The Swami was red-hot in the sectionals but cooled
off dramatically in the districts to end up with a 110-39 (74%)
win/loss record. Especially disappointing was the Swami picking only
four district winners. Losing three projected winners in the
sectional (Fremont Ross, Coldwater, Miller City) didn't help, and
the Swami was brutal in the D3 and D4 districts.
In 2002 the Swami witnessed some outstanding
sectional and district games while many of the regional and state
games were less than spectacular. So far in 2003, the Swami has seen
only a small number of good tournament games. Let's hope the tables
turn at the regional and state level.
While Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary has breezed down
the tournament trail, Strongsville forfeited a thirty-two point
victory in the sectional by playing an ineligible player for one
minute and thirty-five seconds. To add insult to injury, the
Mustangs didn't even seek a temporary restraining order to have the
No more St. Vincent-St. Mary bashing. I have mixed
emotions about seeing the end of the LeBron/SVSM dynasty. I love to
watch great teams play and LeBron James is the best player I have
ever seen play in Ohio. The Swami is a little too young to have seen
Jerry Lucas in high school, but I did watch Clark Kellogg and Jimmy
Jackson and LeBron is more advanced than either of them. The only
high school player who I have seen play in person at a comparable
level was Magic Johnson. I will not miss the sideshow that SVSM has
created along with all the hype. I also lack my usual excitement for
the D2 regional and state tournaments because I really do not think
there is a team that can compete with SVSM. I am looking forward to
a return to normal in 2004.
It looks like another year that the Swami will not
be receiving any state tournament tickets from admiring readers. If
you have any comments or suggestions for Trail Trash, contact the
Swami through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let's roll, it's Swami time.
Nine of the nineteen teams ranked by the Associated
Press in their final poll have reached the regional. Poll champ
Tiffin Calvert was defeated by Fostoria St. Wendelin in a district
semi-final. Five teams (Cedarville, Sebring McKinley, Holgate, and
2002 state qualifiers Mowrystown Whiteoak and Bristol) are making a
return trip to the regional. Defending state champ Delphos St.
John's was eliminated by Convoy Crestview in a district final.
Miami University: #2 Marion Local and #10 Fort
Loramie head up this always-strong regional at Oxford.
Franklin-Monroe eliminated #5 Russia in a district final while
Cedarville defeated #7 Yellow Springs at the district. Take Fort
Loramie over Franklin-Monroe and Marion Local over Cedarville in
semi-final games. Marion owns a regular season win over Fort Loramie.
Take Marion Local over Fort Loramie in the regional final.
Canton Fieldhouse: #6 Berlin Hiland, #9 Sebring
McKinley, and #11 Bristol are ranked teams headed to Canton. This
will be Elyria Open Door's first trip to a regional. Berlin Hiland
defeated #19 Toronto in a district final. Bristol defeated #8
Windham and #15 Southington Chalker at the district. Take Berlin
Hiland over Open Door and Bristol over Sebring McKinley in the
semi-finals. Take Berlin Hiland over Bristol in the final.
Bowling Green State University: #4 Holgate and #17
Convoy Crestview lead the field at Anderson Arena. Crestview
defeated #3 Delphos St. John's in a district final. Fostoria St.
Wendelin upset #1 Tiffin Calvert and Holgate defeated #18 Hicksville
at the district. Tristan Tagliapietra leads Van Buren while Charlie
Kelly is an all-district player for Holgate. Holgate has a triple
overtime win along with the one-point win over Hicksville in the
tournament. St. Wendelin has the most losses of any team still in
the tournament with eight. Take Crestview over Holgate and Van Buren
over St. Wendelin in the semi-finals. VB already has a late season
win over FSW. Take Crestview over Van Buren in the championship
Columbus Fairgrounds: #12 Mowrystown Whiteoak and
#16 Danbury Lakeside are ranked teams playing at the Barn. The
Wellington School played both their district games in the Barn. This
will be the first regional appearance for either Wellington or
Danbury. Wellington has an outstanding guard in Marcus McCants while
sophomore Jake Fanning leads Danbury. Take Whiteoak over Reedsville
Eastern and Columbus Wellington over Danbury in semi-final games.
Take Columbus Wellington over Mowrystown Whiteoak in the final.
Division IV opens the eighty-first boys state
basketball tournament with the final four consisting of Marion
Local, Berlin Hiland, Convoy Crestview, and Columbus Wellington.
This will be Hiland's seventh trip to the state with six of those
coming under the leadership of the late Perry Reese. The Hawks were
the D4 state champs in 1992. Marion Local will be making their third
appearance. The Flyers were the 1975 "A" state champs. Crestview's
only previous appearance was in 1971. Take Marion Local over Berlin
Hiland and Convoy Crestview over Columbus Wellington in semi-final
games. Marion Local wins the D4 state championship with a win over
Six of the eighteen teams ranked by the Associated
Press will be playing in the regional. Five teams (Elyria Catholic,
Richmond Dale Southeastern, Sugarcreek Garaway, Columbus Hartley,
and Reading) also qualified for the regional in 2002. Defending D3
state champ Clear Fork was eliminated by Ashland Crestview in their
opening tournament game.
Ohio University: A great regional at the Convo with
#1 Sugarcreek Garaway, #10 Chesapeake, #11 Marion Pleasant, and #15
Richmond Dale Southeastern. Pleasant defeated #5 Marion River Valley
in a district final. Garaway eliminated #8 Bellaire and #2 Beverly
Fort Frye in the district. Southeastern is led by 6'10" Chris
Skaggs. Take Pleasant over Chesapeake and Sugarcreek Garaway over
Richmond Dale Southeastern in the semi-finals. Take Garaway over
Pleasant in the championship game.
Bowling Green State University: No ranked teams at
BG. This regional features legendary coaches Bob Walsh, Rob Sheldon,
Doug Krauss, and Steve Williman. Archbold eliminated #9 St. Henry in
the district. Elyria Catholic lost to eventual state champ Clear
Fork in the 2002 regional final at BG on a layup at the buzzer. The
Panthers return three starters from that team. EC's Bob Walsh won
state championships at both Lorain Clearview and Oberlin.
Liberty-Benton was the 1995 D4 state champ. Wynford coach Rob
Sheldon won his 400th game by defeating Woodmore in the
district. Take Archbold over Liberty-Benton and Elyria Catholic over
Wynford in the semi-finals. Elyria Catholic advances to Columbus
with a win over Archbold in the final.
Wright State University: No ranked teams at the
Nutter Center. Versailles eliminated #7 Clinton-Massie in a district
final. Reading has an outstanding player in Eric Clemons, an Ohio
University recruit. Versailles finished fourth in the Midwest
Athletic Conference. Take Columbus Hartley over Cincinnati Madeira
and Reading over Versailles in the semi-finals. Take Reading over
Columbus Hartley in the championship game.
Canton Fieldhouse: #6 New Middletown Springfield and
#18 Newton Falls lead the field at Canton. West Salem Northwestern
eliminated #4 Loudonville in a district final. This is
Northwestern's first regional appearance since 1968. Mark Alberts Jr
coaches the Huskies. His father's team, Wooster, is also a regional
qualifier in D1. Take Northwestern over Newton Falls and Springfield
Local over Bedford St. Peter Chanel in the semi-finals. Take New
Middletown Springfield over Northwestern in the regional final.
The final four consists of Sugarcreek Garaway,
Elyria Catholic, Reading, and New Middletown Springfield. This will
be the third appearance for Springfield and the second appearance
for both Reading and Elyria Catholic with Reading's trip to the
state in 1978 being the most recent. Take Garaway over Elyria
Catholic and New Middletown Springfield over Reading in the
semi-finals. New Middletown defeats Sugarcreek for the D3 state
Ten of the eighteen ranked teams in the final AP
poll have advanced to the regional level. Seven regional qualifiers
(Kettering Alter, Canton South, Ottawa-Glandorf, defending state
champ Cincinnati Roger Bacon, and 2002 state qualifiers Poland
Seminary, Columbus Beechcroft, and Akron $t. Vincent-$t. Mary)
repeated as district champions.
Canton Civic Center: #2 Poland Seminary, #6
Cleveland Benedictine, and #8 Canton South are ranked teams at
Canton. Benedictine defeated #10 Cortland Lakeview in a district
final. Avon was 6-16 as a D3 team in 2002. Benedictine won
back-to-back D2 state crowns in 1997 and 1998. Veteran Bob Patton
coaches the Bengals. Take Canton South over Cleveland Benedictine
and Poland Seminary over Avon in semi-final games. Canton South
takes the regional championship with a win over Poland Seminary.
University of Toledo: The circus comes to Savage
Hall. #1 Akron $V$M, #9 Willard, and #15 Ottawa-Glandorf are ranked
teams at Toledo. $t. Vincent-$t. Mary destroyed #13 Akron Hoban and
#3 Akron Central-Hower in the district. This will be the first
"split session" at UT since 1982. Take Ottawa-Glandorf's two big
guns (the Pollitz twins) over Willard's one big gun (Nick Dials) in
one semi-final. $V$M bludgeons Tallmadge in a mismatch in the late
game. Take Akron $t. Vincent-$t. Mary big over O-G in the final.
Wright State University: #5 Dayton Chaminade-Julienne
and #11 Cincinnati Roger Bacon are ranked teams at WSU. Bexley
eliminated #4 Canal Winchester in the district final. Nathan Peavy
leads Chaminade while Monty St. Clair leads defending D2 state champ
Roger Bacon. Both are Miami recruits. Take Roger Bacon over Bexley
and Chaminade-Julienne over Kettering Alter in the semi-finals. Take
Dayton Chaminade-Julienne over Cincinnati Roger Bacon for the
Ohio University: #16 Gallipolis Gallia Academy and
#17 East Liverpool are ranked teams playing at the Convo. West
Holmes eliminated #18 New Concord John Glenn and Columbus Beechcroft
eliminated #14 Columbus Watterson at the district. SirJoseph (not a
misprint) Welch leads Beechcroft. This is East Liverpool's first
season in D2. Take East Liverpool over West Holmes and Beechcroft
over Gallia Academy in the semi-finals. Take East Liverpool over
Beechcroft in the championship game.
The circus moves to Columbus. The final four is
comprised of Canton South, Akron $t. Vincent-$t. Mary, Dayton
Chaminade-Julienne, and East Liverpool. All four schools have made
multiple trips to the state tournament. $V$M has won three
championships while C-J has won two. Take $t. Vincent-$t. Mary big
over Canton South and Chaminade-Julienne over East Liverpool in the
semi-finals. The GCL might be the best basketball league in the
state, but Chaminade-Julienne is no match for $t. Vincent-$t. Mary.
Akron $V$M is the D2 state champ. Fred Nance is named the MVP (and
we don't mean player) for the D2 state tournament.
Six of the eighteen teams ranked by the Associated
Press will be playing in the regional. Six teams (defending D1 state
champ and top-ranked Columbus Brookhaven, 2002 state qualifier
Lakewood St. Edward, 2001 state champ Cleveland St. Ignatius, Toledo
St. John's, Centerville, and Mentor) are making return trips to the
Xavier University: #9 Cincinnati Moeller is the only
ranked team at the Cintas Center. Moeller eliminated #18 Beavercreek
in the district final. This is Springboro's first season as a D1
school. Springboro eliminated Cincinnati Elder in the district
final. Moeller has a top-notch junior in Josh Duncan. Hamilton had
district wins over GCL teams LaSalle and St. X. Take Moeller over
Springboro and Hamilton over Cincinnati Princeton in the
semi-finals. Take Moeller over the Hamilton Big Blue for the
University of Akron: #11 Massillon Washington and
#16 Cleveland Heights are ranked teams at the JAR. Cleveland Heights
scored 114 in a district win over Warren Howland. Cleveland Heights
has an outstanding scorer in Jon Battle while Eddie Zienkowski leads
Mentor. Massillon defeated arch-rival Canton McKinley for the
district championship. Take Cleveland Heights over Wooster and
Mentor over Massillon in the semi-finals. Take Cleveland Heights
over Lake Erie League rival Mentor for the district championship.
Columbus Fairgrounds: #1 Columbus Brookhaven and #6
Lancaster are ranked teams at the Barn. Lancaster defeated #3 Thomas
Worthington in the district final. Defending D1 state champ
Brookhaven is loaded again with only an overtime loss to $V$M
marring their record. Andrew Lavender, Brandon Foust, and sophomore
Jamelle Cornley lead the way for the Bearcats. Lavender and Foust
are headed to Oklahoma University. Centerville has an outstanding
guard in Chris Spears, a Dayton recruit. Take Centerville over
Lancaster and Brookhaven over Newark in the semi-finals. Take
Brookhaven over Centerville in the championship game.
University of Toledo: #13 Toledo St. John's is the
only ranked team at Toledo. St. John's eliminated #8 Toledo Central
Catholic in a district final. Lakewood St. Edward looked like a
challenger to Brookhaven at the start of the season with the
addition of 6'9" transfer Chris Moore to go along with two returning
starters and the two top subs from their 2002 state qualifier. The
Eagles have disappointed despite winning nineteen games. St. John's
has an easy win over Ashland and a two-point loss at St. Ed's while
St. Ignatius has a pair of wins over Ed's. Take Toledo St. John's
over Lakewood St. Edward and Cleveland St. Ignatius over Ashland in
the semi-finals. St. John's and St. Ignatius normally play during
the regular season. This year's game was cancelled when Iggy
scheduled too many regular season games. Take St. Ignatius over St.
John's for the regional championship.
Division I will again close out the state boy's
basketball tournament. Cincinnati Moeller, Cleveland Heights,
Columbus Brookhaven, and Cleveland St. Ignatius make up the final
four. Brookhaven was the 2002 DI champ; St. Ignatius, the 2001
champ; Moeller, the 1999 champ; and Cleveland Heights, the 1997
champ. Take Cincinnati Moeller over Cleveland Heights and Columbus
Brookhaven over Cleveland St. Ignatius in the semi-finals.
Brookhaven defends their state championship with a win over Moeller
in the D1 title game.
That's it for another year. The opinions expressed
in Trail Trash are those of the Swami. See you in Columbus. Rock on.