Posted On: 02/15/18 6:05 PM
Dayton high school basketball has been a roller coaster this season. Just when you think one team is doing great, they become upset by another dark horse team. All 4 divisions have been exciting to watch since the first tip-off of the season and the excitement will continue until the final moments at the state tournament in Columbus in March. For now though, he is a look at the predictions for the sectional matchups across Dayton.
Dayton 1- Miamisburg over Butler
Butler is a tough team but a weaker strength of schedule makes them vulnerable. The Aviators will play the winner of Fairmont/Xenia which will provide them a challenge. Miamisburg will play Belmont/Lebanon winner. The Bison are a dark horse team to watch and Lebanon has already played the Vikings twice. The Vikings have too many weapons for the Aviators to compete with and should win this game.
Dayton 2- Springfield over Sidney
No question here Springfield will be in this sectional final game. The Wildcats should have no issue facing either Springboro or Piqua to get to this game. Sidney should easily defeat Troy and then defeat either Beavercreek or Franklin. Franklin has plenty of talent but playing in a weaker SWBL will affect how far they can go. Sidney definitely will challenge Springfield but in the end, the Wildcats are deep and extremely athletic.
Dayton 3- Wayne over Centerville
The Warriors should easily get by Stebbins and Tecumseh to reach the sectional final. Centerville will face either Fairborn or Northmont. The Elks should easily get through this game and then will challenge the Warriors for a sectional title. Centerville will have faced Wayne twice already up to this point in the season and will surely be a team capable of pulling an upset. However, Wayne has been the top team all season because of their rotation and the talent level in that rotation.
Springfield 1- Trotwood-Madison over Northridge
The Rams are by far the most talented team in the upper bracket and will easily take out Northridge to reach their district title. The athleticism and overall talent for Trotwood is unmatched by any teams in the district. No serious competition here.
Springfield 2- Tippecanoe over Urbana
The Red Devils will flex their GWOC muscle during postseason play. They should defeat a tough Carroll squad in their first game and then defeat #2 seeded Kenton Ridge right after. Urbana will face a challenge against a Shawnee team that defeated them by 10 a few weeks ago. The Hillclimbers will struggle against Tipp who has depth that Urbana will not be able to match up to. This district could end several different ways as seeds 2-8 all are located in this bracket.
Trent 1- Dunbar over Fenwick
The GCL North champions should defeat Ross/Clinton-Massie winner and advance to the sectional final. Dunbar will easily get by West Carrollton and then defeat Thurgood Marshall to advance as well. The Falcons are definitely a talented team, but will struggle against a far more athletic Dunbar team.
Trent 2- Badin over Chaminade-Julienne
I expect a GCL rematch for this sectional title. The Rams should defeat Valley View first and then defeat Ponitz/Alter winner (Badin has already defeated both in the regular season). We predict C-J will pull an upset and defeat Bellbrook to reach the sectional final. Bellbrook is a talented team, however they have struggled against bigger more athletic teams (losses against Xenia and Tippecanoe) during the regular season.
Northmont 1- Bethel over Troy Christian
The Bees will easily knock off Greenon/Miami East winner and then defeat Troy Christian in the sectional final. The Eagles have a favorable matchup against Indian Lake and then against Waynesville. Now that Bethel has Caleb South (2018) healthy, they will be one of the top teams in the Division III tournament. He and Ryan Rose (2018) form a strong backcourt capable of making a deep run.
Northmont 2- Versailles over West Liberty-Salem
The Tigers may have the top player in Division III with Justin Ahrens (2018) and should make it through their bracket. Wins over Houston and Milton-Union are expected before facing WL-Salem. WL-Salem has been a team flying under the radar most of the season. Currently 14-6, the Tigers have been pretty consistent most of the season, but Versailles will be a new caliber team the Tigers have not seen yet this season.
Butler 1- Anna over Brookville
The Rockets have been one of the hottest teams of recent with two quality wins against Fort Loramie. They have knocked off several top teams in D3/D4 throughout the season and have demonstrated they are a top notch team. The Blue Devils have been a surprise team this season as many felt they would struggle due to losing so many players from last season. Brookville will struggle against the talented Rockets and we have Anna advanced to the district title game.
Butler 2- Preble Shawnee over Madison
The Arrows will face Madison for the third time and I have to take Preble Shawnee in this one. Madison has already defeated the Arrows twice this season however, there is a saying that it is difficult to defeat the same opponent 3 times in the same season. Both matchups have been close and both teams know everything about each other.
Piqua 1- Russia over Triad
The Raiders have been flying under the radar most of the season. Playing in the SCAL, Fort Loramie and Anna have had most of the storylines and attention but this Russia team has won 5 of their last 6. We expect them to get by Lehman/Covington winner. Triad has been another surprise this season and expects to get by Fairlawn and then Jackson Center/Mississinawa Valley. If the Raiders can keep Triad senior Hadley LeVan (2018) under 20 points for the game, they definitely have a shot.
Piqua 2- Fort Loramie over Ansonia
There’s not much debate here. The Redskins should easily get by Mechanicsburg and then Bradford (both have a combined 2 wins on the season) to reach the sectional final. There they will face an Ansonia team that is expected to defeat the Riverside/Botkins winner. Fort Loramie is a senior led team with plenty of experience from their district title team last year and will flex their muscle against a vulnerable Tigers squad.
Troy 1- Franklin-Monroe over Tri-County North
This matchup will be a tough one. Franklin-Monroe defeated the Panthers earlier this season and should reach the sectional final for this Cross County Conference rematch easily. The Jets should defeat Southeastern and Emmanuel Christian while Tri-County North should knock off Miami Valley School and Tri-Village. Ethan Conley (2019) will be a name to watch in this bracket.
Troy 2- Catholic Central over Legacy Christian
The Irish and Knights received the #1 and #2 seeds and Legacy Christian chose to chase after the Irish in this bracket. Catholic Central has been one of the most consistent teams all season and there is no reason to expect things to change now. The Knights have battled injuries all season and if healthy has the potential to challenge Catholic Central. However, the Irish are a physical team and should find their way into the district title.