In a rematch of last year’s district championship, these two teams meet this time in the district semifinal. Ironically, that same night Paint Valley and Racine Southern, which is a rematch of the other Division IV district final last season, meet in another semifinal at Lucasville Valley.
Division III District Finals, Baseball, Adena/Rock Hill vs. Wheelersburg/Federal Hocking, Friday, May 22nd, Athens High School, 5 p.m. Both teams still must survive the semifinal round; however, baseball fans all over the southeast can’t help but look ahead to a possible Adena vs. Wheelersburg district championship. Both teams are ranked in the top-ten of the state and the winner of this bracket would become a heavy favorite to make the Final Four.