By Josh Brown
MIAMI COUNTY — The area’s girls basketball teams still have some time to make an impression.
Not much, though.
With the sectional tournament draws being held at 2 p.m. Sunday, coaches’ comments and records are due at midnight Wednesday night, while the voting window opens on Thursday and closes at noon Saturday, leaving basically Wednesday and Thursday night for Miami County’s teams to score marks on their resume to possible improve their standings a little bit.
At this point, there is no world in which Tippecanoe doesn’t get the No. 1 seed in the Division II Tecumseh sectional. The Red Devils sit at 16-2 on the season and are ranked No. 6 in the state in the latest D-II state poll. Their losses this season are by one point to Versailles — which is currently ranked No. 1 in the state in D-III — and at the Flyin’ to the Hoop tournament to Springboro, a likely top-five seed in the D-I sectional draw. Big wins on the resume include a season-opening win at Miami East — another team that will rank high in the D-III sectional — Fort Loramie, West Liberty and Trotwood, all on the road. And that last one, against Trotwood, was a matchup of two teams in the top 10 in D-II at the time, which the Devils won convincingly, 60-45.
The Rams are currently 14-2 and still ranked No. 8 in the state in D-II, and they will likely get the No. 2 seed. Springfield Shawnee sits at 13-4, Carroll is a deceptive 10-8 — yet still lost to Tippecanoe last week — and Greenville and Kenton Ridge are both above the .500 mark at 11-7 and 10-7, respectively, entering Tuesday night’s play.
Tippecanoe has been to the regional final three seasons in a row, losing to Alter each time. But with the Knights at 5-12 this year, the Devils lone roadblock appears to be Trotwood. Will the Rams jump on the Devils early? Or will both teams go into opposite sectional brackets and try to set up a regional final rematch? Only a few more days until everyone finds out.
In Division I, the Troy Trojans have had an up-and-down season and now sit at 9-9, with only a matchup at 2-15 Sidney on Wednesday to potentially bolster its resume. Last season, the 9-11 Trojans earned a No. 15 seed and defeated No. 16 Xenia in the opening round before falling to No. 2 Springboro in the sectional semifinal.
The top is again clogged with teams such as Beavercreek (14-3), Lebanon (15-3), Springboro (15-3) and Tecumseh (14-5), with 10 of the 19 teams boasting above-.500 records and Edgewood and Troy both at 9-9. Three different brackets to go into makes things more interesting, and with the Trojans likely getting a seed between 10 and 15, it will all hinge on where everyone chose to go before their turn to go on the board.
Division III will be especially interesting this year, with 20 teams battling for spots in four different brackets — two at the Covington site and two at the Trotwood site. And those 20 teams are loaded, as well, with two of the state’s top 10 teams, including No. 1 Versailles (17-1) and No. 5 Waynesville (17-0), as well as 15-3 Preble Shawnee, 14-2 Greeneview and 14-4 West Liberty-Salem.
But Miami East is also 14-4, just having seen its 10-game winning streak come to an end against Fort Loramie over the weekend. So with six teams with four or fewer losses battling for the top four seeds, it basically guarantees everyone a tough game to get to the district tournament. And with Milton-Union at 8-10 — but having played two solid games against that undefeated Waynesville team, only losing both 50-46 and 43-40 — and Bethel at 7-9, having recently ran off four straight wins, as well as always-dangerous Anna at 12-6 and 10 of the 20 teams boasting above-.500 records, there’s plenty of talent in the potential middle and even lower seeds, leaving a lot of possibilities open for upsets.
And in Division IV, after having finally broken its lengthy postseason losing streak in the Sidney sectional last year, Troy Christian (15-2) traded that loaded bracket for another, the Brookville sectional. And with 12 teams fighting for spots in two brackets, there will be plenty of tough matchups again this year.
Also battling the Eagles for the No. 1 and 2 seeds will be 15-2 Franklin Monroe and 15-3 Tri-Village, with 13-6 Covington and 12-6 Newton also in the mix for top five seeds. Tri-Village and Covington were both sectional champions last year, with the Patriots defeating Newton in the sectional final and Covington defeating Southeastern — which moved to the Monroe sectional. Beyond those five teams, though, no one else has an above-.500 record, with 7-10 Bradford possessing the next highest win total.
There’s still a couple days for all of those potential middle seeds to make an impression and move up, though. But once Sunday arrives, their postseason fates will be set in stone.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.