Boys Basketball Regionals Week: Who’s left, What Happened & What’s Next

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Boys Basketball Regional Week

Wow! What a week in the state of Ohio. We have been following the OHSAA Boy’s Basketball State Tournament since the mid 1990’s, and can’t remember a tournament as unpredictable as this one.


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Ohio Boys Basketball Regional Week

Wow! What a week in the state of Ohio. We have been following the OHSAA Boy’s Basketball State Tournament since the mid 1990’s, and can’t remember a tournament as unpredictable as this one.

College basketball certainly has plenty of parity this year, but boy’s basketball in the Buckeye state refuses to be outdone. Before the tourney trail began, we would have been better off picking winners based off our favorite colors or mascots.

Let’s take a look back at our own March Madness from this past week’s district tournament, as just 64 teams remain alive in quest of that coveted state gold.

Division I

Toledo Regional:

Who had the Final Four of Nordonia, Broadview Heights, Anthony Wayne, and Toledo Rogers? If so, please give us a call.

In the district semis, Mansfield Senior dropped previously unbeaten Norwalk in a mild upset. Toledo Rogers dumped Toledo St. John’s, who was without point guard Austin Gardner and Toledo Central Catholic slipped by Whitmer after losing to the Panthers twice in the regular season.

Then, Anthony Wayne and Toledo Rogers made quick work of Mansfield and Toledo CC in the finals.

On the other side of the bracket, it was really hard to predict from the start, but Nordonia and Broadview Heights were likely not our second or third options despite stellar regular seasons. Shows what we know.

Cleveland Regional:

This bracket went pretty smooth other than Lakewood St. Edward being upset by North Royalton (23-2). The Eagles have dominated this district over the years, but North Royalton senior Travis Tarnowski (19 points) and freshman Omari Speelman (16 points, 11 boards, and six blocks) had other plans this season.

We had Cleveland St. Igatius coming out of the Solon District, but Shaker Heights (19-6) advancing wasn’t a surprise. Sophomore Esa Ahmad was outstanding once again scoring 21 points and grabbing eight rebounds helping to overcome Ignatius’ senior Derek Sloan’s 26 points and 10 rebounds. The Raiders were 23-of-25 from the free-throw line and made 14-of-15 in the final frame.

Mentor advanced by 30 points and North Canton Hoover survived with an overtime victory against Green in the semis and a two-point triumph of conference rival Lake in the finals.  The Vikings needed game-winning shots from Dom Iero and Harrison Blackledge in their two district games.

Columbus Regional:

Columbus was interesting on Wednesday during the semis with Newark upsetting Westerville North, Olentangy Orange taking out New Albany on a buzzer-beater, and Canton Timken erasing Massillon Jackson.

The three Central District teams advancing were Pickerington Central, Gahanna Lincoln, and undefeated Northland along with one of the bigger surprises in Canton Timken coming out of the Canton District. It was nothing real shocking with the three teams from Columbus.

Freshman LePear Toles sent Timken to the regional with an elbow jumper giving the Trojans a, 38-36, victory over Barberton.

Cincinnati Regional:

The quartet in Cincinnati features Cincinnati Colerain, Cincinnati LaSalle, Cincinnati Walnut Hills, and Springboro. Looking at the games over the weekend, Moeller losing was the only real shocker because of the way it had been playing in the last two months. Despite being down 30-16 at halftime, Moeller was able to make a comeback that eventually fell short by a single point. Senior Maverick Morgan tallied 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Springboro.

Record wise, LaSalle over Huber Heights Wayne may have been an upset, but we liked the Lancers going into Saturday’s contest. LaSalle has now won 10-straight since starting the year just (2-4).

Colerain, who is just (13-13), defeated Cincinnati Withrow to advance, and Walnut Hills got by Centerville. Milt Davis led Colerain with 26 points in the victory. Seniors Dontonio Wingfield (19 points and six rebounds) and Isaiah Johnson (15 points and 11 rebound) paced Walnut Hills, who may now be the favorite to win it all.

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Division II

Canton Regional:

Akron SVSM headlines the four regional finalists at Canton, and the Irish will be joined by Youngstown Mooney, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, and Warrensville Heights.

Warrensville Heights and Youngstown Mooney are somewhat surprises, but both had pretty decent paths. CVCA was a favorite at its district, but many still doubted if it could beat Akron Buchtel. Point proven.

Mooney was able to get past No. 1 seed Poland and No. 2 seed Salem to advance to regional play, while Warrensville Heights upset Mentor Lake Catholic and University School. For Mooney, it was its first district championship in boy’s basketball since 1998. Warrensville Heights, who was just (3-18) a season ago, got 17 points from talented freshman Yavari Hall. Warrensville is coached by Brian Swift, who is in second season, the same Brian Swift that helped lead Bedford Chanel to a state title in 1999 and Warrensville Heights to a runner-up in 2001.

Bowling Green Regional:

Bishop Watterson, Lima Bath, Sandusky Perkins, and Cleveland Benedictine will make up the BG Regional thanks to a pair of overtime victories, a three-peat, and a (10-16) team knocking off one of the state’s better teams.

Watterson got by a very talented Columbus Brookhaven team in overtime thanks to 19 points from Cody Calhoun and Sandusky Perkins was able to do the same against a game Toledo Scott squad with Brandon Smith scoring 21 points.

Lima Bath was able to handle Elida for the third time this season winning the school’s first boy’s basketball district title. Cole Chambers led Bath with 13 points. Dakota Mathias had 27 points and 13 boards for Elida in defeat. Bath won the three meetings by a combined 12 points. Benny, who is six games under .500, was able to avenge a regular season setback to Cleveland Central Catholic. Junior T.J. Steele led the Bengals with 16 points. However, don’t be fooled, Benny played one of the toughest schedules in the state.

Perkins and Benedictine were both in the regional a year ago.

Athens Regional:

The districts making up this regional held true for the most part. St. Clairsville, Vincent Warren, and The Plains Athens were what we thought to be locks before the tournament started, and they all came through. We picked West Holmes to come out of the Zanesville District, but New Philadelphia ended up cutting down the nets, which wasn’t a real shocker.

Senior Danny Monteroso led St. Clairsville to a comeback victory over Carrollton with 40 points despite being held scoreless in the 1st quarter.  Despite all the success Warren has enjoyed over the years, it had never won a district championship until this season. Sophomore Michael Hall scored 21 points to help the Warriors past Vinton County. Freshman Ibi Watson’s 26 points, seven rebounds, and six assists help Athens win its first district since 1965. Sophomore Joe Burrow added 16 points and nine boards.

New Philadelphia returns to Ohio University for consecutive seasons following a triumph of West Holmes. Juniors Marco Colombo (18 points) and Ethan Boose (15 points) paced the Quakers.

Kettering Regional:

Dayton Dunbar, Kettering Alter, Cincinnati Hughes, and Columbus Marion-Franklin will make up the Kettering Regional. Most people will recognize the first two schools and some will notice Marion-Franklin as a football power, but very few will be able to associate with Hughes.

Alter followed its stunning upset of Thurgood Marshall will a victory over a young and talented Wilmington team. Senior Jaaron Simmons continues to sparkle scoring 33 points on 13-of-17 shooting. Dunbar overcame 25 points and nine rebounds from Springfield Shawnee’s Jaelin Williams to win yet another district title. Junior William Green totaled 21 points continuing his phenomenal tournament run, and senior Damarion Geter added 14 points and 13 boards.

Marion-Franklin finished the regular season under .500, but an upset of Bishop Hartley in the sectional final, and then victories over Beechcroft and Columbus DeSales has the Red Devils at (14-12) in the regional semis. Hughes, who is talented and quietly went about its business, recorded an impressive, 96-86, win over favored Trotwood-Madison. Senior guard Angel Rivera enjoyed a triple-double, which included 30 points. 

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Division III

Canton Regional:

At Canton, it will be Beachwood, Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas, Oberlin, and Leavittsburg LaBrae. Beachwood and LaBrae were not surprises by any means, but St. Thomas Aquinas and Oberlin are still a bit of a mystery.

Beachwood had a huge week starting by ending basketball at Bedford Chanel and then overcoming a very good Gilmour Academy school. LaBrae was able to get past Youngstown Ursuline in double overtime behind 27 points and 12 rebounds from talented junior Peyton Aldridge.

Anthony Moeglin’s 17 points allowed Aquinas to knock off Akron Manchester. Jason Moore’s 21 points helped Oberlin to its first district title since 2001 by defeating Applecreek Waynedale.

Bowling Green Regional:

Bowling Green’s three favorites Lima Central Catholic, Ottawa-Glandorf, and Bloom-Carroll all advanced to Wednesday’s regional semis, and Huron rounds out a very tough foursome.

Lima CC has lost just two games all year and one of those came at the hands of Spencerville ending LCC’s 17-game winning streak. However, the Thunderbirds got revenge on Saturday by defeating the Bearcats for the district title. LCC, who won its third district title in four years, got 20 points from senior guard Tre’on Johnson. Spencerville had previously upset Findlay Liberty-Benton in the semis.  O-G snuck by Evergreen (49-46) before drilling Defiance Tinora.

Bloom-Carroll’s closest contest so far in the tournament was a 14-point victory over North Union in the district finals. Huron crushed a good New London team before defeating another good Western Reserve squad. For Huron, it was its first district title since 1999 doing so by nary a player scoring more than nine points.

Athens Regional:

Ironton, Piketon, and Oak Hill out of the Southeast District will meet up Martins Ferry from the East District for the Athens Regional.

Ironton ran its winning-streak to 14 games thanks to a, 69-45, disposing of Zane Trace. The Tigers, who are yet to lose to a team in Ohio, got 24 points from Trey Fletcher and 20 by Zac Carter. Oak Hill hammered Eastern Brown winning its first district title since claiming three-straight from 2007-2009. Eastern Brown leading scorer Chase Lawson was held scoreless playing only 14 minutes due to injury.

Martins Ferry continued a great tournament run upsetting Garaway in the district title game after knocking off Fort Frye in the sectional championship just two games prior. Leading scorer Cody Schau was held to just 16 points for the Riders, but junior Robert Vargo added 16 points and 15 boards to help the Purple gain its first regional appearance since 1998.

Piketon continues to find ways to wins escaping with narrow victories over Lucasville Valley and Crooksville.  The Red Streaks were led by senior Craigen Moore’s 14 points.

Kettering Regional:

This looks a lot like last year. Take out Columbus Academy and replace it with Worthington Christian and we have nearly the same regional as a year ago. Cincinnati Summit Country Day, who returns to defend its title, will join Cincinnati Roger Bacon, Versailles, and Worthington Christian.

Summit CD got past West Liberty Salem behind 29 points from Cincinnati-bound Kevin Johnson and 13 from junior Antonio Woods. The Silver Knights are riding a 10-game winning streak. Roger Bacon advanced by thumping Madeira as Carlas Jackson notched 27 points and Erik Edwards added 20 points and eight rebounds.

Worthington Christian, who advanced to the regional a year ago at Bowling Green by upsetting previously unbeaten Bloom-Carroll, is heading south this year following an upset of Columbus Academy and getting revenge on Bishop Ready. Versailles returns to Kettering after beating upstart Dayton Stivers behind 25 points from sophomore Kyle Ahrens and 18 by senior Chad Winner. The Tigers had to overcome 19 points from freshman Rodrick Caldwell and 15 from junior Robert Caldwell.

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Division VI

Canton Regional:

Only one repeat participant from last year’s regional at Canton will be present and that will be the Windham Bombers, who seem to be a yearly entrant. Division IV’s best team in Cleveland VASJ along with Hannibal River and Youngstown Christian will join Windham.

VASJ was matched with its toughest tournament opponent thus far in the district finals, but the Vikings were able beat rival Richmond Heights by 20 points. Highly rated sophomore Carlton Bragg scored 25 points to lead the Vikings.  Windham knocked off McDonald in a high scoring contest, 87-81, thanks to 25 points from senior Matt Knight. McDonald had knocked off previously unbeaten Bristol in the semis.

River ended the streak for Berlin Hiland thanks to a senior-laden bunch. The Pilots win disposed of the back-to-back state champions, but let it be known, this Hiland team didn’t possess the talent level of the past two years. At any rate, it was a huge win for River. Senior Brett Price scored 31 points, grabbed 12 boards, handed out five assists, and swiped five passes. The Pilots haven’t been to a regional since back-to-back trips in 1988 and 1989.

Youngstown Christian comes to Canton as a Cinderella. YC was the No. 8 seed in its district, but it didn’t matter much as the Eagles were able to get by No. 2 seed Mogadore (52-51) in the semis followed by a win over top-seeded Wellsville (75-73).

Bowling Green Regional:

Leipsic, Edgerton, Ottawa Hills, and Colonel Crawford will make up the BG Regional. Colonel Crawford and Edgerton return from a year ago.

Leipsic will be making its first regional appearance since 1995 thanks to a 34-point performance from senior Devin Mangas. The 10-deep senior class was 7th graders when Scott Maag took over the program. Edgerton advanced with a 42-28 triumph of Fayette. Edgerton made 20-of-24 freebies compared to just 4-of-6 for Fayette.

Ottawa Hills is red hot right now and so is junior R.J. Coil. The 6-foot-8 Coil scored 27 points and ripped down 12 boards to help OH to a win over Toledo Christian. Geoff Beans added 21 points and seven rebounds. In the semis, Ottawa Hills forced overtime thanks to a Beans three-point goal and survived the extra session defeating Old Fort, 61-59. Senior Lucas Janowicz scored 18 points and pulled down 16 rebounds. Coil chipped in 13 and 13.

Colonel Crawford survived two extremely tough games with Norwalk St. Paul (70-65) and Plymouth (49-48). Crawford got 18 points from junior Connor Mcreary to help overcome 23 points from Plymouth sophomore Tyrell Edminston.

Columbus Regional:

Perhaps the most interesting region in the entire state resides in Columbus. Why? The absence of heavily favored Columbus Africentric and Newark Catholic, who were both upset in the district finals, the Nubians by Danville and the Green Wave to Fairfield Christian. Both setbacks were stunning to say the least.

Danville and Fairfield Christian will meet in one regional semi-final at Ohio Dominican, while Portsmouth Notre Dame will lock up with South Webster at Ohio University. The two winners will meet at Ohio Dominican on Friday night.

Danville got 22 points from Andy Payne and 20 by Bryce Staats to help upset the Nubians. Danville was 18-of-22 at the free-throw line, while Africentric was just 1-of-7. Fairfield Chrisitian used 22 points from Justin Potochnik, 19 by Steven Carpenter, and 14 from Zach Sullivan to secure an overtime upset of Newark Catholic. NC’s Jett Speelman (22 points) knocked down a desperation three-point goal just to send it to OT.

Portsmouth Notre Dame survived district play with a one-point victory over Reedsville Eastern and a three-point triumph of Portsmouth Sciotoville Community. South Webster cruised past Leesburg Fairfield (72-57). Fairfield previously knocked off favorite Beaver Eastern in the semis.

Kettering Regional:

The deepest regional in DIV is here at Kettering featuring Delphos St. John’s, Jackson Center, Tri-Village, and Troy Christian.

DSJ endured a brutal district at Elida by defeating conference rivals New Bremen (57-45) and St. Henry (63-46). Curtis Geise continues to show why is a legit candidate for DIV Player of the Year. Geise scored 24 points against New Bremen followed with 23 points, six rebounds, and three assists versus St. Henry. Ryan Koester recorded 14 points in the win over New Bremen and Ryan Bueschner had 24 points and 11 boards against St. Henry.

Jackson Center returns to regional play following wins over Houston and Cincinnati Christian. Senior Alex Meyer totaled 28 points, including a 17-of-17 showing at the free-throw line in the triumph of Cincinnati Christian.

Tri-Village, who is the only unbeaten team left in Ohio, throttled Seven Hills, 71-33. Kyle Pipenger tallied 20 points and Tyler Cook added 18 points on 9-of-10 shooting. T-V went on a 27-0 run in this game and shot 64 percent from the field. This will be the Patriots first regional appearance since 1991.

Troy Christian, who has now won 16 consecutive games, defeated Fort Loramie behind 24 points and eight rebounds from senior Christian Salazar and 16 points by sophomore Grant Zawadzki.

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