Breaking Down the Division III 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 continue with Division III.


 

BREAKING DOWN THE D-III BRACKETS

CANTON REGIONAL

Salem District District:
Favorites: North Lima South Range, New Middletown Springfield, and Canton CC
Sleepers: East Palestine, Rootstown, St. Thomas Aquinas, Akron Manchester, and Crestview
Our Picks: Canton CC

Painesville District:
Favorites: Bedford Chanel and Beachwood
Sleepers: Cleveland MLK
Our Picks: Bedford Chanel

Warren District:
Favorites: Leavittsburg LaBrae
Sleepers: Burton Berkshire, Brookfield, Newton Falls, Youngtown Liberty, Youngstown Ursuline, and Grand Valley
Our Picks: Burton Berkshire

Wooster District:
Favorites: Jeromeville Hillsdale, Wellington, and Creston Norwayne
Sleepers: West Salem NW, Orrville, Loudonville, and Smithville
Our Pick: Orrville

Regional Analysis:
This is an extremely tough region to forecast. Salem has several good teams, but not sure how much they have been tested. Painesville has Chanel and Beachwood, who are both solid squads which have played some quality opponents. Chanel has played the best schedule in this regional, which should give them an advantage. Not to mention, they rarely lose in district play. Beachwood will possess one of the better back courts in this region in sophomore John Davis III and Ellis Cohen, but will that be enough? At Warren, LaBrae, Newton Falls, Berkshire, and Brookfield are all solid, and Liberty and Ursuline are dangerous. LaBrae is unbeaten, and hasn’t been challenged on many nights. Though, Brookfield, Newton Falls and Liberty all were able to stay within eight points on at least one occasion. We have been waiting for Berkshire to break out all year, and tournament play may be that time. This is a talented team, who is led by 6-8 senior Tim Goff (Wheeling Jesuit), and we think Berkshire has yet to play its best basketball. Wooster is a tough call. Hillsdale, Wellington, Norwayne, and Loudonville all had successful regular season, but will that translate into tournament success. Orrville has struggled against a tough DIII schedule, but will be a tough out because of it. 

Regional Picks:
*Bedford Chanel over Canton CC & Burton Berkshire over Orrville
*Bedford Chanel over Berkshire

BOWLING GREEN REGIONAL

Norwalk District:
Favorites:Lake and New London
Sleepers: Ontario, Huron, Western Reserve, Margaretta, Wynford, and Ashland Crestview
Our Pick: Western Reserve

Napoleon District:
Favorites:Ottawa-Glandorf and Archbold
Sleepers: Delta, Patrick Henry, Wayne Trace, and Tinora
Our Pick: Ottawa-Glandorf

Lima District:
Favorites: Lima Central Catholic
Sleepers: Liberty-Benton, Spencerville, Coldwater, Fostoria, and Carey
Our Pick: Lima Central Catholic

Columbus 1 District:
Favorites: Bloom-Carroll
Sleepers: Fredericktown, Worthington Christian, and Madison Plains
Our Pick: Bloom-Carroll

Regional Analysis:
This region consists of mainly Northwest Ohio squads along with the one Columbus district. For the past two years, the number one seed at Columbus has decided to head to Bowling Green rather than Kettering. Usually this is not the case with the NW having so much depth over the last decade, but there has been a slight shift to the Southwest over the past couple years. Africentric went to Bowling Green last season, and came away victorious. Unbeaten Bloom-Carroll, if they survive district play, will have that opportunity this season. The Bulldogs are led by outstanding guards Isaac McGlone, AJ Ireland, Joey Schmitz, and Robbie Watts. As far as the NW goes, Norwalk appears to be wide-open, Napoleon has a pair of favorites in Ottawa-Glandorf and Archbold, and Lima should see Lima CC as a heavy favorite. However, as we witnessed in football, LCC was a heavy favorite in DV but Liberty-Benton had other plans. There isn’t that one dominant DIII team in NW Ohio, which makes the field wide-open and extremely difficult to analyze. LCC, O-G, and Archbold would be our three best teams from that area if we had to rank them, but the gap isn’t wide from the rest of the field by any means.

Regional Picks:
*Ottawa-Glandorf over Western Reserve & Bloom-Carroll over Lima Central Catholic
*Bloom-Carroll over Ottawa-Glandorf

ATHENS REGIONAL

Athens 1 District:
Favorites: Chesapeake
Sleepers: Huntington, Peebles, Zane Trace, and South Point
Our Pick: Chesapeake

Athens 3 District:
Favorites: Portsmouth and Lucasville Valley
Sleepers: Minford, Dawson-Bryant, Piketon, and Wheelersburg
Our Picks: Portsmouth

Athens 2 District:
Favorites: Ironton
Sleepers: Eastern Brown, Oak Hill, and Wellston
Our Picks: Ironton

St. Clairsville District:
Favorites: Coshocton, Fort Frye, and Ridgewood
Sleepers: Garaway, Shenandoah, and Buckeye Trail
Our Picks: Coshocton

Regional Analysis:
This regional should be exciting to say the least. Obviously, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Ironton will be heavy favorites to advance from the three Southeast districts, but don’t discount teams like Lucasville Valley, Huntington, Peebles, Eastern Brown, and a few others. We would be surprised if the top three teams don’t advance, but that is just meaningless speculation. Chesapeake has been consistent throughout the year, and has just one loss coming to Logan Elm without leading scorer Austin McMaster. Portsmouth is playing great basketball and currently riding a 15-game winning streak. The Trojans avenged both losses (Ironton and Warren) along the way. Ironton has played one of the better DIII schedules in Ohio. Guard Zac Carter and forward Trey Fletcher are the best one-two combo in SE Ohio, and can put points on the board in a hurry. The St. Clairsville District (formerly New Philadelphia) isn’t as strong as it has been, but there are some quality teams nonetheless. Coshocton can compete with anyone throughout the state in DIII led by 6-6 senior Brandon Taylor. Fort Frye is always highly skilled and well-coached, which is no different this year. Junior guard Shon Smith is rock solid and coming off a 35-point performance in the OVAC 3A Championship Game. Ridgewood is very competitive and Garaway may not be as good as they have been, but never discount them during tournament play. 

Regional Picks:
*Portsmouth over Chesapeake & Coshocton over Ironton
*Portsmouth over Coshocton

KETTERING REGIONAL

Columbus 2 District:
Favorites: Columbus Academy
Sleepers: Mount Gilead, Horizon Science, Amanda-Clearcreek, Bishop Ready, Heath, and Fairbanks
Our Pick: Columbus Academy

Dayton 3 District:
Favorites: Roger Bacon, North College Hill, and Waynesville
Sleepers: Anna, Bishop Fenwick, and Shroder
Our Picks: Roger Bacon

Dayton 2 District:
Favorites: Cincinnati Summit Country Day
Sleepers: Miami East, Jamestown Greeneview, Stivers, and Bethel
Our Picks: Cincinnati Summit CD

Dayton 1 District:
Favorites: Versailles
Sleepers: Hamilton Badin, Madeira, and Clark Montessori
Our Picks: Versailles

Regional Analysis:
Simply put, this is the deepest region in the state (DIII). Kettering, in our opinion, has DIII’s best team in Summit Country Day along with several other serious challengers. At Dayton 3, Roger Bacon headlines a group of solid squads. Coach Brian Neal has done a great job in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Spartans. Bacon is young and led by two sophomores in Austin Frentos and Carlas Jackson, but they are battle-tested and coming in having won another GCL Central title. Waynesville is a sleeper that nobody is talking about and Fenwick is definitely capable coming out of the Greater Catholic League and riding a three-game winning streak. Dayton 2 should be interesting as well. Summit CD will no doubt be a tough out, but Miami East and Greeneview led by Evan Bradds could certainly challenge. Though, Summit has a little bit of everything. The Silver Knights have D1 guard prospects in Kevin Johnson and Antonio Woods, shooters in Tommy and Joey Kreyenhagen, and a post presence in the underrated Holdy Hertzel. Dayton 1 was the toughest for us to pick. Versailles is very good, but is the Midwest Athletic Conference not as good this year? Badin will be ready for tournament play after a tough GCL schedule. Madeira has serious scoring threat in Andrew Benintendi and Clark has the same in Max Hassel. The team coming down from Columbus will likely be Columbus Academy, Horizon Science, Amanda-Clearcreek, Heath, Mount Gilead, Fairbanks, or even Bishop Ready. Academy is probably the most complete team, but Horizon Science is intriguing. Guard Julian Johnson and forward Antonio Blount are as talented as anyone in DIII. Both are more than capable of scoring 30-plus points on a given night. 

Regional Picks:
*Roger Bacon over Columbus Academy & Cincinnati Summit CD over Versailles
*Cincinnati Summit CD over Roger Bacon

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STATE TOURNAMENT PICKS

*SEMIFINALS: Cincinnati Summit CD over Bedford Chanel & Portsmouth over Bloom-Carroll
*FINALS: Cincinnati Summit CD over Portsmouth

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