Posted On: 06/17/18 8:45 AM

Photo Credit: Matt Hammond

Last season was an exciting year for the CBC as they welcomed Jonathan Alder to their conference. In addition, the Pioneers were outright champions. The top 2 players in the conference graduated and will be playing college basketball in the Fall. This season will be more of a rebuilding year for the conference. Many teams saw their top players graduate and will look for younger guys to fill the voids. There are several 2019 prospects with college potential and even a few 2020 guys that can turn some heads as well. Here are 5 predictions for the CBC in 2018-19.

1. Jonathan Alder will repeat as the top team in the conference

Last season in their 1st year in the conference, the Pioneers finished 12-1 and won an outright conference title. We expect the same result this season as Alder returns some crucial pieces from the CBC championship team last year. Both leading scorers come back and will lead the group. Jackie Santa-Emma (2020 PHO #117) and Jacob Koenig (2019) form a talented backcourt capable of dominating the conference.

2. Jack Clement will be POY

After seeing 13 players from last season’s All-CBC team graduate, Clement (2019 PHO #110) is the top returning player in the conference and has the best odds to take home POY honors. The senior guard has shown he can score from different levels, but his best feature is his ability to set up teammates to score. I expect the scoring numbers to increase and the assists to slightly drop in 2018-19 as Clement is one of only 4 returning varsity players at Bellefontaine, and his role will likely change from role player to primary scorer.

3. The Mad River division is wide open

Graduation hit the Mad River division hard after the 2017-18 season. Last year’s POY Levi Boettcher is now as Wittenberg and a new POY will be crowned in 2018-19. In addition, there does not appear to be a clear cut favorite in the division. The defending champion Urbana Hillclimbers return only 1 starter in Reid Taylor (2019) and runner up Indian Lake returns 3 starters, but the 2 they lose are arguably their top 2 players from last season. We believe Graham has the best odds to win the division with Benjamin Logan being the predicted runner up.

4. The top team will still not beat out Trotwood

The majority of the CBC teams head up to Springfield HS for the district round come March. Unfortunately for these teams, Trotwood-Madison is also in the same district and they will be the heavy favorites. As good as some of the CBC teams are, none of them are athletic enough to compete with the Rams. Come tournament draw, the majority of teams will place themselves opposite of Trotwood on the bracket, leaving only the lower tier teams to face the Rams.

5. Northwestern will win more than 1 game in conference play

An 0-13 finish in conference play was the best Northwestern could do in 2017-18. This season will show better results, especially with the return of 1st Team All-CBC Jalan Minney (2020). We expect at least 3 wins in conference play minimum and up to 5 wins maximum. Northwestern loses only 2 players from last season’s squad, but if the returning guys do not step up and show improvement and provide support for Minney and Evan Noffke (2019), the 3 conference win prediction could be very accurate.