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»FLYIN’ SCHEDULE: MLK holiday weekend, Jan. 12-15
The Ohio High School Athletic Association will release first-round pairings and sites Sunday. There are seven divisions, each with four regions. The top eight teams with the most Harbin computer points qualify for the playoffs and those top four teams will host first-round games. The playoffs shift to neutral sites in Week 12.
Teams earn first-level computer points for a win and second-level points for wins by a defeated opponent. The higher the division the more points are available.
It takes five playoff games – half a regular season – to win a state championship. The title games return to Stark County in Canton on Nov. 30-Dec. 2 after a three-year run at Columbus.
The following projections were based on Drew Pasteur’s Ohio Fantastic 50 and the Joe Eitel websites. All projections are based on favored teams winning this week and don’t account for upsets.
Division I, Region 3: Centerville (8-1) hosts Beavercreek (6-3) with the No. 1 seed at stake. The Beavers must win and get help to make their first playoff appearance. Wayne (7-2) has clinched and will rocket up to No. 2 should it win at Trotwood-Madison (9-0).
Northmont (7-2) also has clinched but likely won’t host a first-round game. Springfield (6-3) is at Fairmont (6-3) in what will make or break its playoff position. Because of wins over Alter (8-1) and Milford (8-1), Fairmont still could lose and land the No. 8 seed.
D-II, Region 8: Another grinder of a region with three-time defending state champ Cincinnati LaSalle (7-2), Winton Woods (8-1) and Anderson (8-1) owning the top three seeds. Sidney (8-1) is at Greenville (2-7) and likely will earn a home playoff game against Belmont (9-0) should it win. Belmont has completed its regular season.
Streaking Troy (7-2) has won six straight games and hosts rival Piqua (6-3). The Trojans are looking at a road game and still have a good chance to advance with a loss.
D-III, Region 12: Trotwood (9-0) is a heavy favorite to win state after placing runner-up in D-III last year. The Rams haven't had a close game since a 28-19 Week 3 win at Pickerington Central, its only loss. Alter (8-1) has clinched and is at Chaminade Julienne (7-2) to decide the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North title. Regardless of the outcome, these rivals could play again in the first round.
Franklin (7-2) also has clinched, but wobbled into Thursday’s game against visiting Brookville (6-3) after being upset 35-22 by Oakwood last week. Dunbar (6-3) must defeat Thurgood Marshall (6-3) at Welcome Stadium to advance. Piqua, Wilmington (6-3) and Thurgood (6-3) all must post Week 10 wins to have a slight chance in qualifying.
D-IV, Region 16: Valley View (9-0) has clinched the top seed and can complete a perfect regular season at Eaton (3-6). The playoff wildcard is Clinton-Massie (8-1), which is at Wilmington in a rival game and must win just to secure a home game. Why? Because Massie has beaten only two winning teams, but that includes Coldwater (7-2).
St. Marys Memorial (8-1) has lost only to Sidney and is a No. 2 seed lock in D-IV, Region 14.
D-V, Region 20: Everything is on the line for Greeneview (9-0), Anna (7-2) and Brookville (6-3). Greeneview should complete a perfect regular season at Madison-Plains (5-4), but won't clinch a home game. Anna has all but clinched and hosts Minster (5-4). Brookville must have beaten Franklin to advance.
Miami East (8-1) is the No. 1 seed and is at Twin Valley South (3-6). Middletown Madison (7-2) has rallied from a 1-2 start but won’t get any second-level points by defeating winless Northridge and will be out of the running for a home game.
D-VI, Region 24: Another regional grinder, featuring Midwest Athletic Conference members Marion Local (9-0), Coldwater (7-2) and St. Henry (6-3). Lima Central Catholic (8-1) likely will overtake Marion Local as the No. 1 seed despite that loss.
Other playoff spots will go to Bethel (8-1), Mechanicsburg (7-2) and Dayton Christian (8-1). West Liberty-Salem (7-2) has been eliminated.
D-VII, Region 28: Lehman Catholic (8-1), Fort Loramie (7-2) and Minster (5-4) have clinched. Minster will bolster its seeding by winning at Anna. Ansonia (5-4) is a lock to beat winless Bradford and should make its first postseason appearance since 2010.
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