Who would’ve thought that after losing four senior starters from a state championship team that Coach Fleming could take LaSalle back to the top of the poll standings by the end of the regular season? Not many is our guess, in what became one of the most evenly distributed Division I season’s in memory. With Taft being the top Division II-IV team in a loaded SW region heading into the tournament we’re excited to watch some post-season basketball and see who makes it up north for the Final Four. Looking back on the regular season here are our final regular season poll champions…..
1) LaSalle: 19-1 record with an outright GCL championship makes the Lancers, the defending state champions, the unquestioned poll champions. Credit senior PG Josh Lemons, sophomore guard Jeff Larkin, and junior SG Connor Speed with providing the offensive spark for the Lancers.
2) Middletown: In his first year at the helm Coach Andrews led his team to a 12-2 GMC season, an outright GMC championship, and 2nd in our poll behind the play of senior PG Geovonie McKnight and sophomore forward Vincent Edwards.
3) Moeller: Despite finishing 2nd in the GCL the Crusaders still had a great 17-3 regular season including wins over Winton Woods, Aiken, and Middletown. Senior SG Ben Galemmo and junior wing Josh Davenport both had all-league caliber seasons.
4) Mason: The Comets finished tied for second in the GMC behind the play of senior trio Darrin Harris, Mike Van Kleunen, and JD Sprague. Mason is the only team to defeat both #1 LaSalle and #2 Middletown.
5) Walnut Hills: The FAVC-East champions went 18-2 in the regular season, highlighted by thrilling wins against Turpin, led by junior C Isaiah Johnson and junior PG Sterling Gilmore.
6) Winton Woods: The Warriors captured the FAVC-West championship with a young and extremely talented core of players led by juniors Trent Donald and Kwan Cheatham, as well as sophomore Ronnie Rousseau and lone senior starter Zach McCorkle.
7) Princeton: In the first season of the Coach Anderson regime the Vikings finished with 10 GMC wins, good for 4th place in the league. Seniors Deion Isham and De’arius Young, along with junior Dorian Jordan all had all-conference level years for Princeton.
8) Turpin: The Spartans really improved in Coach Cupito’s second season at the helm, only losing two FAVC-East games (good for 2nd in the division). Sophomore guard Zach McCormick had a huge year, as did junior Connor Grotton and senior Mitch Stevens.
9) Lakota West: The Firebirds finished tied for 2nd in the GMC as Coach Van Winkle was able to use his three headed scoring monster of juniors Ali Barnes and Monty Boykins, along with sophomore Tyler Williams, to win 11 league games.
10) Fairfield: The surprise team in the GMC to everyone except the coaches, who expected the Indians to be good, Fairfield won an impressive 9 GMC games. The senior laden team was led by James Turner, Jeff Woods, Brandon Murphy, and Keon Benjamin.
11) Withrow: An up and down regular season ended with a 10-2 conference record, good for 2nd in the CMAC. Coach Gilbert’s group has the talent to make a post-season run behind the play of juniors Devin Williams, Tim Coleman, and Corey Wise; as well as seniors Tyler Jordan and Damon Gooch.
12) Northwest: The Knights got hot late in the season, finishing in 2nd place in the FAVC-West behind the play of junior guard Ramar Hairston and seniors Quez Evans and Chazz Gwinn.
Just Missed: Lakota East, Colerain
1) Taft: The Senators finished 12-0 in the CMAC for the second straight year, wining an outright championship. Taft didn’t lose to an Ohio team and was led by seniors Orlando Berry and Adolphus Washington; as well as Jalean Lowe, Jermaine Freeman, Dwayne Stanford, Ra’saan Jackson, and Fred Cannaday.
2) Summit: The Silver Knights went 19-1 in Coach Bradley’s second season, capturing a MVC championship in the process. Sophomore guard Antonio Woods, junior guard Kevin Johnson, and seniors Tommy Kreyenhagen and Holden Hertzel all had big seasons for Summit.
3) Franklin: The Wildcats enjoyed a 20-0 regular season record behind the play of freshman guard Luke Kennard and senior forwards Jacob and Justin Rossi.
4) Aiken: The Falcons might have finished with a 10-10 regular season record but no one can question the difficulty of their schedule. In the up and down stretch seniors Willie Moore and Paul Woodson, as well as junior Austin Grimes had very good numbers.
5) Clark: The Cougars replaced a lot of losses from last year’s team and went on a great late season run to finish in the top five behind the place of senior point guard Max Hassell.
6) Madeira: The Mustangs clinched an outright CHL title, with a 13-1 league record, as junior Andrew Benintendi had an all-world season scoring the ball.
7) Lockland: The Panthers won some games late, and remain Cincinnati’s top Division IV team, behind the place of juniors DJ Wingfield and Dylan Wedlock.
8) North College Hill: Coach Mahaffey replaced nine lost seniors to have another great season at the Trojans helm where he got great play from senior guard Jamal Ivery.
9) Roger Bacon: Young team that is only going to get better next year won the GCL-Central title outright behind some great defense and balanced scoring.
10) Indian Hill: Finished 2nd in the CHL, with a 12-2 record, highlighted by two thrillers with Madeira.
Just Missed: Finneytown, Hughes, McNicholas, Badin
Look out for more end of season content coming this week,
including CPHR’s all-league and all-city teams