Ben Knostman is averaging a TRIPLE DOUBLE through five games in the 2020-21 season.

Posted On: 01/4/21 11:33 AM

Division II was probably the toughest division to rank, with a couple teams expected to compete for state titles (Dayton Dunbar and Trotwood Madison) not starting their seasons yet. Because of this the depth of quality teams is slightly lower, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some very impressive Division II squads in the 2020-21 season. Remember, these rankings are based on resume and what you’ve already proved, not how good I think a team can become. Let’s check out the top 10 rankings and teams that just missed the cut.

  1. STVM (6-1) The Irish just finished a very impressive week where they defeated Richmond Heights, Saint Ignatius, Cleveland Heights and Pickerington Central. If that doesn’t grab your attention, I’m not sure what will. The Irish are loaded with talent across the board and are the favorite to lift up another state championship this season.
  2. Lima Shawnee (10-0) Shawnee is the biggest challenger to the Irish, Shawnee went unbeaten last year and is cruising through their 2020-21 schedule. Shawnee has eight wins by 30 or more points and their other two victories are by 20 and 18 points respectively. George MangasGeorgeMangas6'4" | SFLima Shawnee | 2021StateOH is still scoring the ball at as high of a rate as anybody in the state and their defense is swarming against over-matched opponents.
  3. Akron Buchtel (2-0) Buchtel only has two games, but a win at Brush is good enough for me to put them in the top five. Chris LivingstonChrisLivingston6'6" | SFBuchtel | 2022StateOH and Travonne JacksonTravonneJackson6'5" | PGBuchtel | 2021StateOH seem to have built chemistry already, which is a scary sight for Buchtel’s opponents.
  4. Tippecanoe (5-0) I’m not sure how many players have averaged a triple double in high school basketball more than one or two games into a season, but we’re five games into Ben KnostmanBenKnostman6'4" | PGTippecanoe | 2021StateOH’s senior season and he’s averaging 14.8 points 11.6 rebounds and 10.6 assists. Safe to say the Winthrop commit is dominating the Miami Valley League.
  5. Cincinnati Woodward (6-1) Paul McMillan IVPaulMcMillan IV6'2" | PGCincinnati Woodward | 2022State#47NationOH is dominating in a mask and that’s one of the most impressive things I’ve seen this season. In their only loss to Cathedral (IN) 4 PM had 38 points. He followed that up 36 against Hughes in a huge CMAC battle. With close wins over Aiken and Taft, Woodward has put together a very impressive early season resume.
  6. Hamilton Ross (8-1) Ross has maybe the most impressive win by any team besides STVM in Division II as they stunned Lakota East 53-51. Their only defeat is by one point to a very talented Taft team that will make the Division III rankings. With Max StepaniakMaxStepaniak6'6" | CRoss | 2021StateOH being the man in the middle with shooters around him, Ross fans should be very excited for the potential playoff run in 2021.
  7. Buckeye Valley (6-0) It hasn’t always been by a large margin, but the Barons just keep winning. They have wins over OCC schools in Olentangy, Franklin Heights and Delaware Hayes. I’m also impressed by wins over Bishop Watterson and Proctorville Fairland. This team has a lot of size and shooting, that’s a good combination in my eyes.
  8. Shelby (6-1) Shelby has the most puzzling loss of any team in these rankings as they fell by 27 points to Wooster. Outside of that game, the Whippets have been very impressive. Shelby went to Lima and beat the Spartans of Lima Sr and they beat Ontario and rival Mansfield Senior.
  9. Warrensville Heights (4-1) This team has played tight contests in four of their five games, coming away victories in all but one. They defeated Maple Heights by three, beat University School in overtime, lost to Brush by three after holding the Arcs scoreless in the first quarter and beat Solon by one after the Comets missed a potential game-winner. Safe to say the Tigers are one of the more exciting teams in the state to watch.
  10. Logan Elm (2-0) Ranked by most as the top team in all of southeast Ohio, Logan Elm was a district champion and returned their core pieces. They’ve been on quarantine for a little bit but should be returning to action soon.

Watch list (IN NO ORDER)

Columbus DeSales (1-1) The Stallions fell at home to Bishop Ready and followed that up with a huge blowout of Tri-Valley. I expect them to find their way back into these rankings before the year is over because they have the talent to be ranked in the top 10.

Johnstown-Monroe (6-2) This is another team that’s played some very exciting contests. A one point loss to Worthington Christian and three point loss to Whitehall are their two setbacks, but the Johnnies have beaten Heath by three and Sheridan by 10.

Rossford (7-0) Their victory over Perrysburg is probably what the Bulldogs are holding their hat on so far in the 2020-21 season. Fostoria is the only team with a winning record (5-4) that Rossford has faced so far. Until they beat a good team, they’ll be on the outside looking in. Games Vs Toledo St Francis and Ottawa-Glandorf will be tests for the unbeaten squad.

Heath (1-1) After going unbeaten in the regular season in 2019-20, the Bulldogs fell in game one of the 2020-21 season. I still think Heath has the potential to win a lot of games with their talented Junior class. Their team has been on quarantine for the past couple weeks, let’s see if they can hit the ground running when they return to action.

Waverly (4-0) Trey RobertsonTreyRobertson5'10" | PGWaverly | 2022StateOH is one of the top players in Southeast Ohio. Robertson dominated against Fairfield Union with 34 points and five 3-pointers. I expect Waverly to have a good shot to win a district title down in Southeast Ohio.

Warren (5-1) The Warriors are another top team in Southeast Ohio, the Warriors have big wins over Fort Frye, Athens and Marietta. Their only loss is to Division I Dover. With Seth Dennis running the offense, Warren should be expected to at least make it back to a district title.

Meadowbrook (6-1) A puzzling neutral-site loss to Union Local is the Colts only loss so far this season. They’ve made the transition to the MVL very well, with wins over West Muskingum, Morgan, New Lexington and Tri-Valley.

Struthers (7-0) Still unbeaten this season, Trey MetzkaTreyMetzka6'4" | SFStruthers | 2021StateOH and company are playing at a high level right now. Their remaining schedule looks pretty manageable, maybe they could make a push at a perfect season.

Unioto (7-2) A big win over conference title challenger Adena puts the Shermans on the watch list for Division II. Isaac LittleIsaacLittle5'11" | PGUnioto | 2021OH is a solid senior point guard and they have a special freshman talent in Tayvion Galloway. Losses at Worthington Christian and in overtime at Miami Trace are the Sherman’s only setbacks.

Jonathan Alder (4-0) Another season where Alder has a dominant defense, what else is new. They held Bellefontaine to 16 points, yes 16, in their last game. With Jackson IzzardJacksonIzzard6'2" | SGAlder | 2021StateOH scoring the ball at will, this team could be tough to knock off in the playoffs.