TROY – It’s no surprise that Tri-Village earned the top seed in the Division IV Brookville sectional tournament.
At 18-1 and ranked fourth in the state, the Lady Patriots, who were regional semifinalists a year ago, earned 13 first-place votes and 154 points to garner the No. 1 seed at Sunday’s draw meeting. Coach Brad Gray took a first round bye with his selection and will await the winner between 9th-seeded Miami Valley and 7th-seeded Newton for a 6 p.m. tip off on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at Brookville.
“We still have to focus on three remaining regular season games making sure we don’t lose focus and start looking too far ahead,” Gray said. “We are obviously happy with the No. 1 seed, but a seed doesn’t really get anything done for you. We still have to go out and play and make sure we are taking care of business when the time comes.
“Obviously a lot of kids from last year’s team are back so that experience factor I would like to think is going to help us, but we are missing a key piece from last year’s team in Trisa Porter being out all year with her condition so we have some big shoes to fill there,” he continued. “I feel like we are playing good basketball right now, but we have to keep it up because the season that really matters is right around the corner and we can’t really have a relaxing moment. We have to make sure we stay focused. The good thing is the games we have remaining on our regular season schedule all are going to be really tough games. We have Arcanum on Thursday, Fort Recovery next Saturday and then follow that up with a game against Russia on Feb. 14, so I think that is a really good schedule to send us into the tournament. We should be battle tested going into the tournament and hopefully that keeps the kids upbeat and ready to go.”
Covington got the other first-place vote and totaled 132 points to earn the No. 2 seed. They were followed by Franklin-Monroe (122 points) at No. 3, Troy Christian (109 points) at No. 4 and Springfield Catholic Central (100 points) at No. 5.
The remaining seeds in the 14-team sectional are as follows: No. 6 Bradford (98 points), No. 7 Newton (74 points), No. 8 Yellow Springs (72 points), No. 9 Miami Valley (67 points), No. 10 Twin Valley South (52 points), No. 11 Dayton Christian (44 points), No. 12 East Dayton Christian (28 points), No. 13 Tri-County North (26 points) and No. 14. Dayton Jefferson (12 points).
Franklin-Monroe (14-5) will kick off its tournament with a 2 p.m. matchup against Dayton Christian (7-11) on Saturday, Feb. 16. Bradford (14-6) will face Yellow Springs (10-8) at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13.
“Being the No. 6 seed is right about where we figured we’d be so no surprises there,” Bradford coach Chris Besecker said. “Now we just learn something about our opponent and see where we stack up against them.
“I feel like we have been playing well lately,” he continued referring specifically to a come-from-behind win over Sidney Lehman Catholic on Saturday. “We are like two different teams you know. We are post-Skipp (Miller) and I feel like we have really gotten comfortable playing with the mix we have. That took some time getting used to the fact that No. 23 wasn’t on the court with us, but I think we have started to gel together and we have some kids starting to step up. Abby Fike is really playing well now for us. She got off to a bad start this season with a concussion and had to sit out several games, but she has really come on now and is playing well for us off the bench. That has really given us a big lift.”
Darke County’s other two Division IV teams – Ansonia and Mississinawa Valley – will compete in the Sidney sectional. The Lady Tigers (2-17) are the 12th seed and will face the winner between 11th-seeded Jackson Center and 4th-seeded Mechanicsburg at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23. Mississinawa Valley is the 13th seed and will face the state’s No. 1-ranked team Fort Loramie (19-1) in the opening round at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
In Division II, Greenville earned 83 points to capture the fifth seed in the 13-team bracket. State-ranked Dayton Carroll is the top seed with 12 first-place votes and 140 points. Trotwood-Madison is the No. 2 seed with 119 points followed by Kenton Ridge with 1 first-place vote and 110 points at No. 3 and Tippecanoe with 105 points at No. 4.
The Lady Wave (8-10) will take on Bellefontaine (9-11) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16 at Tecumseh.
Versailles earned the No. 4 seed and Arcanum the No. 7 seed in the Division III Covington sectional. Waynesville (18-0) received 14 first-place votes and totaled 330 points to grab the No. 1 seed. West Liberty-Salem is No. 2 with 3 first-place votes and 308 points followed by Anna at No. 3 with 286 points just ahead of fourth-seeded Versailles with 3 first-place votes and 285 points. Miami East (255 points) is the fifth seed followed by Jamestown Greeneview (247 points) at No. 6 and Arcanum at No. 7 with 224 points.
The Lady Trojans (14-6) will open the tournament against Jamestown Greeneview in a 6 p.m. battle on Wednesday, Feb. 13, while the Lady Tigers (14-5) will face 16th-seeded Urbana at 6 p.m.. on Thursday, Feb. 14.
“I am happy with a 7th seed,” Arcanum coach Michael Dean said. “I think it shows respect even though we are a young team with a new coach and new system by some of the powerhouses in the district, and those teams are loaded with seniors and ready to make a run.
“Greeneview is a good team,” he continued. “I feel our district is loaded with good teams more so than probably anyone’s and I see a state finalist coming out of these 20 teams.”