Tournament basketball is right around the corner and teams from around northwest Ohio met yesterday for sectional drawings.
In the Division I boys draw at Central Catholic, things went pretty much as expected, as sixth-ranked Scott (16-1) and eighth-ranked St. Francis de Sales (15-1) were voted into the top two seeds and subsequently placed themselves into first-round bye slots on the bracket.
"It's nice to be the No. 1 seed, especially since it's coming from your peers," Scott coach Joe Suboticki said. "It's good to get a bye because you have to play less games to get down the road. But there's a big lull between your last [regular season] game and when you play your first [tournament] game. Sometimes that's not good."
Each of the 14 coaches ranked the teams in order, and most voted according to merit. One who did not - first-year Woodward coach Corey Tucker - skewed things by voting his 4-13 Polar Bears (0-10 City League) No. 1 on his ballot. Each ballot was read aloud after the vote.
Tucker's vote enabled his team to avoid a first-round matchup against either third-seeded St. John's Jesuit (14-3) or fourth-seeded Libbey (10-7).
St. John's will open March 1 against Bowsher (3-13, 3-7 CL), which got the No. 14 slot despite defeating Woodward 44-40 on Friday. Libbey opens March 1 against Southview (5-13, 3-9 Northern Lakes League), which was voted 13th. Woodward faces Clay (8-9, 2-8 CL) in a sectional semifinal.
The most compelling first-round matchup has fifth-seeded Start (10-7, 6-4 CL) against sixth-seeded Springfield (10-6, 6-6 NLL) on March 1.
Central Catholic joined Waite as a D-I sectional site this year, replacing the traditional venue at Libbey. That move was made primarily because Central's boys team has dropped to Division II.
Central (8-8, 4-6 CL) promptly received the No. 1 seed at the Anthony Wayne D-II sectional draw, a seven-team grouping that includes just one team, Wauseon (12-5), with a winning record. The Indians got the No. 2 seed.
Central opted for a first-round bye, and opens March 3 against the winner between Bryan (6-11) and Rossford (3-14).
In Division IV, Toledo Christian is the top seed at Northview.
Toledo Christian (14-3, 10-0 TAAC) will play the Northwood-Maumee Valley winner in a March 3 sectional final at 6:15 p.m. Cardinal Stritch (14-4, 9-2) was voted No. 2 at Northview, but coach Jim Sheehy opted for a first-round game instead of an available bye.
Stritch will open against Monclova Christian (5-11), while Ottawa Hills (11-5, 7-4) took the bye, and will play March 3 against the Stritch-Monclova winner.
Contact Steve Junga at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6461.