State Tournament Draw: Division III Elida District state’s toughest?

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Boys Basketball State Tournament

If you are a professional wrestling fanatic then the term
elimination chamber should be familiar to you. This Sunday, World
Wrestling Entertainment’s main event will be a six-man elimination
chamber match with only the strongest surviving. The WWE has nothing on the elimination chamber that is the Division
III Elida District.


If you are a professional wrestling fanatic then the term
elimination chamber should be familiar to you. This Sunday, World
Wrestling Entertainment’s main event will be a six-man elimination
chamber match with only the strongest surviving. This type of match is
grueling and often times punishing to one’s body even though staged,
but the WWE has nothing on the elimination chamber that is the Division
III Elida District.

When people suggest this is the best small school district in the
state, obviously others in different parts of Ohio will argue, but the
proof is definitely in the pudding.

The Elida sector is made up of two sectionals in a six-team Wapakoneta site and a five-team Findlay location.

The teams at Wapakoneta include: Bluffton, Coldwater, Delphos Jefferson, Lima Central Catholic, Parkway, and St. Henry.

The teams at Findlay include: Elmwood, Liberty-Benton, Ottawa-Glandorf, Patrick Henry, and Riverdale.

Yeah, you read that right.

Some may say, “OK, that’s great, but where are the facts for your argument?”

Let us see if we can change your mind.

At Wapakoneta, Coldwater (12-2), St. Henry (9-5), Parkway (9-8),
Lima CC (9-4) and Delphos Jefferson (10-5) have winning records.
Bluffton is 3-13.

Coldwater, St. Henry, and Parkway are all part of the vaunted
Midwest Athletic Conference (MAC), and no introduction is needed for
the best small affiliation in Ohio. If you don’t know about the MAC,
you’re not a real high school sports fan.

Coldwater has an OT loss to one-loss Fort Recovery (who lost to
Coldwater in a Holiday Tournament earlier in the season) and a setback
to a good D-II Celina squad. The Cavaliers have plenty of big wins
including Delphos Jefferson, Fort Recovery, Elida, New Bremen, Lima
Perry, Versailles and New Knoxville.

St. Henry has struggled of late, but injuries to several starters
have been the real story for the Redskins. When healthy, the Redskins
were 6-0, but are now 3-5 in their last eight contests. All the losses
have been to quality opponents.

Parkway is just 1-6 in MAC play, but 8-2 outside the conference.

Versailles, another MAC team, gets shipped to Dayton to participate
in district play and made the district final last season despite just
an (11-9) regular season record and 3-6 MAC mark.

Lima CC, Delphos Jefferson and Bluffton are all part of the Northwest Conference.

Bluffton has just three wins, but plays some very good competition.
The Pirates have been very competitive against a schedule that includes
McComb, D-II Van Wert, D-II Lima Bath, D-II Kenton, Columbus Grove and
Pandora-Gilboa.

Lima CC, under legendary head coach Bob Seggerson, started the year
3-4 but has since won six-straight. Seggerson told us before the year
that his squad would most likely come out of the gates slow due to
football, and would be playing its best basketball later. He was
absolutely correct. The Thunderbirds have beat Delphos Jefferson,
Delphos St. John’s, D-II Lima Bath and D-I Lima Senior in their
six-game run.

Delphos Jefferson, who moved up from D-IV thanks to the latest
enrollment figures, has also played very good competition. Kalida,
Coldwater, Lima CC, Paulding and Arlington are its setbacks. The
Wildcats have wins over Vanlue, Lima Perry and Fort Loramie.

At Findlay, Liberty-Benton is (15-0), Ottawa-Glandorf (11-4), Elmwood (8-7), Riverdale (11-2) and Patrick Henry (2-13).

Liberty-Benton, who is led by Ohio State signee Aaron Craft, has
done nothing but win. The Eagles have wins over Elmwood, Vanlue, D-II
Lima Bath, Lima CC, Van Buren, D-II Elida, Arlington, Ottoville, McComb
and Pandora-Gilboa. Only four of L-B’s wins have been within single
digits.

Ottawa-Glandorf, who was the 2004 D-II and 2008 D-III state
champions, plays one of if not the best schedules in the state for a
D-III school. The Titans have four losses that include D-I Perrysburg,
D-II Defiance, D-I Findlay and D-II Elida. Perrysburg and Defiance have
a combined three losses. O-G has wins over Lima CC, Archbold, D-I
Bowling Green, D-I Lima Senior, Columbus Grove, and D-II Napoleon.

Riverdale, who is out of the North Central Conference, doesn’t play
quite the competition the above two teams play but they have won 11 of
13. The Falcons have a win over Carey and two over Bucyrus Wynford,
while their two losses were to Ontario and Buckeye Central.

Elmwood has setbacks to Liberty-Benton, McComb, New Riegel, D-II Wauseon, and Eastwood.

Patrick Henry, who is a traditional power, is enduring a rare
second-straight down year. The Patriots play in a very good conference
with the likes of Archbold, Evergreen, Bryan, Wauseon and Delta. Their
out-of-conference slate includes Liberty-Benton and Miller City.

The task to survive this district is very daunting. Last season, the
district teams were Coldwater, Ottawa-Glandorf, Findlay Liberty-Benton
and Spencerville. The latter upset No. 7 St. Henry in the first
sectional contest.

Coldwater eventually won the district besting Ottawa-Glandorf
(58-54), but eight of the 12 games in the district were settled by five
points or less including two overtime encounters.

The district semis and championship contest were settled by a combine nine points between the three games.

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