Unlike the other Division in the state, Division II did not get their Regional games started. As a result, we have 16 teams to provide insight who would have advanced to Columbus. There are some household names remaining, as well as some new faces and expected competitors. Regardless though, let’s dive in and take a look at how D2 would have finished in Part 2 of our hypothetical State tournament pieces.
Youngstown Chaney vs. Akron SVSM Lutheran East vs. Triway
In our first Regional to examine, we expect SVSM and Lutheran East to advance out. The Irish have a ton of weapons spread out across the court, led by Malaki BranhamMalakiBranham6'5" | SGSt. Vincent-St. Mary | 2021State#23NationOH
(2021) and Sencire HarrisSencireHarris6'5" | PGSt. Vincent-St. Mary | 2022State#55NationOH
(2022). Chaney does not have the personnel to match up well with this Irish team. In the 2nd matchup, Lue East also is loaded with talent across the board. With size in Jalin BillingsleyJalinBillingsley6'7" | PFLutheran East | 2021State#191NationOH
(2021) and Nehemiah BensonNehemiahBenson6'6" | PFLutheran East | 2020StateOH
(2020), as well as backcourt play from Sirr HughesSirrHughes5'10" | PGLutheran East | 2021StateOH
(2021), Collin AlbertCollinAlbert5'10" | PGLutheran East | 2021StateOH
(2021) and B.J. Busbee (2021), the Falcons are expected to easily get past Triway. This would pit a matchup between SVSM and Lutheran East, which would be a rematch of a regular season game where Lue East won in OT 76-73. This time around however I expect to see SVSM advance. It is difficult to beat Dru Joyce’s team in March and especially when it is the 2nd time seeing that opponent.
Regional Winner: Akron SVSM
New Philadelphia vs. Columbus DeSales Logan Elm vs. Meadowbrook
In our first matchup, we expect DeSales to continue their postseason run with a victory over the Quakers. The Stallions are led by Desmond WatsonDesmondWatson6'5" | SFColumbus DeSales | 2021StateOH
(2021) and at 6’5 and athletic as he is, I don’t see how New Philadelphia will defend him. In the 2nd matchup, we expect Meadowbrook to knock off Logan Elm. The Colts haven’t lost since January 14th and are led by 6’5 Addy Black (2020). While Logan Elm is led by some great backcourt play in juniors Isaac Ward and Gabe Chalfin, I do not expect the Braves to be able to outplay this Meadowbrook team that is no stranger to playing in Regional games. In the expected final, it would pit Meadowbrook up against DeSales. While Watson is going to be the X-Factor, I still feel Meadowbrook is the hotter team and with their experience at playing this deep in the tournament, I think they will knock off DeSales and advance to Columbus.
Regional Winner: Meadowbrook
Upper Sandusky vs. Lima Shawnee Toledo Rogers vs. Holy Name
I’m not going to dive deep into the Regional Semifinals as I expect both Lima Shawnee and Rogers to advance. This expected Regional Final would pit an undefeated Shawnee team against a very talented Rogers team. On paper, the Rams have the most overall talent as they’re led by Da’Sean Nelson (2020), Jamiya NealJamiyaNeal6'6" | SFRogers | 2021StateOH
(2021) as well as Jordan Kynard (2022). Shawnee has their own stud in George MangasGeorgeMangas6'3" | SFLima Shawnee | 2021StateOH
(2021) who has had a breakout year and shown he is not afraid to go up against anyone. The difference in this matchup with be does Shawnee have the personnel to counter against Rogers’ length? I think in this one, the Braves will hang around and may lead for some time, but the Rams talent pool is too much and too long that I think that is the difference.
Regional Winner: Toledo Rogers
Beechcroft vs. Alter Trotwood-Madison vs. Thurgood Marshall
In our first Regional Semi, I am taking Alter to beat Beechcroft. If this was last year’s Alter team, I would say otherwise since that team struggled against up-tempo athletic teams. This year’s team has experience with Brady UhlBradyUhl6'1" | SGAlter | 2020StateOH
(2020), Jack SmithJackSmith6'3" | SGAlter | 2020StateOH
(2020), and Conor StollyConorStolly6'8" | PFAlter | 2020StateOH
(2020) and will bring a sense of defensive physicality that will allow them to advance. In the second matchup, we see a rematch between Trotwood and Thurgood. The last time they played, Trotwood won on a buzzer-beater 100-97. Expect another high scoring game as Trotwood will rely on Carl BlantonCarlBlanton6'2" | SGTrotwood | 2020StateOH
(2020) and Sammy Anderson (2020) against a Thurgood team led by Anthony McCombAnthonyMcComb6'2" | SGThurgood Marshall | 2021StateOH
(2021) and Mekhi ElmoreMekhiElmore5'11" | PGThurgood Marshall | 2022StateOH
(2022). In this one, I am taking Thurgood to get revenge. Thurgood is playing their best basketball right now, and Trotwood showed in their District Final game they are not unbeatable and are vulnerable. In the expected Regional Final between Thurgood Marshall and Alter, it’ll come down to can Thurgood keep Alter from scoring? This Cougar team is mostly underclassmen led while Alter starts 4 seniors. This experience is hard to match and since this team was knocked out last year, they will be hungry to win this year. Led by Uhl and his physicality, Alter will advance in this one.
Regional Winner: Alter
Akron SVSM vs. Meadowbrook
As good as Meadowbrook has been this year, nothing will have them prepared in what they are facing in SVSM. The Irish bring so much physicality and scoring potential that the Colts will be unable to match this man-for-man. Irish win big.
Toledo Rogers vs. Alter
Alter has struggled against athletic teams with size. Rogers brings just that with Nelson, Neal, and Coleman running 6’7, 6’6, and 6’4 respectively. The Knights magical season comes to an end as Rogers’ length controls the glass and disrupts Alter’s offense.
Akron SVSM vs. Toledo Rogers
The Irish bring one of the best backcourts in the state in Branham and Harris. Rogers has one of the best frontcourts in Nelson and Coleman. Both teams have the depth to defend each other’s strong points. At the end of the day, SVSM has shown little weakness this postseason. Coach Joyce’s teams rarely falter in March and I don’t see this team having issues this time around. SVSM returns back to Division II and beats Rogers 62-52 to bring yet another state title back to Akron.