Projecting Boys’ Hoops Tourney: January 28

Projecting the Boys’ Tournament

Ten days until the selection process begins, schools are frantically trying to build resumes and gain quality wins in an attempt to secure a high seed. Ursuline has accomplished just that all season long by playing against one of the tougher schedules in the state and compiling 12 wins within their first seventeen games.

Below is a look at how teams (who will be in local district tournaments) have fared against the AP Top 10 this month:

Record vs. Top 10 Opponents
Since AP Poll was released on January 11
St. Thomas Aquinas – 1-1
Canfield – 0-1
Cardinal Mooney – 0-1
Cornerstone Christian – 0-1
Manchester – 0-1
Valley Christian – 0-1
Waterloo – 0-1
East Canton – 0-2
*Howland plays #9 Harding on Friday; Valley Christian will be at #8 VASJ tomorrow.
&In the Boardman District (D2), Southeast welcomes #7 Mogadore tomorrow; Division 4’s Orwell District, Cornerstone Christian hosts #4 Garfield Heights on Friday.

Selection Sunday – February 7, 2016

Division I – Alliance District
Projected Top 4 Seeds as of January 28
(1)Harding (13-1)
Next: at Howland, Jan. 29
-The Raiders earned the #9 spot in the latest AP poll in Division I after an impressive 70-67 overtime win over Ellet on Sunday which saw Gabe Simpson sink a buzzer beating three-point shot. Harding then went onto win their seventh straight game in a row by downing Canfield, 71-52, behind a huge night from Derek Culver – who finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

(2)Copley (14-0)
Next: at Tallmadge, Jan. 29
-Copley has averaged 86 points over their last eight outings. The Indians are matched against Tallmadge, Massillon, and Wadsworth over their next five days.

(3)Lake (12-4)
Next: Jackson, Jan. 29
-The Blue Streaks have now been victorious in each of their last seven games including Tuesday night’s win over Canton McKinley, 62-44. A rematch from December 29 when the Bulldogs handed Lake a 54-47 loss.

(4)Louisville (12-4)
Next: Marlington, Jan. 29
-Louisville lost the season series to NBC rival Alliance on Tuesday (67-57) but there is no shame in that setback to a team who has only tasted defeat once. The Leopards will try to get back on track against Marlington and then Minerva.

Ellet (10-5)
Next: at Firestone, Jan. 29
-Ellet has five losses by an average of under 5 points. The Orangemen split the season series against Kenmore on Tuesday (66-55) after falling in their previous two matchups with Buchtel and Harding.

Division II – Boardman District
Projected Top 4 Seeds as of January 28
(1)Ursuline (12-5)
Next: West Middlesex, Jan. 29
-Greg Parella helped Ursuline by Massillon in double overtime with his 36 point performance to lead the Irish to their fifth straight win (82-77). After wins over Canton Central Catholic and now the Tigers, the Irish shoot up to first in the projections with their 12-5 mark.

(2)Poland (13-2)
Next: at Canfield, Jan. 29
-Poland lost two games against a pair of Division I foes (Harding and Fitch) this season including their Tuesday night affair with the Falcons (53-41). These next three games should give us a glimpse into how this Bulldog team handles adversity (Canfield, Boardman and Harding).

(3)Canfield (12-4)
Next: Poland, Jan. 29
-The Cardinals have fallen in two of their last four contests which have been against Fitch and Harding – two Division I schools.

(4)Cardinal Mooney (7-6)
Next: Canton Central Catholic, Jan. 29
-Since opening the season with a 7-2 record, the Cardinals have dropped their last four. Falling in their last three outings by a total of 12 points.

Salem (9-6)
Next: at West Branch, Jan. 29
-The Quakers remain under the radar but are putting together a fine season after beginning the season with a 3-4 mark. Salem redeemed themselves on Tuesday by topping Canton South (60-56) after suffering a 17-point loss back in December (Dec. 18) at the Wildcats’ home floor.

Division III – Warren District
Projected Top 4 Seeds as of January 28
(1)Berkshire (13-3)
Next: Independence, Jan. 29
-The Badgers topped LaBrae in the first game of the season (72-66). Berkshire has won their last five contests while allowing just 44 points to be scored during that span.

(2)LaBrae (12-4)
Next: Liberty, Jan. 29
-The Vikings find themselves in an awkward spot, having lost back-to-back games in three days to two teams (Neshannock and Springfield) who have combined for a 27-7 record. They’ll look to get back on track with three matchups with Blue Division foes (Liberty, Girard, Brookfield) in as many games.

(3)Newton Falls (11-5)
Next: Brookfield, Jan. 29
-Newton Falls has dropped three of their last four after their 10-2 start. A trio of key matchups are awaiting the Tigers with Brookfield, Champion and Liberty all up next for Newton Falls.

(4)Champion (8-6)
Next: Campbell, Jan. 29
-The Golden Flashes are in good position to make a push towards a high seed in the tournament. Champion has a pair of wins over Girard, a victory over Brookfield, Howland and Warren JFK.

Grand Valley (8-6)
Next: at Pymatuning Valley, Jan. 29
-The Mustangs have won five of their last six after taking down the likes of Maplewood and Mathews during that stretch. A tough road trip – first to Py Valley and then to Bristol – await Grand Valley.

Division III – Salem District
Projected Top 4 Seeds as of January 28
(1)Tuslaw (15-0)
Next: at Fairless, Jan. 29
-Since the AP poll was released on January 11, the Mustangs have climbed from third to second in Division III.

(2)St. Thomas Aquinas (9-5)
Next: Trinity, Jan. 29
-Aquinas took down #3 Villa Angela last Friday (59-56). They followed that up by handing JFK a 20-point loss (76-56) in Warren on Tuesday.

(3)Canton Central Catholic (674)
Next: at Cardinal Mooney, Jan. 29
-Central snapped their three-game losing skid on Tuesday when they were able to top New Philadelphia, 49-43. Talk about a tough road – the Crusaders play at Mooney, at Gilmour Academy and at Waynedale within the next five days.

(4)Springfield (12-3)
Next: Jackson-Milton, Jan. 30
-On their way to their eighth consecutive win, Springfield has gotten by Columbiana, Western Reserve, South Range, Mineral Ridge and now LaBrae on Tuesday (81-69).

Columbiana (7-10)
-The Clippers have won two of their last three to get to 7-10. Columbiana could make some real hay with their upcoming schedule of Southern, Wellsville, Lisbon and Lowellville all within their next four outings.

Division IV – Struthers District
Projected Top 4 Seeds as of January 28
(1)Lisbon (15-1)
Next: South Range, Jan. 30
-The Blue Devils are a perfect 7-0 at home following their 70-59 win over Mineral Ridge on Tuesday. Lisbon will be matched against South Range from David Anderson High School tomorrow.

(2)Lowellville (12-4)
Next: Jackson-Milton, Jan. 29
-The Rockets got by Southern on the road (62-56) to continue their nine-game win streak with home matchups versus Jackson-Milton and Sebring on the horizon.

(3)McDonald (15-2)
Next: at Mineral Ridge, Jan. 29
-The Blue Devils topped the 100-point plateau on Tuesday for the third time in their 108-68 win over East Palestine.

(4)Wellsville (13-4)
Next: Leetonia, Jan. 29
-Since January 9, the Tigers are 3-3 having lost to McDonald, Southern and Lisbon. With their final five games against Leetonia, Columbiana, Southern, Mineral Ridge and East Palestine – Wellsville could make a nice push towards the tournament.

Sebring (9-5)
Next: Western Reserve, Jan. 29
-Despite losing by five in overtime to South Range (69-64), the Trojans are a team to be reckoned with. Matchups with Lowellville, McDonald and Springfield are still on the agenda before the Struthers sectional begins.

Division IV – Orwell District
Projected Top 4 Seeds as of January 28
(1)Bristol (14-1)
Next: at Southington, Jan. 29
-The only team to really challenge the Panthers this year was Division III South Range. Bristol has now accumulated 11 wins in a row.

(2)Cornerstone Christian (3-6)
Next: Garfield Heights, Jan. 29
-The Patriots played #3 Villa Angela (65-51) last week before falling to Cincinnati Walnut Hills (58-56) in overtime on Saturday. Now, Cornerstone will welcome #4 Garfield Heights on Friday.

(3)Warren JFK (4-11)
Next: at Cleveland Central Catholic, Jan. 29
-Despite falling in their last three games, the Eagles will have a tough road over their next three with showdowns against Cleveland Central Catholic, Cornerstone Christian and Villa Angela all set within the next week.

(4)Mathews (11-4)
Next: at Windham, Jan. 29
-Mathews may have dropped a single point encounter to Grand Valley (58-57) last Friday. The Mustangs have won six of their last seven games including a 65-63 victory over Lordstown on Tuesday.

St. John (11-5)
Next: Geauga Grizzlies, Jan. 29
-The Fighting Heralds are 1-2 against teams who are in the Orwell District. However, St. John has won five of their last six. Tony Massucci has scored 25-points or more five times this year.

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