Fort Loramie’s MLK Classic on Sunday drew the largest crowd in the history of the three-year event. The big crowds were in the middle of the day, when the best games were played and the best teams took the court.
St. Marys Memorial (7-4) lost 72-69 to Dublin Jerome in overtime in the second game of the day in what was the most competitive contest (while Anna and Arlington’s nightcap was close, it was anticlimactic).
Tri-Village (12-1) beat Marion Local 52-40 in the third game of the day. The Patriots, who are in a tie for first place in Western Ohio Athletic Conference standings with Preble Shawnee, are impressive again. Senior guard Braden Keating had one of the best performances in the event.
And Russia (13-0) again dominated a previously undefeated opponent in the fourth game, handing Antwerp a 66-36 loss. The Raiders are playing like no other Division IV team I’ve seen. Their athleticism and speed is incredible, and they’re proving to be incredibly consistent.
MaxPreps RPI is here
The OHSAA announced in September it will use MaxPreps RPI for boys and girls basketball seeding this year.
The ratings are calculated by a teams’ winning percentage (40 percent), the winning percentage of a team’s opponents (35 percent) and the winning percentage of opponents’ opponents (25 percent).
The ratings — at least as far as local teams — have been a bit over the place due to records not being entirely up-to-date. Teams now have to submit their scores to MaxPreps, and some are slower than others at doing it.
My opinion hasn’t changed since my September column about the announcement. A lot of people who continue to defend the change and complain about coaches voting for seeding seem to have a victim mentality. They say coaches ganging up on a certain school and voting them lower than deserved is a common occurrence.
I‘ve covered dozens of seeding meetings over the last 12 or so years. Coaches act and vote professionally. I’ve never seen anybody “gang up” on a certain school.
And since seeds were determined by cumulative voting from all coaches in a sectional, even if some “ganged up,” and voted a potential No. 1 seed as No. 10, it may cost the team enough points to fall to, say, a No. 3 seed.
What’s the actual difference? If you’re going to make it out of a district, you’re going to have to beat a top seed sooner or later. Being No. 3 instead of No. 1 might provide a somewhat tougher path… but then again, if you were really robbed, the seeds below you would probably choose to get out of your way and play the overrated No. 1 and 2 overrated seeds, right?
As of right now… the rankings are pretty much as you’d expect coaches to vote.
Take Division IV for example, which for the Dayton area is in its first year of a “super sectional,” with the previously separate Troy and Piqua sectionals now combined.
Russia (13-0) is a runaway No. 1, Troy Christian (10-1) is No. 2 and Cedarville (10-3), Xenia Legacy Christian (10-3), Botkins (9-3) and Lehman Catholic (10-3) all follow in spots 3-6.
I doubt much, if anything, would be different if voting occurred by coaches today.
But I guess now it will give people something to talk about, since RPI ratings are supposed to be updated frequently on the OHSAA website. Go there and watch teams rise, fall and/or stay the same throughout the next month, prior to final rankings before postseason play begins.
Gordon playing in Spain
Andre Gordon’s collegiate career is over and professional career has begun.
Gordon announced in December he is playing for a team in the Liga EBA, which is a fourth-tier level league in the Spanish basketball system.
He is playing for a team based in Huelva, a city in the southwest part of the country on the Gulf of Cadiz. Huelva’s metropolitan area has about 240,000 residents.
He scored six points in 14 minutes on the court in his first game last Saturday; Ciudad de Huelva won 86-80 to improve to 10-6.
The best place I’ve found online to follow Gordon and the club is ProBallers.com. The club began its season on Oct. 8 and is scheduled to play through early April. Unlike the setup of basketball leagues here, they generally have at least a week between games; Ciudad de Huelva is not scheduled to play again until Jan. 27.
Gordon, who was back in Sidney for the holidays and attended several boys basketball games, played four years at Texas A&M. He had seen his playing time decrease after starting in every game as a sophomore. He had entered the transfer portal.