Badger grabs top seed; 4 Trumbull teams No. 2
Badger turned out to be the only Trumbull County boys basketball team to earn a No. 1 seed in the upcoming sectional-district tournaments, but the county boasts four No. 2 seeds and a handful of other teams who are expected to be in the mix in their respective tournaments.
The Braves (16-3) are the top seed in the Division IV Grand Valley District, where they could meet second-seeded Bristol (15-3) in the district final. Badger won a 60-59 decision at Bristol last Tuesday.
The county’s other No. 2 seeds are Lakeview in the Division II Boardman District, LaBrae in the Division III Warren District and McDonald in the Division IV Struthers District.
Warren G. Harding is seeded fifth in the Division I Solon District. The Raiders have a home game Feb. 27 against 12-seeded Cleveland John Adams, then would have to win at fourth-seeded Twinsburg on March 2 in order to make it to the district semifinals at Solon High School. Shaker Heights is the top seed at Solon.
Sectional games are Wednesday (Feb. 27) and Saturday (March 2) for Division I schools and Tuesday (Feb. 26) and Friday (March 1) for all others.
In the district rounds the following week, the Division III and IV semifinal games will be played Monday and Tuesday with the final on Friday, and in Division I and II, the semifinal games are Wednesday and Thursday with the final on Saturday.
As the No. 2 seed at Boardman, Lakeview would not meet top-seeded Poland until the district final. Last year, Lakeview upset Poland in the semifinal round and went on to a regional appearance. The Trumbull Bulldogs would have to beat Cardinal Mooney or Struthers to reach the semifinals at Boardman.
Youngstown Chaney is seeded third and Ursuline is the four seed in the district.
Second-seeded LaBrae is followed by No. 3 Champion and No. 4 Newton Falls in the Division III tournament at Warren G. Harding, but the elephant in the room is top-seeded and state-ranked Ashtabula Edgewood. The Warriors have dominated All-American Conference Blue Tier competition all season, though LaBrae’s two losses to Edgewood were both by 10 points or fewer.
McDonald will have familiar competition also in the Division IV Struthers District as all four top seeds are members of the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference.
The Blue Devils are in the same bracket as No. 3 Lowellville, while top-seeded Springfield and No. 4 Sebring are in the top bracket.
Red-hot Boardman, champion of the All-American Conference Red Tier, is the No. 3 seed in the Division I Canton District. The Spartans have a first-round bye and must beat Dover or Massillon to reach the district semifinals at the Canton Civic Center. Massillon Jackson is the top seed in that district.
At Grand Valley, after Badger and Bristol, the seeds are Andrews Osborne Academy of Willoughby and Windham.
John F. Kennedy is seeded seventh in the tournament and hosts No. 10 Maplewood win the first round. The winner there would then travel to Bristol in the next round.
Regional sites for area teams fortunate enough to win their district titles again are Cleveland State for Division I, the Canton Civic Center for Division II and the Canton Fieldhouse for Divisions III and IV.