The games get more and more difficult to project as only the elite teams remain to battle for the right to play in Dayton next week in the District Finals. Here’s our best guess at what to watch for, and who the winners might be…..
· Summit vs Finneytown: Xavier 6:00
o Prediction: Summit
· Madeira vs Badin: Xavier 7:30
o Prediction: Madeira
· North College Hill vs Roger Bacon: Xavier 9:00 – The most intriguing of Friday’s three Division III Sectional Finals pins the Spartans against the Trojans. A young Roger Bacon team is accustomed to making it to the Districts, as is the feisty NCH team. This one could go either way.
o Prediction: North College Hill
· LaSalle vs Fairfield: Xavier 7:00 – Expect an up and down affair on the bigger college court at XU in the first of five Division I Sectional Finals. Both teams take pride in their ability to pressure defend, can shoot the three with multiple weapons, and play with toughness. Can the Indians pull an upset? Probably not, but the Lancers are wary that Fairfield has the talent to give them a scare.
o Prediction: LaSalle
· Winton Woods vs Middletown: Xavier 8:30 – Probably the toughest Division I Sectional Final to predict. In a rematch of the same game from last year the Warriors will look to use another team effort to heat up Geovonie McKnight. Without Semaj Christon it will be tough to turn McKnight over but Winton Woods has a higher quantity of quality players. This is the game to watch over the weekend.
o Prediction: Middletown wins a close one.
· Aiken vs Indian Hill: Mason 6:00 – The Falcons blew out Indian Hill the first time these two teams met. On paper the same result is expected; but will it hold true?
o Prediction: Aiken
· Taft vs Clermont Northeastern: Mason 7:30
o Prediction: Taft
· Mason vs Withrow: Univ. of Cincinnati 2:00 – Everyone is eager to see the rematch of two contrary teams from last year’s Sectional Final (which Withrow won). The Comets are a very good half court defensive team but they might not have faced a better player all year then they will on Sunday as they match up with Withrow forward Devin Williams. Mason has plenty of firepower of their own and should be able to execute against Withrow’s pressure. This is another tough Division I game to forecast.
o Prediction: Going to go with Mason because of how consistent they’ve been all year.
· Moeller vs Turpin: Univ. of Cincinnati 3:30 – If Turpin reminds us of any GCL team it’s LaSalle; the only league team to defeat the Crusaders (and they did it twice). The Spartans can shoot the three and pressure you the full length of the court. They’re underdogs for sure, but if they’re on their game then they have the capability to beat Moeller.
o Prediction: Spartans put up a fight but Moeller wins.
· Princeton vs Walnut Hills: Univ. of Cincinnati 5:00 – It’s going to be a war down low as big men Isaiah Johnson and De’arius Young bang in the paint; while two talented guard corps duel it out as well. Princeton has more overall talent but Walnut Hills has been playing with a real purpose and is riding a huge 18 game winning streak.
o Prediction: Walnut Hills wins a game decided in the final two minutes.
· Franklin vs Dayton Thurgood Marshall: Univ. of Dayton 3:00 – Can the Wildcats regroup after an emotional triple overtime mid-week win? They get another tough opponent in a loaded DTM squad filled with Division I college talent. The size of Franklin is an advantage but do they have enough quality guards to handle the Cougars pressure?
o Prediction: Another tough call but CPHR thinks Franklin heads to the Districts.
**All winners advance to play next week in Dayton in the District Finals**