State Tournament Forecast

21 Feb

By: John Stovall of Prep Spotlight

This year is very balanced. There is a clear cut favorite in D1, D3 and D4. In D2 there is a definite top 2 – Dunbar and Taft(unfortunately they are in the same region). Trying to pick a top anything this year is a crap shoot but here is my best guesstimate going into the tournament.

Division I
1. Columbus Northland- Clearly the best this year.
2. Mentor- Despite loss to Garfield. Very, very slight edge.
3. Cincinnati LaSalle- Surprise of the year to me. Heart of a champion.
4. Columbus Walnut Ridge- Size and depth.
5. Garfield Heights- Has the talent, must be consistent.
6. Toledo Whitmer- Best in Toledo….barely.
7. Shaker Heights- Very talented. Must defend.
8. Pickerington Central- Another talented team but young.
9. Cincinnati Moeller- Always watchout for them come tournament time.
10.Warren Harding- Talented but can be Jekyll or Hyde.

5 Others
• Cincinnati Withrow- They have the pieces.
• Lakewood St. Edward- Tough. They have the secret weapon. Myles Hamilton.
• Olentangy Liberty- Solid team. Has had a great year.
• Toledo Central Catholic- Starting to put it together under Coach Welling.
• Toledo St. John- Loving is great. Loss of Gardner really hurts.

Sleeper
• Cleveland St. Ignatius- Disciplined defenders always tough come tourney time.

Division II
1. Dayton Dunbar- Best team on paper. Starts 5 future D1 college players.
2. Cincinnati Taft- The toughest team in the state period. Tough to have them #2.
3. Akron St. Vincent St. Mary- Look for another tourney run from the Irish.
4. Cleveland Benedictine- Too much talent for me to count them out.
5. Franklin- Have a great guard (Kennard) and good bigs (Rossi’s).
6. Dayton Thurgood Marshall- Have had a tough year but have great pieces.
7. Plain City Jonathan Alder- Solid bunch. The R&R boys (Roby and Randall).
8. Akron East- Tough squad. Two very good guards.
9. Mentor Lake Catholic- Tough and talented. Have some kids that can score.
10. Alliance- Undefeated but I question the schedule.

5 Others
• Bowling Green- Sleeper team that played a D1 schedule.
• Columbus Brookhaven- Good guards and toughness.
• Defiance- Another team with a great record but……
• East Liverpool- Thompkin is good. Nice squad.
• Lexington- Another solid squad. Brooks is a keeper.

Sleepers
• Dayton Meadowdale- Tough team in a bad regional.
• Trotwood Madison- Starting to put it together. Probably not enough to get out of their region though.
• Vincent Warren- Great record but who have they played?
• Aiken- Talent is there but record is just 10-10.

Division III
1. Cincinnati Summit Country Day- Best team on paper in D3.
2. Bloom Carroll- Solid squad with guards, coaching and shooters.
3. Chesapeake- How far can McMaster take them.
4. Ironton- The duo of Carter and Fletcher are hard to stop.
5. Bedford Chanel- Tough and scrappy bunch will make some noise.
6. Leavittsburg LaBrae- Aldridge is a load in D3.
7. Lima Central Catholic- historically tough team.
8. Portsmouth- Has some talent and starting to put it together. McKinley is go to guy.
9. Versailles- Another historically tough squad. Always has shooters.
10. Creston Norwayne- Solid squad with a great record. Not spectacular but effective.

5 Others
• Cincinnati Roger Bacon- Good team with young talent. Future greatness.
• Columbus Academy- Solid team with a couple of go to players.
• Jamestown Greenview- Bradds is the man.
• Lucasville Valley- Yates is the man here.
• Newton Falls- And Dillon is the man here!

Sleeper

Dayton Stivers- Solid athletes and a real good guard (Caldwell) can do damage in the tournament.

Division IV
1. Berlin Hiland- Hands down, best team on paper in D4. Has 3 scholarship players.
2. Columbus Africentric- Tough and scrappy bunch with some talent and coaching.
3. Cleveland VASJ- very talented team. Young though.
4. Newark Catholic- Another young and talented bunch.
5. Richmond Heights- Athletic squad that has very good pieces. Could surprise.
6. Fort Recovery- Nice team with shooters and solid athletes.
7. Zanesville Rosecrans- Kilbride is very tough in D4. Perry works inside.
8. Cincinnati Lockland- Athletes and Wingfield could spell trouble.
9. Dayton Jefferson- Always hard to beat in D4. Foster leads them.
10.Malvern- Tucci’s and Kapron.

5 Others
• Dalton- Tough squad has had a good year.
• Edgerton- Great record. Tough region.
• Jackson Center- Another tough squad with a good record.
• Toledo Maumee Valley Country Day- Talented team.
• Vanlue- Nice squad. Garber is a stud.

Sleeper
• Kalida- Simple…Kortokrax.

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