Breaking Down the Division II 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 II.


 

BREAKING DOWN THE D-II BRACKETS

CANTON REGIONAL

Ashtabula District:
Favorites: Cleveland John Hay and Mentor Lake Catholic
Sleepers: None
Our Pick: Mentor Lake Catholic

Boardman District:
Favorites: Struthers and Poland
Sleepers: Lakeview, Mooney, Ravenna Southeast, and West Branch
Our Pick: Poland

Stow District:
Favorites: Akron East, NDCL, and Orange
Sleepers: CVCA, Tallmadge, Chagrin Falls, Streetsboro, and Akron Buchtel
Our Pick: Akron East

Canton District:
Favorites: Akron SVSM
Sleepers: Alliance, Marlington, Akron Hoban, and Wooster Triway
Our Pick: Akron SVSM

Regional Analysis:
This region has been dominated by Akron SVSM over the last 10-plus years, so will this year be any different? Cleveland John Hay and Mentor Lake Catholic are both more than capable of making a deep run. John Hay is fueled by senior Devon Carter and junior Maurice Ofield, while Lake Catholic will be driven by Joey Vuyancih and Mike Whalen. Ironically, Lake Catholic defeated Cleveland Benedictine twice, which is a team SVSM didn’t beat. However, no team in Division II plays better than Akron SVSM when the games matter most. At Boardman, Struthers and Poland should battle it out for a trip to the regional. The two teams split in regular season play. Colin Reardon (Poland) and Jake Jacubec (Struthers), who recently went over the 1,000-point mark are both outstanding players capable of leading a team to a district championship. At Stow, Akron East, NDCL, and Orange should be considered favorites, but look out of CVCA, Tallmadge, Chagrin Falls, Streetsboro, and Buchtel. East has a lethal scoring combo in Davonte Brunson and Mycle Shadie, and will be a tough out for any team. At Canton, Akron SVSM is the big dog on the porch, but Alliance comes into the tournament at 20-0. The Aviators are just the 8th team in Stark County history to complete the feat. The two have very different schedules, but that won’t matter in a one-game scenario. Alliance will look to pull off the upset despite having a better record. 

Regional Picks:
*Mentor Lake Catholic over Poland & Akron SVSM over Akron East
*Akron SVSM over Mentor Lake Catholic

TOLEDO REGIONAL

Columbus 1 District:
Favorites: Bishop Hartley, Bishop Watterson, and Brookhaven
Sleepers: Big Walnut, Granville, Marion-Franklin, Independence, and Beechcroft
Our Pick: Brookhaven

Bowling Green District:
Favorites: Defiance, Napoleon, and Sandusky Perkins
Sleepers: Bowling Green, Toledo Scott, and Wauseon
Our Pick: Bowling Green

Westlake District:
Favorites: Cleveland Benedictine
Sleepers: Cleveland CC and Brookside
Our Pick: Cleveland Benedictine

Ada District:
Favorites: Elida
Sleepers: Shelby, Willard, Tiffin Columbian, Lexington, Lima Bath, Van Wert, and Upper Sandusky
Our Pick: Elida

Regional Analysis:
The teams from Columbus flocked to this region, not because there aren’t good teams here, but rather to avoid the likes of Taft, Dunbar, Thurgood, and Trotwood at Kettering. Columbus Brookhaven, Bishop Hartley, Bishop Watterson, and Big Walnut all have a good chance of advancing. We would be remiss to overlook Marion-Franklin, Independence, and Beechcroft coming out of the Columbus City League. Brookhaven has great back court play from Khalid King (North Carolina A&T) and Randal Clarkson. Bishop Hartley is peaking at the right time despite two regular season losses to Watterson. Following another successful football season and an early season injury to Jacob Matuska, Hartley was still able to manage 16 wins. Big Walnut is a major sleeper coming out of the Ohio Capital Conference. At Bowling Green, Defiance, Napoleon, Sandusky Perkins, Bowling Green, Toledo Scott, and Wauseon are the front runners in what should be a very competitive district. Defiance, Napoleon, and Perkins all had tremendous years with Defiance currently sporting an unbeaten mark. However, keep an eye on Bowling Green despite lingering around .500 and being drilled by Napoleon just over a week ago. Toledo Scott is another sleeper. Westlake should be Benedictine’s for the taking unless it slips up. Ada should go the way of Elida, but several teams will have a shot. Elida’s one-two punch of Reggie McAdams (Akron) and sophomore Dakota Mathias have the talent to carry this team a long way. Lexington, Lima Bath, and Van Wert will be tough outs as well. Van Vert already owns an overtime win against Elida.

Regional Picks:
*Brookhaven over Bowling Green & Cleveland Benedictine over Elida
*Cleveland Benedictine over Brookhaven

ATHENS REGIONAL

Athens 1 District:
Favorites: Chillicothe
Sleepers: Thornville Sheridan, Marietta, Logan Elm, Unioto, and Circleville
Our Pick: Chillicothe

St. Clairsville District:
Favorites: St. Clairsville, East Liverpool, Carrollton, and Minerva
Sleepers: Harrison Central, Indian Creek, and Steubenville
Our Pick: St. Clairsville

Athens 2 District:
Favorites: Vincent Warren and Waverly
Sleepers: Fairland, Hillsboro, Vinton County, and Fairfield Union
Our Pick: Waverly

Zanesville District:
Favorites: None
Sleepers: Maysville, Claymont, Cambridge, New Philadelphia, West Holmes, Dover, and John Glenn
Our Pick: West Holmes

Regional Analysis:
The strength of the Athens Regional isn’t as strong as the other three, but it still has some quality teams. Chillicothe will be a favorite at Athens 1, but don’t count out Logan Elm and Marietta. Logan Elm is very well-coached and has knocked off Chillicothe before. At St. Clairsville (Ohio University Eastern), St. Clairsville, East Liverpool Carrollton, and Minerva all will have a chance to win the district, and Harrison Central, Indian Creek, and Steubenville will also be in the mix. St. Clairsville junior Danny Monteroso is the most prolific scorer in this region, and possesses the talent to lead the Red Devils to its first district championship. St. Clairsville just beat East Liverpool by 15 points, but the Potters have been solid all year. Carrollton and Minerva don’t have stellar records, but they will be more than competitive. Carrollton will likely be St. Clairsville’s biggest threat thanks to the inside presence of 6-4 junior Stephen Erickson. At Athens 2, Vincent Warren and Waverly look to be the front runners. Warren has been consistent all year and owns an early season victory over Waverly, but we never underestimate a stud senior (Jake Kretzer) being able to lead a team towards a deep run. Zanesville is a total “guesstimate.” Seven of the 11 teams have a chance of winning this district. It will all depend on who gets hot at the right time. West Holmes plays in a good conference out of the Ohio Cardinal Conference and more than held its own led by guard Brady Arnold, which is reason we our picking it. 

Regional Picks:
*Chillicothe over St. Clairsville & Waverly over West Holmes
*Chillicothe over Waverly

KETTERING REGIONAL

Columbus 2 District:
Favorites: Jonathan Alder and Columbus Centennial
Sleepers: Eastmoor Academy, Licking Heights, Columbus DeSales, Buckeye Valley, Columbus East, and Licking Valley
Our Pick: Columbus Centennial

Dayton 2 District:
Favorites: Dayton Dunbar
Sleepers: Cincinnati Aiken, Kettering Alter, and Cincinnati McNicholas
Our Pick: Dayton Dunbar

Dayton 1 District:
Favorites: Cincinnati Taft
Sleepers: Norwood
Our Pick: Cincinnati Taft

Dayton 3 District:
Favorites: Thurgood Marshall, Franklin, Dayton CJ, and Trotwood-Madison
Sleepers: Dayton Meadowdale and Urbana
Our Pick: Thurgood Marshall

Regional Analysis:
From day 1, in our preseason preview, it was evident this was going to be the best region in the state. When all teams are at their best Taft, Dunbar, and Thurgood are the three best teams in Ohio (DII). Unfortunately, they will all be in the same regional. Dunbar may face some resistance from a talented Aiken team led by Willie Moore (Duquesne), senior Paul Woodson, and junior Austin Grimes. Kettering Alter is another option led by junior Jaaron Simmon and Jake Laravie. At Dayton 1, Taft should march on to regional play. Dayton 3 is the toughest district with Thurgood Marshall, unbeaten Franklin, a talented Trotwood squad, and a well-schooled Dayton CJ outfit led by John Staley (Northern Kentucky). Meadowdale certainly won’t be an easy out either owning wins over Thurgood, Eastmoor Academy, Northmont, Dayton Jefferson, St. Xavier, and West High. At Columbus 2, Jonathan Alder and Centennial are the favorites and watch out for Eastmoor Academy, Licking Heights, Columbus DeSales, Buckeye Valley, Columbus East, and Licking Valley. Thurgood, Franklin, and Trotwood are all more than capable, but Dunbar and Taft have been two of the three best teams in Ohio (all divisions) all season. Dunbar is unbeaten, while Taft has four out-of-state losses against two nationally-ranked teams and two others at the City of Palms Tournament (FL). Dunbar has five D1 kids in its starting line up, but Taft has the “it” factor. The Senators are tough, hard-nosed, and have been playing together for a long, long time. Team chemistry may be where Taft has the tiniest of advantages. Regardless, if this game comes to fruition, it will be the game of the year in Ohio and perhaps the state’s best game since North College Hill/Canton McKinley in 2006. 

Regional Picks:
*Dayton Dunbar over Columbus Centennial & Cincinnati Taft over Thurgood Marshall
*Cincinnati Taft over Dayton Dunbar

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STATE TOURNAMENT PICKS

*SEMIFINALS: Cincinnati Taft over Akron SVSM & Cleveland Benedictine over Chillicothe
*FINALS: Cincinnati Taft over Cleveland Benedictine

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