Breaking Down the Division IV Boys Basketball Brackets: Who We Think Wins

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Boys Basketball State Tournament Forecast

The 2012 Ohio High School Athletic Association Boys Basketball State Tournament gets underway this week. There is no better time than now to break down the brackets. We start with Division IV.


 

BREAKING DOWN THE D-IV BRACKETS

CANTON REGIONAL

Warren District:
Favorites: Windham, Cortland Maplewood, and Vienna Mathews
Sleepers: McDonald, Thompson Ledgemont, Warren JFK, Bristolville Bristol
Our Pick: Windham

Garfield Heights District:
Favorites: Richmond Heights and Cleveland VASJ
Sleepers: Cuyahoga Heights, Dalton, and Cornerstone Christian
Our Pick: Richmond Heights

Byesville District:
Favorites: Berlin Hiland
Sleepers: Malvern and Bishop Rosecrans
Our Pick: Berlin Hiland

Struthers District:
Favorites: Mogadore and Youngstown Christian
Sleepers: Wellsville Southern, Berlin Center Western Reserve, Sebring McKinley, East Canton, and Lowellville
Our Pick: Youngstown Christian

Regional Analysis:
It’s hard to not look at this region and not believe the winner is going to come from Garfield Heights or Byesville. Obviously, Berlin Hiland, the reigning DIV champion is at Byesville and is a heavy favorite to repeat but it also has Bishop Rosecrans and Malvern, who are both major contenders. Cleveland VASJ and Richmond Heights are at Garfield Heights, which rounds out the top five teams in this region. We would be very surprised if the regional winner doesn’t come from one of the above mentioned teams. Windham, Vienna Mathews, and Cortland Maplewood should offer a competitive district at Struthers, and watch out for Warren JFK despite its record. Struthers appears to be wide open, and really hard to predict a winner.

Regional Picks:
*Richmond Heights over Windham & Berlin Hiland over Youngstown Christian
*Berlin Hiland over Richmond Heights

BOWLING GREEN REGIONAL

Kansas District:
Favorites: Toledo MVCD and Calvert
Sleepers: New Riegel, Gibsonburg, Toledo Christian, and Ottawa Hills.
Our Picks: Toledo MVCD

Liberty-Benton District:
Favorites: Vanlue and Columbus Grove
Sleepers: Ada, Leipsic, McComb, and Arlington
Our Picks: Vanlue

Willard District:
Favorites: Colonel Crawford and Buckeye Central
Sleepers: Plymouth, Crestline, St. Peter’s, and Sandusky St. Mary’s CC
Our Picks: Colonel Crawford

Napoleon District:
Favorites: Kalida and Edgerton
Sleepers: Pettisville, Miller City, Holgate, and Stryker
Our Picks: Kalida

Regional Analysis:
This is a really tough region to analyze. The Kansas, Liberty-Benton, and Napoleon districts are solid, while Willard isn’t as strong but it will be competitive nonetheless. For years Northwest Ohio has been dominating small school basketball in the state, but over the last couple years the tide has started to turn. The NW hasn’t won a state championship in DIV since New Knoxville ran away with the gold in 2008. It has been three years since a team from NW Ohio has made the state title game. The power shift doesn’t mean there isn’t quality teams in this portion of the state as that just wouldn’t be true. At Kansas, Toledo MVCD Calvert, New Riegel, Gibsonburg, Toledo Christian, and Ottawa Hills should all be in the running. MVCD has won  15 games in a row and Ottawa Hills and Toledo Christian appear to be getting hot at the right time. Liberty-Benton should be interesting with Vanlue, Grove, Ada, Leipsic, and Arlington all with an even chance of advancing. Crawford seems to be the favorite at Napoleon having beat Buckeye Central twice by double digits. Keep an eye on Sandusky St. Mary’s CC, who could be primed for a regional run. At Napoleon, Edgerton and Kalida should battle it out for a trip to the regional. Edgerton has passed all tests to this point, but we truly believe Kalida hasn’t played its best basketball yet. Holgate is always dangerous with its style, and Pettisville has been solid as well.

Regional Picks:
*Toledo MVCD over Vanlue & Kalida over Colonel Crawford
*Kalida over Toledo MVCD

ATHENS REGIONAL

Athens 1 District:
Favorites: Racine Southern, Manchester, and South Webster
Sleepers: Leesburg Fairfield and Waterford
Our Picks: Manchester

Athens 2 District:
Favorites: Portsmouth ND, New Boston Glenwood, and Beaver Eastern
Sleepers: South Gallia
Our Picks: Portsmouth ND

Columbus 2 District:
Favorites: Columbus Africentric
Sleepers: Columbus Tree of Life and Millersport
Our Picks: Columbus Africentric

Columbus 1 District:
Favorites: Newark Catholic
Sleepers: Shekinah Christian, Fairfield Christian, and Wellington
Our Picks: Newark Catholic

Regional Analysis:
We never want to discredit any other teams, but it’s really hard to not think this region isn’t a two-horse race between Columbus Africentric and Newark Catholic. It would be a major upset if one of these two teams wasn’t playing on the last weekend of the season. Columbus does have some other quality teams and players you may not be familiar with. Fairfield Christian and Shekinah Christian have enjoyed outstanding years behind two really good players in sophomore Steven Carpenter and Luke Shetler. Tree of Life, Wellington, and Fisher Catholic should also be in the mix. Plenty of teams in Southeast Ohio are hoping to earn a spot in the regional. Manchester, South Webster, Racine Southern, and Portsmouth Notre Dame would be our favorites.

Regional Picks:
*Manchester over Portsmouth ND & Columbus Africentric over Newark Catholic
*Columbus Africentric over Manchester

KETTERING REGIONAL

Elida District:
Favorites: Fort Recovery and St. Henry
Sleepers: Minster, New Knoxville, and Delphos St. John’s, Convoy Crestview, Marion Local, and New Bremen
Our Picks: St. Henry

Dayton 3 District:
Favorites: Jackson Center
Sleepers: Tri-Village, Franklin-Monroe, Springfield CC, and Mechanicsburg
Our Picks: Jackson Center

Dayton 1 District:
Favorites: Dayton Jefferson
Sleepers: Middletown Christian, Cincinnati Christian, and Cincinnati CD
Our Picks: Dayton Jefferson

Dayton 2 District:
Favorites: Lockland
Sleepers: Russia, Lehman Catholic, Houston, and Fort Loramie
Our Picks: Lockland

Regional Analysis:
Kettering is a pretty strong region, but we don’t look for too many surprises from the three Dayton districts. Jackson Center, Dayton Jefferson, and Lockland are all strong favorites, and at this point, we have no reason to believe this won’t be three-fourths of the Kettering Regional. Jefferson has been red hot winning seven of its last eight games including wins over DI Beavercreek and DII Trotwood-Madison. The Broncos have one of the better unknown players in Ohio, Devin Foster. Lockland has played a brutal schedule and has plenty of talent led by junior DJ Wingfield. Jackson Center is undefeated led by its star Andy Hoying. Elida is much more difficult to predict. This is, without question, Northwest Ohio’s deepest district. We list Fort Recovery and St. Henry as the favorites, but Minster, New Knoxville, Delphos St. John’s, Convoy Crestview, Marion Local, and New Bremen all are contenders. In other words, this is the Midwest Athletic Conference district plus Convoy Crestview. St. Henry has become the team we thought it would be winning its last seven games including victories over Fort Recovery on the road and DII Van Wert. Fort Recovery is obviously very good, but keep an eye on Delphos St. John’s. The Blue Jays have won five-straight.

Regional Picks:
*St. Henry over Jackson Center & Dayton Jefferson over Lockland
*Dayton Jefferson over St. Henry

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STATE TOURNAMENT PICKS

*SEMIFINALS: Berlin Hiland over Kalida & Columbus Africentric over Dayton Jefferson
*FINALS: Berlin Hiland over Columbus Africentric

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