The neck tightens in the bottle as Flyin’ To The Hoop is passed and area teams settle down to compete for conference titles now…and tournament seeds.
You can make the point that it’s never over til it’s over.
That is, unless you’re a MAC team and have to beat Versailles for a chance in that league’s title chase. One coach said this last week. “If that’s your best shot at staying alive it isn’t a very good one.”
That said, Loramie did hand the Tigers their first loss of the season last week with a strange technical foul at the end of the game that put the Redskins’ Dillon Braun on the foul line with no time remaining and the score tied. He didn’t leave it tied for very long….48-46, Loramie.
And the prospects for beating Versailles are not good for anyone this week, after Justin Ahrens and company knocked off Sidney 65-50 in Flyin’ To The Hoop on Sunday. The Tigers have LCC on Tuesday and Fort Recovery at home on Friday.
Marion and Minster are both clean in league play, and will stay that way this week. Neither play a league game until next week when Minster meets Versailles on the 26th…and Marion plays Recovery on the road that same night.
In Shelby County League action for the boys the talk is mostly about Fort Loramie, and justly so. They’re undefeated, playing confidently, and with each passing game seem to find another element of their game to lean on. This is no longer a one-man show – or a one-shot team. The Redskins are 11-0 going into Monday’s game against Thurgood Marshall at Flyin’ To The Hoop, with a league date against Botkins on Friday.
Anna (Division III) is 9-3 overall, and 4-1 in league play, and plays Houston and Miami East, back to back, this Friday and Saturday.
In the CCC, Bethel (Div. III) is 11-2 and clean (7-0) in league play without much chance of being beaten, unless you consider their February 3 date with Troy Christian.
And speaking of TC, they continue to roll (11-2) after impressive wins last week over Legacy Christian and Miami East. With 6’9” James Anderson in the post, Ray Zawadzki’s Eagles are for real in area Division IV.
In girls play…much of the same. The rich get richer while those about whom we wondered are beginning to fall away from the pace.
In the MAC…it’s squarely about Versailles (14-1, 5-0), Minster (12-1, 4-0), and Fort Recovery (10-1, 4-0), and Recovery put a shock into the once-beaten New Bremen Cardinals last week with a 36-20 win on the road.
This week Recovery hosts Versailles on Thursday night (the 18th), seeking to put some added relevancy to their impressive mid-season mark. The Indians are patient, they can score, and the contrast in styles will make for an interesting matchup.
Minster plays New Bremen on Thursday, then two days later – Ottoville – a team that has given the Wildcats fits in recent years.
In GWOC play, Tippecanoe (11-2, 7-0) suffered its second loss of the year to Springboro at Flyin’ To The Hoop, but have a date with Stebbins on Wednesday, the 17th, and travel to Trotwood on the 20th.
That Trotwood game, by the way, will be no pushover because the Rams have quietly put together a 10-1 mark and 7-0 in GWOC South play, and they’ll challenge Tipp physically.
In the Cross County Conference, four teams still struggle for dominance – Covington (6-2 in league), Miami East (unbeaten in league), Franklin Monroe (6-2 in league), and Tri-Village is having another good year with an 11-3 mark overall, and 7-1 in the league play. All are active this week.
Finally, in the Shelby County League the focus remains on Carla Siegel’s young Fort Loramie team, seeking another league title, and at 10-4 overall, and 7-0 in league, you might not question them getting it.
That is, unless, you consider that Russia (11-3, 6-1) is still out there with a chance when the meet Loramie for the second time, come February 8. Loramie won the first game 29-23 between the two in something less than a shootout, at Loramie, on January 6. But doing that again, at Russia, might be tough. Regardless, both anticipate being high tournament seeds.
That’s this week in basketball, sponsored by Wagner’s IGA, who besides have the best chicken salad in the area…urge you to get out and see area basketball this week.
We’ll be there, too.