District tourney paths paved


London, WJ receive high seeds, home games

By Chris Miles - cmiles@civitasmedia.com



London’s Taylor Sabulsky drives to the basket during a game earlier this season.


Chris Miles | The Madison Press

West Jefferson senior Claire Sterling eyes the basket during a Lady Roughriders win earlier this season.


Chris Miles | The Madison Press

The potential path through the postseason is now known for Madison County’s five high school girls basketball teams.

The Central District girls basketball coaches came together Sunday, Jan. 31 for the annual tournament draw, a couple of the county’s best teams received high seeds and are eyeing deep tournament runs.

Division III

There were no real surprises from the tournament draw for West Jefferson coach Tim Converse, who’s team was selected the No. 5 seed in Division III.

The Lady Roughriders (16-2) will host fellow Mid-State League Ohio Division foe and No. 17 seed Grandview in their first-round game Tuesday, Feb. 16. If West Jeff wins its tournament opener it will welcome in No. 6 North Union Thursday, Feb. 18.

“Going in I thought we would be anywhere between four and six and we are five,” Converse said. “I think that just goes to show you how tough D-III is this year.”

The Roughriders seemed to catch a little bit of a break. Top-seeded Africentric went into the top bracket, while No. 2 Pleasant and No. 3 Bishop Ready went in the lower bracket. When No. 4 Cardington Lincoln came up to choose, it opted for the bracket with the top-seeded Nubians, leaving a spot in the lower bracket for West Jeff.

“I was a little surprised Cardington went to the big bracket, but that allowed us to settle in to where we are,” Converse said. “There are a lot of good teams in D-III and your eventually going to have to play good teams.

“We start with Grandview, a team we know a lot about, and if we can win that one we get a second home game against a North Union team that’s hard-nosed and has good size. If we were to get by that one we’d probably see a really good Bishop Ready team, so there are no easy games.”

Madison-Plains (6-10) is the 16th seed (out of 23) in D-III and has a first-round bye. The Golden Eagles will square off with the winner of the game between No. 3 Ready and No. 20 Columbus Academy. The better seeded team will host the game that will be played Saturday, Feb. 20.

Division II

A year ago London’s run in the D-II district tournament ended with a hard-fought 65-42 loss to No. 1 seed Eastmoor Academy.

This year Eastmoor is again the No. 1 seed, but the Red Raiders are as far away from the Warriors as they can possibly be.

Coach Kevin Long’s London team received the No. 2 seed in the D-II tournament and went on the bracket line in the opposite district from the mighty Warriors meaning London wouldn’t run into Eastmoor anytime before a D-II state semifinal.

London (16-4) will open its postseason trek at home Monday, Feb. 15, against No. 18 Columbus East. A win against the Tigers would set up a clash with No. 9 Bishop Hartley Friday, Feb. 19 also at London.

The other highly seeded teams in the Red Raiders district bracket include No. 3 Johnstown-Monroe, No. 5 Linden McKinley, No. 6 River Valley and No. 8 Buckeye Valley.

Jonathan Alder, No. 12 in D-II, gets a first-round home game against No. 14 Licking Valley Monday, Feb. 15. The winner will advance to play at No. 11 Granville Feb. 19. Two district tournament wins would likely get Alder a date with No. 1 Eastmoor.

Division IV

Shekinah Christian received the 11th seed (out of 19) in the D-IV tourney and will open the postseason Wednesday, Feb. 17, at No. 7 Fisher Catholic. The game will be played at the catholic high school in Lancaster.

The winner of the Shekinah-Fisher contest will advance to a D-IV district semifinal Thursday, Feb. 25 against No. 1 Fairfield Christian, No. 15 Harvest Prep or No. 19 Gahanna Christian.

London’s Taylor Sabulsky drives to the basket during a game earlier this season.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/02/web1_London-drive.jpgLondon’s Taylor Sabulsky drives to the basket during a game earlier this season. Chris Miles | The Madison Press

West Jefferson senior Claire Sterling eyes the basket during a Lady Roughriders win earlier this season.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/02/web1_wj-claire.jpgWest Jefferson senior Claire Sterling eyes the basket during a Lady Roughriders win earlier this season. Chris Miles | The Madison Press
London, WJ receive high seeds, home games

By Chris Miles

cmiles@civitasmedia.com

Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.

Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.