District Previews: Northwest Ohio

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Posted On: 02/12/18 7:15 AM

Prep Hoops is your spot for balanced coverage across all levels of basketball talent. Usually that principle applies to providing content on all levels of college prospects, high-major to D-III. But, it’s tournament time in Ohio and we’re going to pivot our fundamental goal towards high school teams, giving you brief district previews from Division I to Division IV.

It’s less top-heavy than most regions of the state, but Division III and IV in Northwest Ohio is arguably more competitive than any. We’ve got legitimate State Championship contenders throughout each division, but we’re focused strictly on the districts for now.

Division I

Toledo 1 District

Toledo St. John’s over Lima Senior

Ed Heintschel’s group at St. John’s enters the postseason as the heavy favorite. Their opponent in the District Final is an interesting question. Lima Senior will likely face Anthony Wayne in the semis, a rematch of the season opener for both teams when Lima won at home by one point in overtime. We’ll take Lima by a hair again, being that the young team has improved since early December.

Toledo 2 District

Sylvania Southview over Toledo St. Francis

Southview’s road is much tougher than St. John’s in the Districts. They’ll play a gritty Rogers team, likely followed by rival Sylvania Northview then either St. Francis or Whitmer. The semifinal between Whitmer and St. Francis is a toss-up as they’ve split their season series with both winning at home.

Division II

Ada District

Wauseon over Elida

Elida’s side of the bracket is littered with competition. They’ll tussle with either Shawnee or Wapakoneta, both capable of beating them. In fact, Elida is 1-2 against these two teams this season, however they’re a safer bet because of their consistency.

Mansfield District

Vermilion over Mansfield Senior

Vermilion has lost three games by a total of four points this season so far. Those losses have come to Lorain, Elyria, and Elyria Catholic. Meanwhile, we took Mansfield Senior over Sandusky in the semifinal because of their experienced backcourt.

Division III

Norwalk District

Upper Sandusky over Carey

Toledo District

Cardinal Stritch over Archbold

This one is on the shortlist for best District Championship game candidates. Stritch’s guard-play is superior, despite Archbold’s experience and run to Columbus last season. Small gripe with the seeding here: Stritch should be the top seed, which is significant because they’ll need to play a surging Genoa team two days before Archbold.

Lima District

Ottawa-Glandorf over Coldwater

Division IV

Willard District

Mansfield St. Peter’s over Colonel Crawford

If any in-state colleges are looking to do early homework on 2020 point guards, go check out Colonel Crawford’s Cameron McCreary versus South Central’s Simon Blair on March 6 at Willard High School.

Napoleon District

Maumee Valley over Toledo Christian

Elida District

Convoy Crestview over Delphos St. John’s

We took DSJ over Wayne Trace because the Midwest Athletic Conference (MAC) gauntlet provided Delphos with much more big-game experience.

Findlay District

Pandora-Gilboa over North Baltimore

Fostoria District

Arlington over Mohawk

Wapakoneta District

Marion Local over St. Henry

You’re not going to find a stronger Division IV district. This thing is likely stronger than the Division II Mansfield District. It’s tough to imagine Minster not even making the final, but St. Henry has been much better than them lately. However, we’ll take Marion Local’s defensive identity to win out, as they rarely allow over 45 points.