Posted On: 11/7/18 5:00 AM
The top six teams in Division III are tough. While it will be a challenge for anyone to knock-off any of the favorites in a tournament game, Genoa, Elyria Catholic, Stivers, and Seven Hills may just have a chance.
Last season’s result: Eliminated by Cardinal Stritch in the District Semifinals
Key departures: Noah Edwards, Josiah Bradfield
Key players: Jake Plantz, Drew Bench
This one is all about Genoa’s terrific pair of senior leaders. Plantz and Bench have been the dominate one-two punch for a couple years now. They both have the talent to go off for 25 points on a given night. The offense is designed for these two to get as many shots as possible, even though both are capable of creating their own looks with put-backs and forced turnovers. Although there are more well-rounded rosters up the board, Genoa is a few complimentary shooters and defenders away from making a Lorain-type run to the Final Four. However, we believe they’d struggle against tall, athletic teams.
#8 Elyria Catholic
Last season’s result: Eliminated by Beachwood in the District Semifinals
Key departures: Dorian Crutcher
Key players: Jarred Logan, Branson Taylor, Edward Wright, Nate Damron, David Griffin
Elyria Catholic should be much better than last season’s 12-12 team behind an improved Jarred Logan. The 6’4”-6’5” powerful wing has expanded his game, including becoming more dynamic off the dribble and extending his range. Meanwhile, Taylor and Wright are a pair of secondary scoring options.
#9 Seven Hills
Last season’s result: Eliminated by Purcell Marian in the District Semifinals
Key departures: Tommy Robinson, Charlie Dwight
Key players: Brice Hill, Curtis Harrison, Andrew Brown, DJ Ross
Seven Hills is our third Division III contender from Southwest Ohio. Their roster may not be as athletic or as well-rounded as Deer Park and Purcell. However, their forward combination of Hill and Harrison will give them a chance most nights. Both of the prospects can create their own shot off the dribble, defend multiple positions, and rebound. In tournament games against Purcell or Deer Park, we’d expect Seven Hills to slow the game down, considering their disadvantage at the guard spots. Executing at a high level and the health of Harrison will be key.
Last season’s result: Eliminated by Deer Park in the District Finals
Key departures: Terry Matthews
Key players: Trevon Ellis, Allen Lattimore, Da’Juan Allen, Doug Spear
A surprise run to the District Finals as a no. 12 seed may have been the start of something special for Stivers. All three of their leading scorers return, a guard trio of Ellis, Lattimore, and Allen. Ellis paces the team with intelligence and the ability to drive and kick. Meanwhile, Lattimore is their knockdown shooter, Allen the athletic slasher. Those three have two more years together, and given the amount of SW Ohio talent in Division III this season, Stivers still might be one year away.