When teams want to return and others want to join, that’s a sure sign that something good is underway. Such is the case with the MLK Classic at Fort Loramie which made its debut two months ago with four boys basketball matchups.
On Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023, that will expand to six, beginning at noon for both varsity and reserve.
A trio of OHSAA divisions will be represented with Anna (III) engaging Liberty Benton (III), along with Russia (IV)-Willard (III), St. Marys (II)-Lexington (II), Fort Loramie (IV)-Preble Shawnee (III), Marion Local (IV)-Springfield Shawnee (III), and Minster (IV)-Miami East (III).
The field is solid including two that are seeing regional action this week in St. Marys and Marion Local. Many top players will be included, most notably senior-to-be, 6-foot-9 St. Marys center Austin Parks, who recently gave a verbal commitment to Ohio State. I really like his overall game.
Several weeks back I cited information provided by Fort Loramie team physician Dr. Shelden Wical showing Loramie as Ohio’s all time leader in high school girls basketball victories.
That proved to be inaccurate, but not Wical’s fault. The OHSAA doesn’t regularly update records like this so the doctor has done so by contacting the individual schools and then making annual additions.
Tipp City gave him an incorrect number several years back that has now been rectified. The current season has ended for the revised top four, meaning these should be accurate entering the 2022-23 campaign. Tipp City- 926, Fort Loramie 925, Berlin Hiland 923 and Lima Bath 909.
These schools have not played for the same length of time. Opening in 1970, Tipp has been around for one more season than Loramie whose debut was winless. However, the best Fort Loramie results have come during the era of 22 rather than 20 regular season games. Hiland entered girls hoops in 1968 while Bath waited until 1975 and the season of the first state tourney. Among these leaders, Bath has the highest average wins per season with just over 19.
Wical has tracked many other aspects of Coach Carla Siegel’s program. He shared several this week including what the six graduating seniors have experienced during their four years. The varsity never lost a home or league game, went 105-5 overall, had a COVID shortened perfect season, and won a state title.
Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross treasurers local high school sports history and appreciates the work of folks like Dr. Shelden Wical, Brett Bickel, Bob Wise, and the late Matt Zircher within their areas of interest around Shelby County.