The 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 OHSAA Winter Tournament Enrollment Figures
and Divisional Breakdowns were released last week, which as always,
changes the landscape of boy’s basketball in Ohio. For some schools it’s a breath of fresh air and a means to new beginnings, while for others it will be a new, harsh reality.
Who moved up, Who moved down…
The 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 OHSAA Winter Tournament Enrollment Figures and Divisional Breakdowns were released last week, which as always, changes the landscape of boy’s basketball in Ohio.
For some schools it’s a breath of fresh air and a means to new beginnings, while for others it will be a new, harsh reality.
Here is a first look at the teams and divisions most affected by the new numbers.
In Division I, New Philadelphia took perhaps the biggest hit moving out of Division II. The Quakers were one game away from the state tournament a year ago, and welcome back each member from that team, which includes standouts Ethan Boose and Marco Colombo. NP’s enrollment has shot up to 395 boys leaving the Quakers’ state tournament hopes in serious jeopardy.
Trotwood-Madison spent two seasons in Division II, but will return to DI for the next two seasons. The Rams, unlike many others, are familiar with the rigors of Ohio’s largest division making the state tournament back in 2006 led by Chris Wright. T-M has the luxury of returning its leading scorer and rebounder Dezhontae Bennett (22.6 ppg. & 10.7 rpg.) along with talented junior Andre Foster.
Bowling Green is another school that spent the past two seasons in DII, but will bump back up after a pair of disappointing seasons. Junior point guard LaMonta Stone will be a good place to start for new head coach Gary Gardner. Gardner’s brother is State Senator Randy Gardner.
Wilmington returns a plethora of key players from last season’s (19-6) team including D1 prospects Jarron & Jaevin Cumberland. The Hurricane, unfortunately, will shoot up to Division I.
Chillicothe, which spent years in DII, will take the leap to DI. The Cavaliers will have their third coach in as many years.
Licking Heights, which was primed for a big year in DII with the return of senior Babe Murphy, found out it will be bumping up to DI. Not good news for the Hornets.
For the Norwalk Truckers, it was an early Christmas. The Truckers have won 43-straight regular season games, which include undefeated regulars seasons the past two years. The Truckers will now drop down to DII and return two four-year mainstays in Jeff Thomas, a D1 prospect, and point guard Ben Haraway, one of the best floor generals in Ohio.
Toledo Rogers, after finishing runner-up in D1 a season ago, watched its enrollment plummet to 298 boys putting the Rams in DII. Rogers lost plenty, but Fadil Robison returns and the team’s overall athleticism will be issues for most teams in NW Ohio.
Canfield is another school that could make an impact in NE Ohio with its move to DII.
Bishop Fenwick was (20-5) last year performing in DIII and with four of its top five scorers returning expectations were very high for this winter. Though, the Falcons will be moving to DII, but still should be a factor thanks to a brutal GCL slate.
Bloom-Carroll will make a return to DII after a long and productive stint in DIII. The Bulldogs lost a heart-breaking overtime contest to eventual state champion Ottawa-Glandorf in a regional finals game as last season ended. B-C lost star guard Isaac McGlone to Eastern Kentucky and assistant coach Joe Goodyear has taken over the Circleville program, but B-C should still be formidable as long as the legendary Tom Petty is on the bench. Senior Joey Schmitz should have a big season following a spring/summer recovering from an injury.
Lima Bath was just two boys (214) away from being DIII, which would have made a huge difference. The Wildcats lost to Columbus Bishop Watterson (DII State Champion) in the regional finals a year ago and with seniors Taren Sullivan and Colin Gossard returning, Bath would have been a force in DIII.
Dayton Chaminade Julienne will drop down to DIII after a long stint in DII. The Eagles always play a brutal schedule in the GCL, and should be a force in SW Ohio. Seniors C.J. Riazzi and Aaron Hammond return along with junior Alan Vest and sophomore Evan Clayborne. The addition of Lakota East transfer Myo Baxter should pay huge dividends as well.
Columbus Bishop Hartley, St. Clairsville, Van Wert, and Willard are four more Division II regulars that dropped down a level. Hartley was a DII state tournament participant in 2011 and St. Clairsville was in Columbus in 2012. The Hartley Hawks will be a legit contender in Central Ohio. St. Clairsville lost eight of its top nine players from last year’s regional semifinalist team, but still should contend in DIII in the East District.
Division III upped its star power more than any other division with the additions of reigning DIV state champion Cleveland VASJ and DII regional finalist Warrensville Heights. Both teams, for lack of a better term, are loaded. DIII in NE Ohio has possessed little depth in recent history, but the bar has seriously been raised.
St. Henry is another team bumping back up to DIII after a two-year stay in DIV. The Redskins should be solid led by talented junior Ryan Mikesell.
Spencerville could be a major player in DIV after dropping down from DIII. The Bearcats lost to Lima CC in the district finals a year ago.
Wayne Trace is another school in NW Ohio moving down to DIV with a good pedigree.
Peebles should be a major player in SE Ohio after coming down from DIII with junior Beau Justice leading the way.
Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas could be a factor in DIV in NE Ohio with VASJ moving out.