Posted On: 02/18/18 4:03 PM
The postseason is finally upon us and the Road to Rupp Arena starts this week. The amount of schools in the postseason will be cut down to 128 once the district rounds are complete. Only district champions and runners-up move on to regional tournaments and there are sure to be several upsets this week. As we continue with our postseason previews, we move to the Ninth region where Cooper and Covington Catholic are on a collision course for regional supremacy. Here’s a district by district breakdown of the match-ups:
33rd District (Games played at Ryle):
Heritage Academy and Conner kick off the district tournament with on Monday night and Conner can essentially name the score in that one. Once they knock off Heritage Academy, Conner will have a date with Cooper on Wednesday night in the semifinals. Cooper won the two district meetings by a combined 61 points and expect to win by double figures again in the postseason.
The other semifinal pairs up Boone County and Ryle. Boone beat Ryle by 31 in the first meeting but Ryle won the rematch by a point in overtime so there is no telling what to expect in the rubber match with a birth in the regional tournament on the line.
34th District (Games played at Ludlow):
Another 5 team district in the 9th features Villa Madonna taking on Ludlow in the play-in game. Villa won both regular season games against Ludlow but the first one went to overtime. This game could go either way. The winner of the game will take on Dixie Heights on Wednesday night in the first semifinal.
The other semifinal has St.Henry and Lloyd Memorial battling for the right to reach the regional. In their only regular season game, St. Henry beat Lloyd by a point so it’s likely to be another good game in the semifinals.
35th District (Games played at Holmes):
Wednesday night Holmes plays host to a pair of semifinals. Covington Catholic gets the action started as they face off against Beechwood in the first semifinal. Beechwood has had a great season but Cov Cath beat them by 36 just a few weeks ago and it’s not likely that Beechwood has the offensive firepower to keep up with Covington Catholic.
In the other semifinal Holmes plays host to Holy Cross. These teams only played once in the regular season. Holy Cross beat Holmes that night by a score of 55-52. Holmes did play better down the stretch than how they started so they are more than capable of taking out Holy Cross and making it back to the regional tournament.
36th District (Games played at Highlands):
Yet another 5 team district in the 9th region starts play on Monday night as Bellevue and Dayton go head to head. Bellevue won both regular season games by comfortable margins and another win should be expected here. Whomever wins the game will take on Newport in the opening game Wednesday night.
The other semifinal will feature Newport Central Catholic taking on host Highlands. NCC beat Highlands by 15 earlier in the season but they have been up and down all season so a Highlands victory isn’t that far fetched here.
Champions: Cooper, Dixie Heights, Covington Catholic, Newport
Runners-Up: Boone County, St. Henry, Holy Cross, Newport Central Catholic