Posted On: 11/8/18 1:11 PM
Earlier, we tagged Convoy Crestview, Richmond Heights, Marion Local, and Minster as the four favorites to win the Division IV State Championship. However, other contenders — specifically Maumee Valley, Colonel Crawford, and Springfield Catholic Central — represent challenges within their respective regions.
#5 Maumee Valley
Last season’s result: District Champions, eliminated by Convoy Crestview in the Regional Semifinals
Key departures: Jaidon Woodley, AJ Johnson, Sam Crane
Key players: Zeb Jackson, Steve Coleman, Dez Jett, Parker Chatman
Jackson, a Special Mention honoree in Division IV last year, is the most improved prospect in Ohio from last season. Considering that the Michigan verbal commit brought them to the Regional Tournament a year ago, it’s safe to say that Maumee Valley has a chance this season. Since arriving on campus, the offense has relied heavily on Jackson. I mean, shoot, he went for 49 points in his ninth ever high school game. Since then, his scoring package has expanded, recently becoming way more confident and efficient around the basket.
Jackson, though, will need more from his supporting cast if they’re going to overpower Crestview this postseason. Coleman, the no. 33 2021 prospect in Ohio, is the most likely player to take that next step. He has the athletic ability to defend multiple spots and get to the basket. If he’s able to relieve pressure from Jackson for stints, Maumee Valley becomes a formidable contender. Otherwise, the Hawks are one more year away from being the perennial favorites in Division IV.
#6 Springfield Catholic Central
Last season’s result: District Champions, eliminated by Marion Local in the Regional Semifinals
Key departures: Jacob Woeber, Dominic DeWitt, Deece Catanzaro, Trey Brown
Key players: Trey Dunn, Sabien Doolittle, Mykah Eichie, Peyton Harris
I know a couple things about this team, one which I didn’t watch last year. Doolittle, a Division IV Honorable Mention player last year, and Dunn being back is a big deal. They should both contend for places on the All-State teams as seniors. Second, their size hampered them against Marion Local this year. In order to get past ML and Minster in the Kettering Region this season, they’ll need to do it with speed because they’re still small.
However, Dayton writer Tony Peters does know more than a couple things about this team. So, let’s turn to his expansive team capsules article that appeared on the site last month for a look at CCHS.
“Last season, the Irish were clearly the top Division IV team in Dayton, and they could easily do it again this year. After making a run to the Regional Semifinals, Catholic Central fell short by losing to eventual state champion Marion Local by 22. Coach Cody Sarensen returns several key pieces from his 23-4 team last year, including backcourt duo Trey Dunn and Sabien Doolittle. Senior Mykah Eichie also returns giving the Irish plenty of firepower and athleticism. Our biggest concern is who will provide bench support when these guys are not in the game. If the Irish can get into a rhythm and find depth to help their starting 5, they could legitimately be a state title contender in Division IV.”
#7 Colonel Crawford
Last season’s result: Eliminated by Mansfield St. Peter’s in the District Finals
Key departures: Harley Shaum, Brody Martin, Hayden Bute
Key players: Cameron McCreary, Jordan Fenner
All of Colonel Crawford’s top rebounders and forwards walked down the aisle for graduation last spring. However, their two 2020 guards are back in the building, including McCreary who averaged 14.8 points and 7.0 assists as a sophomore. Fenner is also capable of creating offense for himself and others. Even if there are question marks up and down the roster, Colonel Crawford shouldn’t be overlooked as long as this backcourt tandem is in town.