It's officially that time of year again! With Ohio teams beginning their regular season schedules this weekend we wanted to take our traditional look at the top games, as well as CPHR's picks on who will win........
· Winton Woods @ Moeller: What an opening night game! CPHR’s #2 ranked team in Moeller faces the #6 team in Winton Woods. Both teams have tremendous depth but youth might play a factor here as this will be the first varsity game for almost the entire Winton Woods teams, and the first game with Winton Woods for transfers Trent Donald and Jerrell Wilkins. The size and skill battles should be about even and while Winton Woods has an athleticism advantage that has never been a problem from the men of Moe to overcome. This game could easily come down to the last shot and we wouldn’t be surprised to see it go either way.
o Prediction: Home court and experience play the deciding factor as Moeller wins a season opening thriller between two heavyweights.
· Aiken @ Taft: The annual season opening clash will be as loaded with talent as usual this year. Taft will bring back four starters, and five key players, on a team made up entirely of seniors from last year’s State Championship team. This matchup features Cincinnati’s pre-season top two D-II teams and Aiken has some horses, led by senior SG Willie Moore (Duquesne signee). Expect the game to stay close for a half but for Adolphus Washington to take over in the second half.
o Prediction: Aiken hangs around for a while but Taft wins by double digits.
· Centerville @ Princeton: There’s a lot of hype around Coach Anderson’s first game as head coach of the Vikings as they host a perennially solid Dayton D-I team. Princeton is the superior team athletically and should settle in and wear down Centerville.
o Prediction: Princeton by twenty plus.
· Lockland @ Lakota East: Cincinnati’s top D-IV team travels to take on a D-I team that has been decimated by injuries early and is forced to play some freshman on the varsity. Lockland has the talent to hang around but the defensive intensity of East should prevail in a low scoring affair.
o Preview: Lakota East wins comfortably with a great defensive effort.
· Beavercreek @ Middletown: A talented group from Dayton comes down to play a Middies team that will be playing for the first time with their football guys dressed. The Middies are big favorites here but Beavercreek is a bit of an unknown with a lot of young talent.
o Prediction: Might be close for a half but Coach Andrews gets a convincing win in his first game at the helm of the Middies.
· Withrow @ Woodward: It’s never easy to defeat a rival on the road, especially in a season opener, but Withrow has an overwhelming talent advantage in this one. Expect junior PF Devin Williams to have a career day inside for Withrow.
o Prediction: Coach Gilbert will not allow this season opener to be a repeat of last year’s where Woodward hung around until the last shot. Withrow dominates early and wins big.
· Turpin @ Amelia
· Harrison @ Colerain
· Fairmont @ Fairfield
· Oak Hills @ West High
· Roger Bacon @ Finneytown
· Reading @ Summit
· Madeira @ Clark
· Oyler @ Hughes
· Purcell Marian @ Walnut Hills
· Sycamore @ Indian Hill
· Aiken @ Shroder: Win or lose Friday at Taft the Aiken Falcons will have to mentally regroup to face what will be a fresh Shroder team. Aiken has a clear talent advantage here but they have to worry about looking past the Jaguars, with so much hype revolving around Friday’s game. The key to this game will be how well Shroder handles the Aiken press as well as if they can apply pressure of their own to keep the game low scoring; by far and away their best chance to win.
o Prediction: Shroder simply has no answer for Willie Moore or Austin Grimes. Aiken should control this game from the start and win handily.
· Hughes @ Woodward: Assuming they take care of business on Friday the Big Red of Hughes will have a chance to surpass last year’s win total in just their second game. The tough part will be winning on the road for a team that went winless in the CMAC last year. Woodward knows that these are the type of games that they have to win at home. Look for this to be a perimeter dominated scoring game that is more than likely low scoring.
o Prediction: Hughes starts off 2-0 with a close win.
· West High @ Taft: Both of these teams plan on being 1-0 going into this matchup. If West High wants to establish themselves as one of the elite teams in the city they have to show up in this type of atmosphere. Taft is a heavy favorite but there is always a chance for a letdown after an emotional opener like Aiken. West High has the depth inside to contain Adolphus Washington but can their guards slow down Jalean Lowe’s scoring?
o Prediction: Taft wins convincingly, until Keevin Tyus returns from injury West High cannot keep up with Taft offensively.
· Lebanon @ Mason
· North College Hill @ Wyoming