Boys tourney draw nears


By Chris Miles - cmiles@aimmediamidwest.com



London’s Isaiah Hatem, right, drives to the basket against West Jefferson’s Joe Thompson during a game last week.

London’s Isaiah Hatem, right, drives to the basket against West Jefferson’s Joe Thompson during a game last week.


Jay Gehes | Gehres Photography

Just how good are the Madison County high school boys basketball teams?

That’s likely going to be a question being asked by coaches at the Central District boys basketball tournament draw which will take place Sunday, Feb. 11.

Jonathan Alder, West Jefferson and Madison-Plains all play in leagues where there are few or no other Central District teams. So other than non-league games against those in the Central District, Madison County schools are relatively unknowns this year to a lot of coaches.

West Jeff (13-6 overall, 11-3 in OHC North), a Division III team in the Central District, sits atop the standings in the Ohio Heritage Conference North Division with West Liberty-Salem (14-5, 11-3). The Roughriders are having one of their most successful seasons in years, but the reality is other than a handful of games against Central District teams many of those voting on seeding haven’t seen them play.

So how do other teams/coaches see West Jeff? That’s a question that will be answered when the seeding is revealed this weekend.

“Division III is an absolute bear this year,” West Jeff coach Sam Seggerson said. “There are a ton of good teams that all have their eye on making a run. We are hoping for a 11-15 seed (out of 25). This should give us a few options to find some teams we match-up with well and allow us to make a tourney run.”

Madison-Plains (6-8, 4-8 in OHC South) has been down this road before, the Golden Eagles are competing in their second season as a member of the OHC and while their record hovers around the .500 mark, they have only played three Central District squads this year. They defeated Horizon Science and lost to both West Jefferson and Fairbanks. They will also play D-II London next week.

Madison-Plains High School is a young team capable of making noise in the upcoming D-III tournament, but if it gets saddled with a low seed it could possibly draw one of the tournament’s powers in the opening round.

Jonathan Alder (15-4, 10-1 in CBC Kenton Trail Division) is competing in its first season in the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division and is closing in on a league crown. But with none of the other teams in either of the CBC divisions coming from the Central District, Alder has had to make an effort to schedule games against good area squads.

The Pioneers have tangled with Columbus South, Hilliard Darby, Bishop Watterson, Fairbanks, Marion-Franklin and Johnstown this season which should surely help give them more clout when it comes to seeding.

London (5-13, 0-8 in MSL Ohio) which has had its struggles this season is still a member of the Mid-State League Ohio Division and will likely find itself seeded near the bottom of the 22 teams in Division II.

Shekinah Christian (13-4, 9-0 MOCAL) figures to be one of the better seeded teams in the upcoming D-IV district tournament. The Flames have played and defeated a number of the same teams they’ll be compared to in the district tourney meeting.

London’s Isaiah Hatem, right, drives to the basket against West Jefferson’s Joe Thompson during a game last week.
http://www.madison-press.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2018/02/web1_JDG_8015a_-LHS-No-24-1-.jpgLondon’s Isaiah Hatem, right, drives to the basket against West Jefferson’s Joe Thompson during a game last week. Jay Gehes | Gehres Photography

By Chris Miles

cmiles@aimmediamidwest.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.

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