Springfield will be looking to do what Alter couldn’t last week, beat undefeated and top-ranked Cincinnati Moeller.
Alter fell 60-46 to Moeller in the 8th Annual Kevin C. Barnhill Coaches Showcase at Little Miami High School in Morrow last Saturday. The matchup of Greater Catholic League boys high school basketball powers was part of a fund-raiser for a memorial scholarship and Community Outreach Fund for greater Warren County that Alter coach Eric Coulter takes personally.
“Saturday was for a special cause,” said Coulter, a Little Miami grad whose Knights played three games in four days. “I’m not going to say no to that.”
Springfield (10-1) hosts Fairmont (7-6) on Friday, then travels to Big Moe (13-0) on Saturday night. The Wildcats of coach Isaiah Carson are on a nine-game win streak, which includes defeats of Wayne and Northmont. The Crusaders have been No. 1 in the Division I state poll since its debut two weeks ago. Moeller coach Carl Kremer surpassed 500 career wins last month.
This will be an extension of a great developing series. Moeller defeated Springfield in a D-I regional semifinal last season. Springfield beat Moeller twice in 2014-15, including a D-I regional semi.
• Another outstanding showdown on Saturday night features Trotwood-Madison (10-1) hosting neighboring Northmont (11-2) in a Greater Western Ohio Conference crossover game that will not count toward divisional standings.
The state’s top-ranked D-II team, Trotwood suffered its first loss to Prolific Prep (Calif.) in the Premier Health Flyin’ to the Hoop on Monday. Northmont has lost only to Springfield, 55-52, and Whitehaven (Memphis, Tenn.) in a holiday tourney.
Both GWOC teams also play on Friday, Trotwood at Troy and Piqua at Northmont. Trotwood should be a No. 1 seed in D-II. Springfield, Wayne and Northmont should be the top seeds in a 21-team D-I Dayton open draw that will be divided into three brackets.
• Chaminade Julienne (9-4) will host Alter (10-2) in a Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North Division showdown on Friday. The game obviously could draw more spectators than what will be limited at CJ’s reconditioned but retro (small) venue. Eagles coach Joe Staley said administrators are adamant in showcasing the downtown campus to parents and potential students.
The teams will play again in the regular-season finale at Fairmont’s Trent Arena, which is Alter’s home game. Carroll gave up its home-court advantage to CJ last week, losing 55-53 in OT at the Nutter Center.
• Akron St. Vincent-St. Marys veteran coach Dru Joyce had some choice comments about area basketball that are worth repeating.
“I’ve always said that basketball in southwest Ohio is much more mature than basketball in northeast Ohio,” he said during Flyin’. “Let’s just say you guys understand the game and they play harder down here. You’ve got more players.”
LeBron James’ alma mater was roasted 100-61 at Trotwood-Madison last Saturday, then rebounded by beating Pickerington North 64-56 in Flyin’ on Sunday.
Joyce also saluted this region’s large collegiate fan base, referencing Dayton, Xavier and Cincinnati.
“Look at your college situation,” he said. “We can’t fill out Akron, Cleveland State or Kent State and you’ve got three down here that have attendance capacities. Basketball is a more mature sport here.”
• The Ohio High School Athletic Association has designated Friday as a statewide OHSAA Military Appreciation Night. The association has encouraged schools to honor active and veteran U.S. Armed Forces members at athletic contests.
“This initiative is designed to emphasize these great student leaders in our schools and their support for our military,” said OHSAA assistant commissioner Jerry Snodgrass in a release.
• Mandatory basketball coaches’ meetings for the postseason are Sunday, Feb. 5 for the girls and Sunday, Feb. 12 for boys. Voting is done online prior to those meetings. The girls sectional is Feb. 13-25 and the boys sectional Feb. 20-March 4. The basketball postseason progression is sectional, district, regional and state final four.
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