Posted On: 08/26/21 8:45 AM

The Miami Valley League is still a newer league but has already seen some success as they watched Tippecanoe win a District title and fall short to C-J in the Regionals. While one of the themes this upcoming season will be inexperience, I expect games to be competitive still and some new matchups and rivalries to evolve. Take a look at some of my predictions for the MVL in 2021-22.

1- Tippecanoe won’t fall terribly far

Let’s face it. It’s hard to replace 2 scholarship athletes and that’s just what Tipp has to do replacing Ben Knostman Ben Knostman 6'4" | PG Tippecanoe | 2021 State OH and Zach Frederick Zach Frederick 6'5" | PF Tippecanoe | 2021 State OH . Fortunately for coach Adam Toohey, he has an upperclassmen heavy group that should be able to continue winning success. Seniors Gavin Garlitz and Cole Coppock were role guys a year ago and now have the keys to the offense. While I wouldn’t expect the Red Devils to go back to the Regional tournament, I think an MVL title is obtainable as is a nice run in the Sectional tournament.

2- West Carrollton is the team to beat

The entire league was hit hard with graduation, but the Pirates have the best talent returning that they can depend on.  Ben Knostman Ben Knostman 6'4" | PG Tippecanoe | 2021 State OH and Zach Frederick Zach Frederick 6'5" | PF Tippecanoe | 2021 State OH . Fortunately for coach Adam Toohey, he has an upperclassmen heavy group that should be able to continue winning success. Seniors Gavin Garlitz and Cole Coppock were role guys a year ago and now have the keys to the offense. While I wouldn’t expect the Red Devils to go back to the Regional tournament, I think an MVL title is obtainable as is a nice run in the Sectional tournament. 2- West Carrollton is the team to beat The entire league was hit hard with graduation, but the Pirates have the best talent returning that they can depend on.  Sam Walker Sam Walker 6'6" | PF West Carrollton | 2023 State OH (2023) is a mismatch waiting to happen and is simply too big for many teams to prepare for. Young talent in the sophomore class also is back and with growth and development can continue winning traditions. The coaching has proven to be solid and the talent in the past has been exceptional. I think this should continue into 2021-22. 3- Sidney will still keep to their successful ways One constant in the MVL is Sidney is always going to have a good team that can compete. While the Yellow Jackets were 1 game above .500 and lose 2 of their top 3 from a year ago, they have a solid player in Devin Taborn (2022) who fits what coach John Willoughby wants to do. Bully you with athleticism and get out and defend with tenacity and energy. I expect success to stick around and for Sidney to be above .500. 4- Sam Walker Sam Walker 6'6" | PF West Carrollton | 2023 State OH is MVP favorite I already mentioned this previously but Sam Walker Sam Walker 6'6" | PF West Carrollton | 2023 State OH is a standout. The 6-foot-6 giant for the Pirates averaged 14 points and 14 rebounds a game per the MVL website. He led the league in rebounds and blocks, and is the only player returning in the top 5 from both categories. Teams are going to have issues not only keeping Walker from scoring, but boxing him out on the glass. He is bound for another double-double average this year. 5- The league as a whole will be down While I like to focus as much on the positives, I have to address the elephant in the room. Graduation hit the MVL hard. Only two players are returning from the 1st Team and many of the schools in the league lost their top 2-3 scorers due to graduation. What this means is I see several MVL teams taking early tournament exits once we get to March as the less experience is going to be a difficult task for teams to overcome without having seniors or at least years of Varsity experience.

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