It’s officially time to cut down the nets, as any team that wins at UD Arena at the University of Dayton this week will be named a District Champion in their respective division. With three days of action, each division plays all their games on the same day, CPHR and other basketball fans will be plenty busy keeping up with who will be moving on to Regional play……
Wednesday (Division II Games)
· Taft vs St. Paris Graham: Univ. of Dayton 5:30 – The Senators will still be without forward Dwayne Stanford again, although should they advance Stanford will return for the Regional’s, but will still have their usual major talent advantage headed into this one. SPG has only lost 4 games all season and is a formidable opponent but they shouldn’t slow down Taft too much.
o Prediction: Taft wins big.
· Aiken vs Dayton Dunbar: Univ. of Dayton 7:15 – The Falcons advance to face undefeated, and #1 ranked in the AP poll, the Wolverines of Dunbar (playing just a couple miles from their campus). Dunbar starts five Division I recruits, where Aiken starts three, so this game should be played at a high level. Aiken’s Willie Moore will have to be the best player on the floor for Aiken to have a chance; while Falcons forwards Austin Grimes and Paul Woodson will have to a great defensive job on Dunbar’s star senior forwards Deontae “Teddy” Hawkins (Wichita State signee) and Gary Akbar (Cleveland State signee).
o Prediction: Aiken puts up a fight but Dunbar gets the win.
· Trotwood Madison vs Dayton Thurgood Marshall: Univ. of Dayton 9:00 – A little CPHR bonus pick. After knocking off Franklin the Cougars of Thurgood Marshall should have a very winnable game on their hands against the Trotwood Rams.
o Prediction: Thurgood Marshall by double figures.
Thursday (Division III Games)
· Badin vs Versailles: Univ. of Dayton 5:30 – Tough game for Badin, who has had a great postseason run to advance to the District Title game. Versailles is considered the top team in Division III in SW Ohio, along with Summit, and should contend for a Final Four spot.
o Prediction: Versailles
· Summit vs Miami East: Univ. of Dayton 7:15 – The Silver Knights will be favored heading into this game but Miami East is a formidable opponent. What separates the two teams is guard play. Miami East shouldn’t be able to find a way to contain both Kevin Johnson and Antonio Woods.
o Prediction: Might be closer then people think, but Summit wins comfortably in the end.
· Roger Bacon vs Bishop Fenwick: Univ. of Dayton 9:00 – Fenwick has had a great postseason run to get this far and now has to face a team that they lost to early in the season, on the road, by just five points. The problem for Fenwick is that Roger Bacon has improved immensely since then. The Spartans played very well to knock off perennial powerhouse North College Hill last game and are a team capable of outstanding defensive performances. This one will probably be low scoring but look for the athletes of Bacon to give Fenwick guards fits.
o Prediction: Roger Bacon wins.
Saturday (Division I Games)
· Fairfield vs Troy: Univ. of Dayton 1:00 – The Trojans finished 10-0 in their division in Dayton’s biggest lead, the GWOC, and are led by senior guards Cody May and Zach Martinez; both of whom average right around 15 points per game. Fairfield’s pressure defense should slow those guards down some, and if the Indians are able to hit shots they could blow this game wide open. The key for Fairfield will be senior center Brandon Murphy, who was great in the win over LaSalle in the Sectional Final. If Murphy can match that performance, against another team without a dominant post player then Fairfield should be favored.
o Prediction: Not too sure how good Troy is but Fairfield should be able to win this one.
· Middletown vs Princeton: Univ. of Dayton 3:00 – So far this season the Middies, who were outright GMC champs, have defeated their league rival twice (once in overtime by three points, the other time by just two points). Two teams that are evenly matched, but different, will play for the third time this weekend. Last year, Lakota East was able to defeat Princeton for the third time in a season in the District Title game, and it certainly isn’t a feeling the Vikings want to taste again. The troubling thing for Princeton is that, along with Fairfield, the Middies were the most impressive team in the Sectional Finals as they dismantled a very good Winton Woods team. The factor that decided the first two games will decide this one; can the depth of Princeton counteract the outstanding production of Middletown’s Geovonie McKnight and Vincent Edwards? We’ll find out!
o Prediction: Tough pick but we’ve got to go with Middletown.
· Withrow vs Springboro: Univ. of Dayton 7:00 – Everyone knows the story here! It’s Panthers junior center Maverick Morgan, a high major Division I recruit, against Withrow’s Devin Williams. Whoever gets the better of the other, and they’ve already had plenty of summer battles, should give their team the boost to win this one. However, CPHR feels that it will be the depth on the perimeter (as well as Withrow’s other size with seniors Rozelle Nix and Tyler Jordan) that will be the difference. Withrow junior PG Tim Coleman is as hot as any guard in SW Ohio right now, if he keeps his pace up the Tigers won’t lose. However, the three-point shot is the great equalizer and Springboro has some guys, mainly junior guard Ryan Murray that can light it up.
o Prediction: Withrow seemed to have their swagger back in the win over Mason. We’re going to assume they hold on to it and roll past Springboro in this one.
· Moeller vs Beavercreek: Univ. of Dayton 9:00 – The Beavers were the consensus number one team in Dayton in Division I all season long, as all the top seeds ran away from them in the Sectional drawing, and have won 18 games already. Junior wing Jalen Camper leads the way for the Beavers with 14 points per game, expect him to draw Moeller senior forward Alex Voss defensively, who did a great job in holding Turpin’s Zach McCormick way below his average last weekend. The Crusaders have more quality on both the interior and perimeter to beat Beavercreek, but they always play close games in their District Final games in Dayton; however, they almost always win!
o Prediction: Moeller wins by about ten.
***Winners will be named District Champions and advance to the Regional Semi-Finals***