A tough road ahead

Lee Woolery | Miami Valley Today file

Troy’s Shaeden Olden lays the ball in during a rout of Greenville at home this season.

By Josh Brown

Miami Valley Today

MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County’s boys basketball teams all have a tough road ahead trying to get back to the district finals.

But after no one reached that level last year and with only one team having done so in the last two years, the area’s basketball teams have their sights set on playing at University of Dayton Arena this year after the boys sectional tournament draw was held on Sunday.

A breakdown of Miami County’s team’s brackets:

• Division I

The last time Troy won this many games in a season, it ended up playing at UD Arena.

And looking at records alone, it would seem the Trojans have a pretty favorable draw this season, being the only team in their sectional with a winning record.

Even with a 13-8 record, though, Troy will enter the Division I sectional as the No. 14 seed, matched up with No. 13 seed Carroll in the opening round. The Patriots may by 9-12 and have lost six of their last seven, but they also play in the tough Greater Catholic League.

Should Troy get through the first round, the winner between No. 5 Wayne (10-10) and No. 19 Northmont (1-20) would await, with No. 1 Centerville (10-11) the likely sectional final opponent. Those records are deceptive, too, as Centerville and Wayne play in the brutally tough Greater Western Ohio Conference American Division.

The last time Troy won a tournament game was also the 2011-12 season, when it last reached the district final and lost to Fairfield 59-45.

No. 16 Piqua (8-13) will have a familiar first-round opponent, taking on Miami Valley League foe West Carrollton, the No. 7 seed with a 15-5 record. The Pirates swept the regular season series from the Indians, winning 86-61 and 77-56.

Should Piqua get past the opening round, the winner between No. 2 Beavercreek (13-8) and No. 17 Lebanon (6-15) will be up next, with No. 6 Springfield (9-12), No. 15 Butler (12-9) and No. 17 Xenia (4-16) in the other half of the bracket.

Piqua’s last postseason victory came in the 2015-16 season, with the Indians coming up one win shy of a district final appearance after a sectional final loss to Wayne.

• Division II

In the Division II Springfield sectional, Tippecanoe earned the No. 6 seed and carries a 13-8 record into the opening round against another tough GCL team, No. 8 Chaminade Julienne (9-12).

Awaiting the winner in the second round is No. 5 Oakwood (15-6), with No. 3 Thurgood Marshall (16-5) in the other half of the bracket along with No. 9 Springfield Shawnee, No. 13 Valley View and No. 18 Greenville.

• Division III

Milton-Union may be having its best season in years, with their first winning season since 2012-13, but the Bulldogs tournament opener got a little more complicated.

The Bulldogs, seeded 10th with a 13-8 record, will face No. 11 Arcanum in a second-round matchup, with both taking first-round byes. After the draw on Sunday, Arcanum defeated Milton-Union 64-53 in a game at Arcanum. If Milton-Union wins and gets to the sectional final, it will face either No. 3 Madison — a division rival that the Bulldogs split with in the regular season — No. 22 Houston or No. 20 Mechanicsburg.

Cross County Conference rivals Bethel (9-12) and Miami East (9-11) ended up in the same bracket, with the Bees seeded 16th and the Vikings 17th. Bethel will have a first-round game against No. 7 West Liberty-Salem (14-5), with No. 9 Brookville (11-10) awaiting the winner.

Bethel was the last Miami County school to reach the district final, doing so in the 2017-18 season and falling to North College Hill.

On the other side of the bracket, Miami East will take on this year’s CCC champion National Trail (18-2), the No. 4 seed, in a second-round game. The Blazer beat the Vikings 54-44 during the regular season.

• Division IV

The Division IV Piqua sectional is packed with area teams.

After two years in D-III, Troy Christian is back in D-IV and is seeded No. 5 with a 17-4 record. The Eagles will face No. 8 Ansonia (11-11) in the opening round, with the winner between No. 10 Covington (8-13) and No. 4 Fairlawn (12-7) awaiting in the second round.

On the other side of the Piqua 2 bracket, No. 13 Bradford (2-18) and top-seeded Jackson Center (15-5) will meet in a tournament rematch from last year — Jackson Center won that matchup 54-11 on its way to a regional tournament berth. No. 9 Russia (7-13) awaits the winner of that matchup in a second-round game.

And in the Piqua 1 bracket, 12th-seeded Newton (6-15) will face No. 2 Botkins (16-4) in the opening round, with No. 11 Riverside (6-14) awaiting the winner in the second round. Last year, Newton upset No. 1 Legacy Christian to reach the sectional final.

In the other half of that bracket, No. 6 Lehman (11-8) will face No. 7 Mississinawa Valley (10-9) in the opening round, with No. 3 Fort Loramie (13-6) awaiting in the second round.

Contact Josh Brown at jbrown@aimmediamidwest.com, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.

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