This week’s girls basketball matchups on ScoresBroadcast.com and WMVR, 105.5 TAM-FM, look, at first, like they might be late February or early March tournament pairings with “win or be done” consequences.
Russia at Tri-Village on Tuesday, defending state champion Fort Loramie at Botkins on Thursday, and Fort Loramie at Minster on Saturday could very well include three or even four schools competing in regional tournaments this March.
These Division IV programs have played difficult early season schedules. Heading into play this week, only Fort Loramie remains unbeaten. The others have absorbed one loss each.
Russia, which fell at Fort Loramie, has soundly beaten Minster, which is coming off a big win over Findlay Liberty-Benton on Saturday. Botkins dropped a home game two weekends ago to a talented and experienced New Knoxville squad. The Trojans have topped both Anna and Coldwater on the road.
Tri-Village, which has reached the Sweet Sixteen five straight years, suffered an early season setback at home to loaded D-IV Cincinnati Country Day (CCD), 56-54. Gracie Barns poured in 26 points for Country Day. The visitors got off to a great start and bolted to a 13-point halftime lead.
A fast-rising girls program, Country Day returns significant size and good outside shooting from the 2019-20 and 2020-21 teams that were derailed by Fort Loramie in the district and region tournaments. CCD could once again be a participant in southwest district and regional action.
The Tuesday and Thursday tilts begin at approximately 7 p.m. online and on radio. Saturday’s contest airs at 1 p.m. Jack Kramer and Chuck McBee call the action.
Live streaming of boys games this week features Fort Loramie for the first time this season. The Redskins, which downed Jackson Center last Friday and New Knoxville on Saturday, play Anna and New Bremen this weekend, both at home. Air time for each contest online and on radio is 7 p.m.
Fort Loramie travels to Botkins next Tuesday, Dec. 14, for a battle with the defending state champs in boys D-IV.
SCORES, the Shelby County Online Radio Entertainment System, is considering coverage of a few upcoming, well-contested games involving the Minster girls. The former state champs in March 2018 and 2019 play at Anna on Dec. 18, at Arcanum on Dec. 30, and at home versus Ottoville and New Knoxville from the Midwest Athletic Conference on Jan. 8 and 13, respectively.
Information posted by the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s six district websites suggests that both Minster and New Knoxville girls, along with other MAC programs, will take part in the Wapakoneta district, as usual. However, it is not yet clear if the Wapak district winner will feed the northwest or southwest regional.
Of course, Shelby County Athletic League schools, such as Botkins, Russia and Fort Loramie, draw into two Sidney D-IV sectionals, whose winners feed two of the three Troy district title games. If Tri-Village advances through its Brookville sectional, it, too, competes at Troy. The D-IV regional is held at Vandalia-Butler.
The Butler regional consistently includes a fourth district winner from either the Northwest or Central district.