By Sam Houseworth | Photo by Ben Jackson
Only one month left of the regular season with plenty of teams jockeying for position in their division and district.
The draw for the state playoffs is only a couple of weeks away, and seeding will be ever-important. Seeding, done by coaches rather than computers, could be the difference between an easy path to the district finals and a brutal gauntlet of a sectional to open the tournament.
Which teams have positioned themselves in good standing for next month’s tournament? We have teams from all four divisions in our all-classification Top 25. But it starts with some usual suspects.
SBLIVE’S OHIO TOP 25
1. Reynoldsburg (10-2)
Last week: 1
The Raiders picked up where they left off upon their return to Ohio. Reynoldsburg opened the new year with a 66-11 win over Central Crossing on Friday. West Virginia commit Imarianah Russell led the way with 23 points. Reynoldsburg will look to sweep Pick Central in their season series on Thursday.
2. Archbishop Hoban, Akron (10-0)
Last week: 2
Hoban played its closest game of the season Wednesday, a win over Solon. The final score? 83-62. The Knights head to Laurel on Wednesday, followed by a pair of games at the Classic In The Country Challenge in Berlin this weekend. They get Westerville North on Saturday, then Fremont Ross on Monday.
3. Fort Loramie (13-0)
Last week: 4
The Redskins just survived their toughest stretch on the calendar. Not did they just survive, they dominated. Loramie opened the week with a 69-30 win over New Bremen, then a win at then-No. 20 Russia, 59-37. The Lady Skins capped off an impressive week with a 60-31 win at then-No. 14 Ottawa-Glandorf. Next up for the battle-tested Skins are a pair of Shelby County games against Jackson Center on Tuesday and at Anna on Saturday.
4. Mount Notre Dame, Cincinnati (10-1)
Last week: 6
The Cougars are back in business. Mount Notre Dame opened the week with a 45-31 win over East Central (St. Leon, Indiana). Then on Saturday, the Cougars earned their biggest in-state win of the season over then-No. 11 Pick Central, 55-40. MND has a busy week, starting with Mercy McAuley on Tuesday and Ursuline Academy on Thursday. Like so many great teams, they head to Berlin for two games this weekend, facing Hoover and Olmsted Falls.
5. Dublin Coffman (11-1)
Last week: 5
Two games, two wins for the Lady Rocks to open 2022. Coffman pulled away from Gahanna on Tuesday, 64-40. They followed it up with a one-sided dismantling of Upper Arlington, 54-19. Senior Cassidy Lafler scored a season-high 19 in the Lady Rocks’ Tuesday win over Gahanna. Coffman will host Hilliard Bradley on Friday before squaring up with Louisville Central (Kentucky) in Pickerington on Sunday.
6. Princeton, Cincinnati (13-0)
Last week: 3
The Vikings opened the new year with a trio of easy conference wins to bring them to 9-0 in the Greater Miami Conference. Sole Williams had a career night on Wednesday against Hamilton. The junior was one steal away from a triple-double, scoring 31, with 10 assists and nine steals in the Vikings’ 74-34 win. The Vikings will host Mason for control of the GMC on Wednesday, followed by a weekend on the road against Colerain and Gahanna.
7. Mason (11-1)
Last week: 7
The Comets jumped out to a 20-4 lead on Sycamore and never looked back Wednesday. Mason won 59-33 and improved to 7-1 in GMC play. Freshman Madison Parrish led the team with 15 points and two blocks, going 5-for-8 from behind the arc. The Comets have a chance to take control of the GMC when they head to Princeton on Wednesday. They will follow that up with a trip to Berlin to face Southwest Academy (Ontario, Canada) and Warrensville Heights.
8. Shelby (13-0)
Last week: 10
The opponents keep coming and the Whippets keep winning. Shelby defeated Buckeye Central 71-55 on Tuesday, then dismantled Ontario in MOAC action, 76-14. The Whippets have a pair of MOAC games this week, Marion Pleasant on Thursday and then Marion Harding on Saturday.
9. Purcell Marian, Cincinnati (10-1)
Last week: 8
A busy week for the Lady Cavs, but it resulted in three wins, two of them in conference play. Purcell Marian earned blowout wins over McNicholas and Norwood before fighting off a tough-as-nails Summit Country Day team for a 77-69 win Saturday. Freshman Dee Alexander earned a double-double in the Cavs’ win on Saturday, scoring 28 and collecting 13 boards. The Cavs head to Pickerington to face Example Academy on Saturday.
10. Pickerington Central (8-3)
Last week: 11
The Lady Tigers extended their win streak to six with a 67-28 blowout of Lancaster, only to be stopped dead in their tracks by Mount Notre Dame on Saturday. Double-digit scoring by Madison Greene and Berry Wallace wasn’t enough to keep the Cougars at bay, as MND won 55-40. The Tigers host Gahanna on Tuesday, followed by a trip to No. 1 Reynoldsburg on Thursday.
11. Archbishop Alter, Kettering (11-0)
Last week: 12
Now, Alter is responsible for both of Badin’s conference losses. The Knights made easy work of Carroll on Wednesday, 51-27. On Saturday, Badin was looking for revenge for its first conference loss in December. The Knights’ defense was suffocating, forcing 19 steals, en route to a 52-42 win to improve to 7-0 in GCL Co-Ed play. Alter will host Trotwood Madison on Thursday, then head to Pickerington to face Westerville South on Saturday.
12. Liberty-Benton, Findlay (9-1)
Last week: 9
The Eagles’ defense continues to be one of the best in the state as we head into the new year. In their three wins this week, they allowed an average of 23.7 points per game. The Eagles host Van Buren on Tuesday for control of the Blanchard Valley Conference. That is followed by a Saturday contest at Kenton.
13. Tri-Village, New Madison (11-2)
Last week: 17
The Lady Patriots opened the week with a win over D-I Sidney, 59-31. They followed that up with a pair of conference wins over Dixie and National Trail, improving to 7-0 in the Western Ohio Athletic Conference. Four Patriots scored in double figures in the team’s Saturday win over National Trail, 66-35. The Patriots have a busy week with Franklin Monroe on Thursday, Bellbrook on Saturday, then a trip to Berlin to face Waterford.
14. GlenOak, Canton (10-1)
Last week: 22
In the Lady Eagles' 75-60 win over Green, Jordan Weir broke the school’s career block record. After a 19-point, 7-block performance, the senior’s block tally stands at 105 and counting. Later in the weekend, GlenOak dismantled Laurel on Senior Day, 73-30. The Eagles host Perry in conference play this Wednesday followed by a Sunday game against Lakota West in Berlin.
15. Worthington Christian (11-1)
Last week: 13
In the Warriors’ lone game this week, they ran away with a comfortable win over Columbus Academy, 65-31. Blessing King and Meghan Mayotte led the team with 17 points apiece in the Mid-State League win. The Warriors host undefeated Berne Union on Wednesday, then head to Grandview Heights for a conference game Friday.
16. Bellbrook (13-0)
Last week: 21
The Golden Eagles continued to dominate the Southwestern Buckeye League as they improved to 7-0 in league play over the past week. After a nonconference win over Tecumseh, 68-55, the Golden Eagles steamrolled Brookville, 58-19, and took down Waynesville, 63-45. Sophomore Taylor Scohy averaged 15.7 points in the three contests. Bellbrook heads to Franklin on Thursday before a top 20 contest against Tri-Village on Saturday.
17. Centerville (9-4)
Last week: 15
The Elks got everything Edgewood could throw at them Monday, only holding a 24-20 lead at halftime. But Kendal George’s deadliness from beyond the arc sealed the deal as Centerville pulled away for a 52-40 victory. The junior finished with 16 points on 4-for-6 shooting from 3-point range. The Elks have back-to-back road games this week with Trotwood on Wednesday and Springfield on Thursday.
18. Sheridan, Thornville (9-2)
Last week: 18
Three games in four days? Nothing to it. The Generals earned wins over Crooksville, Liberty Union and West Muskingum, all by 25-plus points. The Generals will look to keep the hot hand going when they head to Maysville on Wednesday.
19. Olentangy Liberty, Powell (9-2)
Last week: 24
After a convincing win over Hilliard Davidson to begin the year, the Lady Patriots suffered their second loss of the season to Hoban, 63-40. Both losses have come to teams currently ranked in the top 5 of the SBLIve Top 25. It’s a busy week ahead as Olentangy Liberty has a trio of road games against Thomas Worthington on Tuesday, Olentangy Orange on Friday and Tri-Valley on Sunday.
20. Cincinnati Country Day (8-3)
Last week: 25
On Wednesday, CCD completed the season sweep of Summit Country Day, 44-29. Junior Gracie Barnes led the Nighthawks with 17 points. CCD has a pair of nonconference contests this week against Mercy McAuley on Thursday and Harrison on Saturday.
21. Newark (8-3)
Last week: 23
After a long hiatus from the SBLive Top 25, the Wildcats continue to climb up the ranks in the second half of the season. Newark earned a 71-38 win over Groveport Madison this past Friday. The Wildcats will head on the road to face Olentangy Berlin on Tuesday and Lancaster on Friday, followed by IMG Academy (Florida) in Pickerington on Sunday.
22. Ottawa-Glandorf (8-3)
Last week: 14
The Titans claimed sole possession of first place in the Western Buckeye League with a 50-40 win over St. Marys on Friday. The drop comes after a 29-point home loss to Fort Loramie the following night. O-G is back in action Tuesday against Bath, followed by a weekend trip to Berlin to face Tri-Valley.