2019-20 Central District D-4

Snowman8

Member
Now that school has started, how does the upcoming 2019-20 season look for Division 4 in the Central District? Feel free to share knowledge on transfers, injuries, promising freshmen, or impact coaching changes. I don't profess to be an expert by any means, but I've heard a few things and enjoy reading up on other news in the area, so I figured now is as good a time as any to start a discussion if anyone were interested. Plus, this allows me to look back at the end of the season and see how awful my analysis and predictions have been.

Division 4 Changes (competitive balance enrollment)
+ Grandview Heights (123)
+ East Knox (121)
+ Wellington (127)
+ Grove City Christian (110)
+ KIPP Academy
- Centerburg (145)

Worth noting is that the cutoff for competitive balance enrollment cutoff is 128. Mount Gilead (133), Fredericktown (135), Northmor (140), Fairbanks (141), Centerburg (145), Elgin (145), Johnstown (150), and West Jefferson (154) could all be within range in the coming years. There's those rumors about potentially shrinking D-1 and making other divisions larger, which could eventually have an impact on those schools. I could also be wrong about KIPP Academy, but I've heard that they are in D-4 this season and will likely get bumped up in future years.

Division 4 Enrollment (ODE base enrollment from the OHSAA website)
- Grandview Heights (123)
- East Knox (116)
- Cardington-Lincoln (115)
- KIPP Academy (113)
- Wellington (101)
- Berne Union (95)
- Newark Catholic (87)
- Grove City Christian (87)
- Danville (75)
- Ridgedale (70)
- Fairfield Christian (62)
- Tree of Life (59)
- Millersport (59)
- Fisher Catholic (57)
- Madison Christian (52)
- Patriot Prep (49)
- Delaware Christian (29)
- Granville Christian (27)
- Northside Christian (22)
- Shekinah Christian (11)

If my count is correct, that would be 20 teams. Might we see a return to two District champions? There were 21 teams back in 2016-17 that fought for two District championships, so I'm curious to see how that turns out (unless they've already decided and I just haven't realized it). Either way, I would have to think that Grandview Heights is the clear #1 and Wellington the likely #2. Good luck to everyone else and hope you have a nice regular season.

Early Outlooks
D-4 doesn't get much attention around the Central area, so for anyone interested, feel free to pool resources to get an idea of what the upcoming season might look like. I'm not going to make any predictions other than Grandview Heights having a shot at making it to State, but perhaps this could help get those who care a little more informed. My lists are not necessarily ranked, just loose ideas of where teams may fall based on what little information I have. Hopefully my little bit of East Columbus/MOCAL interest (along with a program from last year's tournament) can at least provide a bit of insight to those lesser known teams. Last year's record in parenthesis.

MSL-CARDINAL OUTLOOK
- OVERALL: Very strong conference! Most balance in years from top to bottom. Should be very exciting seeing the #2-#7 teams compete. Only FCA might have trouble finding wins against even lower-tier teams, but Hooper usually gets them to overachieve.
- Harvest Prep (28-2): Obviously D3 but I figured I could include them here. Unstoppable again?
- Rosecrans (19-3): Not in Central but a very solid squad last year that I know nothing about but would assume is going to be strong again this year.
- Wellington (14-10): Might be vulnerable early after losing Patrick, but they have several promising freshman and lots of length.
- Berne Union (17-9): McCartney and Unger are studs, but do they have enough depth? Who is the new coach?
- Fisher Catholic (18-8): Lost a ton of seniors, but lost a ton the year before too. I'm sure they'll have another strong team.
- Millersport (4-19): Really started playing better at the end of last year and return every single player. Still only 2 seniors!
- Grove City Christian (5-18): Have some promise for sure.
- Fairfield Christian (9-14): Based on what The Dock said in the football forum, they lose Rose, which really hurts. Graduated two starters as well. Hopefully they return their other two starters and key bench player.

MOCAL OUTLOOK
- OVERALL: Shekinah, Delaware, and Granville should be improved. Tree and Northside will have a hard time winning games.
- Shekinah Christian (16-9): Lost an All-Ohio player but return 4 starters from a team that upset Centerburg and nearly upset Berne Union in the tournament. How? Enrollment is 11!
- Delaware Christian (9-14): Return 4 key players but don't have much depth elsewhere. The 4 they return are very solid.
- Granville Christian (11-12): Return 3 leading scorers and 4 starters from a surprisingly adequate team last year. Dark horse for the MOCAL champs IMO.
- Madison Christian (6-17): Only graduated one senior and was actually competitive in many games. Unfortunately, I’ve heard rumblings that their 20/10 kid, Levi Ross, transferred out. Should be okay for the conference but it’s hard to see them competing for a title without Ross.
- Tree of Life (16-7): Lost 5 of top 6 in a 6 man rotation. Lost 8 seniors overall. Had a very, very good incoming freshman, but I think he transferred to Thomas Worthington based on reports from 270 Hoops "The Intro." They'll really struggle this year I fear.
- Northside Christian (9-12): Lost their coach, 3 starters, and their top bench guys. Could be a rough year.

Other D-4 Central District Teams
- OVERALL: Since so many of the other schools are spread out, I figured I'd just lump them in here.
- Grandview Heights (19-7): Return nearly all key players from a team that won a competitive D-3 District last year. Hard to see them falling before Regionals.
- East Knox (11-12): Don't know much about them other than they were improved last year and are a fringe D-3 school.
- Cardington-Lincoln (3-19): Postseason program says they lost 6 seniors from a 3-19 team.
- KIPP Academy (8-7): Seemed to be about an average D-4 school last year, but they return everyone since this will be their first senior class. Could be pretty good.
- Newark Catholic (8-17): Weird seeing them down. Lost 5 seniors and will get a new coach. Might be a rebuilding situation?
- Danville (10-14): Lost some key players. Heard a rumor they did not look good in the summer, but how much can you really tell from summer basketball?
- Ridgedale (10-13): Did better than expected last year. Lose 3 key seniors but return some promising players as well. Team was not deep though and they lost their coach too.
- Patriot Prep (5-15): Got the bottom seed last year and lost several starters. Maybe the new coach can turn things around a bit.

Non-OHSAA Local Teams
- New Hope Christian (6-15): Only one senior last year. Saw them play a couple times and there are lots of familiar names (younger brothers of former players). Wouldn't surprise me to see them knock off some lower to middle tier D4 teams this coming season.
- Liberty Christian (11-14): According to 270 Hoops, stud homeschooler Delavontae Jackson reclassified as a 19 year old senior. He also has a handful of younger brothers. They also have a promising freshman coming up. I don't know if they'll be good per se, but this could be the best Liberty Christian team they've ever had. Program is on the rise thanks to the Jacksons and Paul Hartje, former coach at Gahanna Christian. They've gotten several of Gahanna Christian's dispersed players as well.
- Genoa Christian (11-9): They had an All-District player graduate and lost their coach. Looks like their hopes of becoming an OHSAA member might be slowing down.
- Village Academy: School shut down. Second former OHSAA D-4 school to shut down in the last two years (Gahanna Christian closed its high school).

EDIT: Had to throw this in there. Apparently there is a new league this year. Gilead Christian's website (who I guess has a team again) called it the
"Ohio Independent League" while Patriot Prep's website called it the "United League." Teams include Horizon Science, KIPP Academy, Patriot Prep, Liberty Christian, Cristo Rey, Gilead Christian, Marburn Academy, and Torah Academy. Huh? Sounds like it should be broken into two divisions. I can't imagine it'll be fun for Gilead Christian to travel an hour to lose 110-35 to KIPP or Horizon Science. Bizarre.

Feel free to update/correct the notes that I've jotted down, especially for new impact players or transfers. I know there isn't exactly a wide audience for Central District D-4 basketball (rightfully so), but for those who have a personal connection or local interest maybe this could help share some information with each other.
 
Last edited:

Wcsfan

Member
Now that school has started, how does the upcoming 2019-20 season look for Division 4 in the Central District? Feel free to share knowledge on transfers, injuries, promising freshmen, or impact coaching changes. I don't profess to be an expert by any means, but I've heard a few things and enjoy reading up on other news in the area, so I figured now is as good a time as any to start a discussion if anyone were interested. Plus, this allows me to look back at the end of the season and see how awful my analysis and predictions have been.

Division 4 Changes (competitive balance enrollment)
+ Grandview Heights (123)
+ East Knox (121)
+ Wellington (127)
+ Grove City Christian (110)
+ KIPP Academy
- Centerburg (145)

Worth noting is that the cutoff for competitive balance enrollment cutoff is 128. Mount Gilead (133), Fredericktown (135), Northmor (140), Fairbanks (141), Centerburg (145), Elgin (145), Johnstown (150), and West Jefferson (154) could all be within range in the coming years. There's those rumors about potentially shrinking D-1 and making other divisions larger, which could eventually have an impact on those schools. I could also be wrong about KIPP Academy, but I've heard that they are in D-4 this season and will likely get bumped up in future years.

Division 4 Enrollment (ODE base enrollment from the OHSAA website)
- Grandview Heights (123)
- East Knox (116)
- Cardington-Lincoln (115)
- KIPP Academy (113)
- Wellington (101)
- Berne Union (95)
- Newark Catholic (87)
- Grove City Christian (87)
- Danville (75)
- Ridgedale (70)
- Fairfield Christian (62)
- Tree of Life (59)
- Millersport (59)
- Fisher Catholic (57)
- Madison Christian (52)
- Patriot Prep (49)
- Delaware Christian (29)
- Granville Christian (27)
- Northside Christian (22)
- Shekinah Christian (11)

If my count is correct, that would be 20 teams. Might we see a return to two District champions? There were 21 teams back in 2016-17 that fought for two District championships, so I'm curious to see how that turns out (unless they've already decided and I just haven't realized it). Either way, I would have to think that Grandview Heights is the clear #1 and Wellington the likely #2. Good luck to everyone else and hope you have a nice regular season.

Early Outlooks
D-4 doesn't get much attention around the Central area, so for anyone interested, feel free to pool resources to get an idea of what the upcoming season might look like. I'm not going to make any predictions other than Grandview Heights having a shot at making it to State, but perhaps this could help get those who care a little more informed. My lists are not necessarily ranked, just loose ideas of where teams may fall based on what little information I have. Hopefully my little bit of East Columbus/MOCAL interest (along with a program from last year's tournament) can at least provide a bit of insight to those lesser known teams. Last year's record in parenthesis.

MSL-CARDINAL OUTLOOK
- OVERALL: Very strong conference! Most balance in years from top to bottom. Should be very exciting seeing the #2-#7 teams compete. Only FCA might have trouble finding wins against even lower-tier teams, but Hooper usually gets them to overachieve.
- Harvest Prep (28-2): Obviously D3 but I figured I could include them here. Unstoppable again?
- Rosecrans (19-3): Not in Central but a very solid squad last year that I know nothing about but would assume is going to be strong again this year.
- Wellington (14-10): Might be vulnerable early after losing Patrick, but they have several promising freshman and lots of length.
- Berne Union (17-9): McCartney and Unger are studs, but do they have enough depth? Who is the new coach?
- Fisher Catholic (18-8): Lost a ton of seniors, but lost a ton the year before too. I'm sure they'll have another strong team.
- Millersport (4-19): Really started playing better at the end of last year and return every single player. Still only 2 seniors!
- Grove City Christian (5-18): Have some promise for sure.
- Fairfield Christian (9-14): Based on what The Dock said in the football forum, they lose Rose, which really hurts. Graduated two starters as well. Hopefully they return their other two starters and key bench player.

MOCAL OUTLOOK
- OVERALL: Shekinah, Delaware, and Granville should be improved. Tree and Northside will have a hard time winning games.
- Shekinah Christian (16-9): Lost an All-Ohio player but return 4 starters from a team that upset Centerburg and nearly upset Berne Union in the tournament. How? Enrollment is 11!
- Delaware Christian (9-14): Return 4 key players but don't have much depth elsewhere. The 4 they return are very solid.
- Granville Christian (11-12): Return 3 leading scorers and 4 starters from a surprisingly adequate team last year. Dark horse for the MOCAL champs IMO.
- Tree of Life (16-7): Lost 5 of top 6 in a 6 man rotation. Lost 8 seniors overall. Had a very, very good incoming freshman, but I think he transferred to Thomas Worthington based on reports from 270 Hoops "The Intro." They'll really struggle this year I fear.
- Northside Christian (9-12): Lost their coach, 3 starters, and their top bench guys. Could be a rough year.

Other D-4 Central District Teams
- OVERALL: Since so many of the other schools are spread out, I figured I'd just lump them in here.
- Grandview Heights (19-7): Return nearly all key players from a team that won a competitive D-3 District last year. Hard to see them falling before Regionals.
- East Knox (11-12): Don't know much about them other than they were improved last year and are a fringe D-3 school.
- Cardington-Lincoln (3-19): Postseason program says they lost 6 seniors from a 3-19 team.
- KIPP Academy (8-7): Seemed to be about an average D-4 school last year, but they this will be their first senior class. Could be pretty good.
- Newark Catholic (8-17): Weird seeing them down. Lost 5 seniors and will get a new coach. Might be a rebuilding situation?
- Danville (10-14): Lost some key players. Heard a rumor they did not look good in the summer, but how much can you really tell from summer basketball?
- Ridgedale (10-13): Did better than expected last year. Lose 3 key seniors but return some promising players as well. Team was not deep though and they lost their coach too.
- Patriot Prep (5-15): Got the bottom seed last year and lost several starters. Maybe the new coach can turn things around a bit.

Non-OHSAA Local Teams
- New Hope Christian (6-15): Only one senior last year. Saw them play a couple times and there are lots of familiar names (younger brothers of former players). Wouldn't surprise me to see them knock off some lower to middle tier D4 teams this coming season.
- Liberty Christian (11-14): According to 270 Hoops, stud homeschooler Delavontae Jackson reclassified as a 19 year old senior. He also has a handful of younger brothers. They also have a promising freshman coming up. I don't know if they'll be good per se, but this could be the best Liberty Christian team they've ever had. Program is on the rise thanks to the Jacksons and Paul Hartje, former coach at Gahanna Christian. They've gotten several of Gahanna Christian's dispersed players as well.
- Genoa Christian (11-9): They had an All-District player graduate and lost their coach. Looks like their hopes of becoming an OHSAA member might be slowing down.
- Village Academy: School shut down. Second former OHSAA D-4 school to shut down in the last two years (Gahanna Christian closed its high school).

EDIT: Had to throw this in there. Apparently there is a new league this year. Gilead Christian's website (who I guess has a team again) called it the
"Ohio Independent League" while Patriot Prep's website called it the "United League." Teams include Horizon Science, KIPP Academy, Patriot Prep, Liberty Christian, Cristo Rey, Gilead Christian, Marburn Academy, and Torah Academy. Huh? Sounds like it should be broken into two divisions. I can't imagine it'll be fun for Gilead Christian to travel an hour to lose 110-35 to KIPP or Horizon Science. Bizarre.

Feel free to update/correct the notes that I've jotted down, especially for new impact players or transfers. I know there isn't exactly a wide audience for Central District D-4 basketball (rightfully so), but for those who have a personal connection or local interest maybe this could help share some information with each other.
Snowman are you going to breakdown other divisions for central district , seems like you know your stuff?
 

Snowman8

Member
Appreciate the vote of confidence, but I'm not quiet as familiar with the other divisions. I moved to Columbus about a decade ago and had a friend with kids in high school sports who just happened to be in Division 4, so those were the schools that I first started following. I'm casually aware of the others but not enough to do a breakdown like I just did for D4. Normally I'm more of a lurker on here, but since my friend currently is on staff of a MOCAL team (which is probably the worst conference in Ohio and rightfully gets no coverage), I go to lots of his games, do some light scouting, and support him when I can. I'm probably the only backwards person who knows more about small schools than the bigger ones! Since I'm obsessed with basketball and local sports, I figured I would see if there were any others like me who could pitch in.

I have no affiliation with 270 Hoops, but they do a really good job of covering D1 and D2 (and an okay job with D3). I remember when they first started doing their thing, the caption for D4 was "for the small schools who never really had a chance" or something like that haha. I'm just trying to get a bit of coverage for the little guy!
 

Wcsfan

Member
Appreciate the vote of confidence, but I'm not quiet as familiar with the other divisions. I moved to Columbus about a decade ago and had a friend with kids in high school sports who just happened to be in Division 4, so those were the schools that I first started following. I'm casually aware of the others but not enough to do a breakdown like I just did for D4. Normally I'm more of a lurker on here, but since my friend currently is on staff of a MOCAL team (which is probably the worst conference in Ohio and rightfully gets no coverage), I go to lots of his games, do some light scouting, and support him when I can. I'm probably the only backwards person who knows more about small schools than the bigger ones! Since I'm obsessed with basketball and local sports, I figured I would see if there were any others like me who could pitch in.

I have no affiliation with 270 Hoops, but they do a really good job of covering D1 and D2 (and an okay job with D3). I remember when they first started doing their thing, the caption for D4 was "for the small schools who never really had a chance" or something like that haha. I'm just trying to get a bit of coverage for the little guy!
Well what you put it’s very in-depth. I like to come on yappi to hear about all divisions because you’re right not a lot of love for the small schools which 270 did do a great job this past year trying to cover small schools. One writer with prep hoops does a pretty good job trying to cover small schools but for the most part everyone just cares about the big schools. I’m a graduate of Worthington Christian and have 3 kids there now so I know how it feels about the small school coverage.
 

bsee54321

Active member
Division 4 Enrollment (ODE base enrollment from the OHSAA website)
- Grandview Heights (123)
- East Knox (116)
- Cardington-Lincoln (115)
- KIPP Academy (113)
- Wellington (101)
- Berne Union (95)
- Newark Catholic (87)
- Grove City Christian (87)
- Danville (75)
- Ridgedale (70)
- Fairfield Christian (62)
- Tree of Life (59)
- Millersport (59)
- Fisher Catholic (57)
- Madison Christian (52)
- Patriot Prep (49)
- Delaware Christian (29)
- Granville Christian (27)
- Northside Christian (22)
- Shekinah Christian (11)

I do believe Central District will have 2 District Champions in Division IV. I have followed Grandview Hts and they do have alot coming back and the expectations are going to be there. With that being said so much can happen- injury and team chemistry are so important to be successful. Having alot coming back for Grandview Hts you can not know how losing those 2 starters is going to effect the before mentioned team cheminstry. Scoring is going to have be pickup by someone or a few . Again so much can happen.
 

Wcsfan

Member
Division 4 Enrollment (ODE base enrollment from the OHSAA website)
- Grandview Heights (123)
- East Knox (116)
- Cardington-Lincoln (115)
- KIPP Academy (113)
- Wellington (101)
- Berne Union (95)
- Newark Catholic (87)
- Grove City Christian (87)
- Danville (75)
- Ridgedale (70)
- Fairfield Christian (62)
- Tree of Life (59)
- Millersport (59)
- Fisher Catholic (57)
- Madison Christian (52)
- Patriot Prep (49)
- Delaware Christian (29)
- Granville Christian (27)
- Northside Christian (22)
- Shekinah Christian (11)

I do believe Central District will have 2 District Champions in Division IV. I have followed Grandview Hts and they do have alot coming back and the expectations are going to be there. With that being said so much can happen- injury and team chemistry are so important to be successful. Having alot coming back for Grandview Hts you can not know how losing those 2 starters is going to effect the before mentioned team cheminstry. Scoring is going to have be pickup by someone or a few . Again so much can happen.
The big question for them is if Lachey going to play b-ball this year with already being committed to Iowa for football. Hopefully he does because I like Ray Corbett and he can try to get a state championship before he retires.
 

bsee54321

Active member
The big question for them is if Lachey going to play b-ball this year with already being committed to Iowa for football. Hopefully he does because I like Ray Corbett and he can try to get a state championship before he retires

I doubt Grandview is thinking about winning a State Championship- the league will be brutal this year and just winning the League Championship will be an accomplishment. Worthington Christian and Columbus Academy will be very strong then add Buckeye Valley and Wellington School to the league. I always though you have preseason goals then about 15 games in set goals for the post season. Worthington Christian in my opinion will be top 5 in the State in Division III.
 

Wcsfan

Member
The league will prepare them for state though and no team in D4 outside of Richmond Heights and maybe Berlin Hiland will be tougher than top 2 teams in MSL.
 

D1nwobb

Active member
Central district will have 2 district champions in D4 this season. Southeast will have 2, East with 1, Northeast with 3, Northwest with 5, and Southwest with 3. Approved by the OHSAA Board of Control back in June.
 

buckcc

Active member
Yes I just look at the ohsaa website and there saying central district only gets one district champion, but your saying that they haven't updated the new info on the ohsaa website
 

hdvhsmgr

Well-known member
I've noticed in previous years they just copy from the previous year, then update later. I'm thinking they haven't updated it yet.
 

Snowman8

Member
The league will prepare them for state though and no team in D4 outside of Richmond Heights and maybe Berlin Hiland will be tougher than top 2 teams in MSL.
You got that right. Especially if there are two District champs, can anyone contend with Grandview? I'm assuming Wellington would be strong just based on what I've seen from 270 Hoops (about all their young players impressing them this fall) and their history), but with a second District champ then they would surely go to the other side.

Who else would contend, especially if they are divided into two brackets? Last year's four Sectional champs are Berne Union (brought back their two best players but will they have enough supporting cast), Fisher Catholic (graduated a ton, although they did that the year before too), Newark Catholic (upsets got them there, but they graduated most of their key guys and have a new coach), and Shekinah Christian (returned alot, but still only 3 seniors and 0 juniors while losing their 1st Team All-Ohio player). I don't see anyone being able to match up with GH or Wellington, although FC seems to be getting alot of transfers lately so who knows if they've added anyone?

Other top seeds were Centerburg (D-III Now) Tree of Life (lost nearly everyone), Ridgedale (not much depth and a new coach), Danville (lost nearly everyone), and Fairfield Christian (lost everyone). Unless a dark horse emerges, I'd think this will be a walk in the park for Wellington and Grandview Heights once their postseason begins, especially with their regular season schedules. I'm almost more interested in the #3-#10 teams during the regular season since the top two are likely settled.
 

buckcc

Active member
Being that Grandview Hts is D-4 this year and they will probably be in the O.U.regionals, I'm glad my Hawks if they can make it, going to the Canton Regionals, because we played Grandview Hts last basketball season at home and put a big time whooping on them 75-49 and sure they love another chance at us, because that was best game we played all season when you shoot about 70 percent from the floor you better win big
 

Snowman8

Member
Grandview Heights and Kipp in the district championship game. Whoever wins will get to the final four
Did KIPP get a bunch of transfers or something? I know that they will have their first senior class, but that's a team that beat Horizon Science at the buzzer, lost easily to Tree of Life and Shekinah, and was down 4 at the half to Madison Christian (I got to see that one). They may well be in the top half of the district, but that's a pretty big jump to take in one year (first year ever in the tournament too).

Also, I saw a link someone else showed that confirms there are two Districts in D4 Central this coming year. https://ohsaa.org/Portals/0/Board-of-Directors-Minutes/BDMINUTES6-3-19.pdf . Maybe KIPP could make it to a District semi, but I can't imagine them being at the same level as a Grandview or Wellington (who has a ton of promising young athletes).
 

Snowman8

Member
Now that the season is just a week away, I figured that I'd check in and see if there was any information on how scrimmages are going, possible contributing freshman, or other transfers that we now know about. From what I've heard Wellington has some really promising young length down low and on the wings. Young teams tend to finish strong since there is so much room for growth, so I feel a little more confident with my way-to-early picks to have them winning one of the two Districts.
 
Did KIPP get a bunch of transfers or something? I know that they will have their first senior class, but that's a team that beat Horizon Science at the buzzer, lost easily to Tree of Life and Shekinah, and was down 4 at the half to Madison Christian (I got to see that one). They may well be in the top half of the district, but that's a pretty big jump to take in one year (first year ever in the tournament too).

Also, I saw a link someone else showed that confirms there are two Districts in D4 Central this coming year. https://ohsaa.org/Portals/0/Board-of-Directors-Minutes/BDMINUTES6-3-19.pdf . Maybe KIPP could make it to a District semi, but I can't imagine them being at the same level as a Grandview or Wellington (who has a ton of promising young athletes).
Snowman, my apologies, KIPP will not go to the final four, but I do predict them in the district championship game against Grandview Heights which does have a chance to get to the final 4. The other champion, I would say will be Wellington
 

The Dock

Well-known member
Hey, I didn’t forget about this thread. Been busy following football and wasn’t as informed with much of the happenings in the district & MSL-Cardinal on the boys side as I have in years’ past. Seriously, been on the boards for a decade and this season has been by far the hardest for me to really form any insightful, concrete thoughts let alone informed predictions until the basketballs started to get rolled out these last couple of days. I’ll of course have more to post and certainly more to add over the course of the season.

Where I’ll quickly throw some thoughts to give some lead to the discussion:
*I would expect KIPP to be decently tough this year. However, the thing to understand about KIPP is they will likely have a short-lived stint in Division IV. At 128 boys, they are one of the largest D4 schools. With the school being new and the potential to grow, it’s likely they’ll move up on pure number of boys. And that’s before whatever competitive balance implications come to play.

*I think the MSL-Cardinal will be tougher than years past. With that said...

*I think this year will be a, curious one, for Fisher. They still have what I think is one of the better coaches in Central Ohio, and within the MSL I think they’re going to be the hardest playing team that’s not named Harvest Prep. Call it a cliché if you want. I will caution our readers to not be surprised when they seek some MSL results here, soon.
 

Snowman8

Member
Appreciate the feedback Dock!

Your quote about it being a curious one for Fisher is true, and I would also apply that to Berne Union, Grove City Christian, and maybe even Millersport. I think they all have potential and will probably be better teams than their records indicate because they'll just beat up on each other all season. We'll see how FCA stacks up with local D4s when they play Shekinah this week, but I totally agree that the MSL Cardinal is very difficult this year, as it has been the last several years. FC does have a terrific coach who rightfully won Central District COY last year. He also has the benefit of having a really deep talent pool considering the school size, which no doubt is much to his credit.

For the first week of D4 in Central District, Grandview Heights proved they are a leader in the race to State with a convincing win over Hartley (no football players but still) and by dismantling Independence (44-10 at halftime and an ally-oop off the backboard, which most D4 teams can't do). I saw they got a move-in from Upper Arlington with will just give them more depth. Wellington also had a promising start by nearly beating D1 Buckeye Valley. I don't know how anyone is going to keep up with those two teams, which is a shame to the D4 squads who were hoping to make a run this year until those two schools got dropped down to D4.

As for the little MOCAL, Delaware Christian got a huge win against Elgin, then in the next game scored 7 points in the first half against Lakewood. Tree of Life and Northside got obliterated in their first two games, which I fear will be a trend. Shekinah beat a sneaky good Liberty Christian team with that 19-year old 5th year senior. Liberty turned around and beat Cristo Rey last night by 34, so I'm not sure if that's how bad Cristo Rey is (probably) or that Liberty is improved by that much. I'm interested to see how Liberty does against Millersport tomorrow. Love me some of the small school ball. Probably why I pick too many upsets in March Madness.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
My early prognostication is there will be a logjam in the 2-6 spots for the Cardinal. I am high on the Millersport Lakers. Don’t think they’ll get second in the league, but I think they can spoil GCC and FC. Could sweep FCA... who seems like a great unknown (my guess is FCA will be really down this year, but then again you can’t count out a Roger Hooper team.)

The word I’ve heard is GCC expects a good year with who they have coming up and the return of Brayden Holbrook (great player.) I have no read on what Tree of Life looks like this year, but it appears GCC ripped them to shreds.

BU returns probably the most firepower, but with a new first-year head coach (hasn’t coached boys basketball at the high school varsity level) I have no idea what to really expect. If they play to their potential then I think they’ll get second in the Cardinal.

This is probably one of the leanest FC teams in recent memory from a talent and depth perspective. When it comes to athleticism, basketball IQ, situational awareness, grit and strength, I think they’re right behind Harvest Prep in that regard. It’s also a great group of kids that respond well to their coaching, they’ll go as far in games as their execution on both ends goes well. They’ll play as intense a brand of basketball as they have these last couple years and will create their best opportunities through good communication, being in the right position, good facilitation and owning the boards. In the absence of strong basketball talent, they’ll make up for it in other ways. 8/10 (4/5 of the starters) of the kids played football and have that chemistry already there, the other two did soccer. So like every year, no “basketball only” kids which actually works to their advantage as a unit. These kids understand that they have a huge bullseye on their backs and that every school in the MSL is circling their FC games on the calendar and underling it three times. Game of the year for the Eagles, Rockets, Lakers, Bishops and Knights. They’re going to get every teams’ best punches. Coach Brown will yet again get the most of his kids in every game and they’ll come around. Bigger game than what meets the eye this Saturday in Walnut Township— this is Millersport’s best team in years and the Purvis twins will make the Lakers’ engine run with a very serviceable supporting cast. I’m gonna tentatively have the Lakers as a 10 point favorite this weekend over FC.
 
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The Dock

Well-known member
Upset in B-more. LU upsets Grandview Heights!

Newark Cath beat GCC. Looks like FCA is having some growing pains, not having scored more than 40 yet through three games.

Didn’t make it to FC/Millersport last Saturday, but was told FC jumped to a 17-0 lead only for Millersport to cut it to 31-24. FC held on of course. Did make it to their game versus Crooksville: the Ceramics were pretty athletic and applied a lot of stingy on-ball pressure, running well in transition and pushing the pace. But, FC held very well throughout the entire game. The Irish’s biggest deficit was five points, and trailed 37-40 after 3Q. Bryson Vogel knocked his fifth three of the night to tie the game at 40–40 en route to a 17-2 run through the first five minutes. FC did a pretty masterful job of moving the ball and getting good percentage shots up in this run. IMO this was a near-complete performance, the type you want to see out of such a young group. Great to see several players step up also and ball out. Big game Friday at FC against rival Berne — should be an excellent measuring stick for both teams. Got BU by 10 for now
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.zanesvilletimesrecorder.com/amp/4381955002 (article on last night’s tilt in Lancaster)
 
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Snowman8

Member
Can't believe that upset from LU! Definitely a shocker and possibly a wake-up call from GH.

In the MOCAL, the upset of the year so far is Tree of Life over Granville Christian. A thing about Granville that I've noticed is that they run a weird 3/4 court press that sinks into a matchup zone (maybe 1-3-1?). That can give teams trouble but it can also lead to some big shooting nights for opponents. I remember Unger for BU scored 49 against them last year and some others have had big nights as well. Looks like they fell victim to that again when Tree of Life beat them in their opener. Very surprising result, especially since Tree had gotten blasted by Madison-Plains and GCC and looked set for a rebuilding season. I still think Granville will have a good year and has the potential to beat anyone in the conference because they have three legit scorers, but that loss will really hurt their chances to win the conference.

Much like FC/Berne Union having a big matchup this Friday in the MSL Cardinal, Delaware Christian (2-1 with a win over Elgin) and Shekinah Christian (3-0 with blowouts but against poor competition) will square off. The rest of the MOCAL looks very weak as I don't see Madison Christian or Northside Christian beating anyone other than themselves.

One common opponent with the smaller schools right now is Liberty Christian, who has that 19-year old fifth year senior that inexplicably is allowed to play. He scored 49 points against Torah and will probably take an All-District or even All-State award away from an actual high school student. Anyway, the transitive property isn't a great way to decipher how good teams match up, but Shekinah beat Liberty by 17, Liberty beat Cristo Rey by 34, Millersport beat Liberty by 1 but was down 14 entering the fourth quarter, and Delaware Christian beat Liberty by 8 but was down 6 at halftime.

Just some observations around the very small school portion of D4.
 

Snowman8

Member
Checking back in with only a few weeks to go in the regular season. 270 Hoops has this as their power poll, which is probably more informed than anyone else in the area even though they don't do much with Division IV:

1) Wellington
2) Grandview
3) Newark Catholic
4) Fisher Catholic
5) Berne Union
6) East Knox
7) Delaware Christian
8) Shekinah Christian
9) KIPP
10) Patriot Acadamy

Seems pretty good to me. Every D4 team has at least 4 losses, but this year there are many more teams over .500 than last year. Wellington knocking off Grandview is very telling as to how good they are. Rematch soon should be very good (and maybe another game at Regionals).

Newark Catholic getting the transfer from Ready is big. New coach seems to have them playing well too. I think they're the clear #3 at this point. I could see anyone 4-10 beating each other on the right night (and probably further down the line with Cardington as others as well).

MOCAL comes down to this Friday night. 4-0 Delaware Christian plays 4-1 Shekinah Christian. Both teams have blown out the rest of the conference. Delaware beat Shekinah by 3 on the road in December and is much better at home, but I have heard that Shekinah has been just decimated with injuries. When your enrollment is 11, injuries play an even bigger factor. Looks like Delaware should have the edge.
 

buckcc

Active member
Come tournament draw,where will Wellington School go,Athens regional or Vandiala regional,looks like the tournament draw will take place before Wellington School and Granview Hts play there rematch,or do they both place them selves in the Athens regional, I'm sure the Vandiala regional is probably thougher the Athens regional,that means they will meet in district finials
 

bsee54321

Active member
Come tournament draw,where will Wellington School go,Athens regional or Vandiala regional,looks like the tournament draw will take place before Wellington School and Granview Hts play there rematch,or do they both place them selves in the Athens regional, I'm sure the Vandiala regional is probably thougher the Athens regional,that means they will meet in district finials
It will be interesting how the brackets brake out. Athens Region is very tough because you have to go thru the East District Winner to get to Columbus. HHawks I have seen some posts saying that Hiland is not the team they were last year- but from the outside Hiland is Hiland which means very good- can they win the Region by 30 maybe not but winning the Region by 10 still get you to Columbus. The D4 teams in Southeast are good but have had trouble with the District winners from the East and Central Districts. Go way of Vandalia Region will be tuff. There will be 3 very good teams along with a Central District Team. I think any of the 4 teams in Vandalia can get to Columbus. As far as Athens I think it will come down to the East District winner or the Central District winner getting to Columbus.
 

Snowman8

Member
The draw is over and the bracket is set! Grandview Heights did end up with the 1 seed despite losing to Wellington, so I guess the coaches didn't factor their first matchup into the equation much. Here's the complete list:

1) Grandview Heights
2) Wellington
3) Berne Union
4) East Knox
5) Newark Catholic
6) Fisher Catholic
7) Shekinah Christian
8) Patriot Prep
9) Delaware Christian
10) Cardington-Lincoln
11) Millersport
12) Ridgedale
13) Granville Christian
14) Tree of Life
15) Grove City Christian
16) KIPP Columbus
17) Fairfield Christian
18) Northside Christian
19) Danville
20) Madison Christian

Other than the top two seeds, I think this was as much of a toss up as any year I can remember. I also think 3-16 could all beat each other on any given night, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a number of "upsets." One obvious one that I think is a little off is Tree of Life being above Grove City Christian and KIPP, especially since Tree lost to KIPP by 8 and lost to GCC by 35.

Other observations based on seeds and when a team would have placed themselves in the bracket:

- Grandview Heights chose the Athens route. I don't know the regional aspect very well. Is Hiland in that region this year? Otherwise, would they play New Boston or Peebles perhaps? I really don't know much about the southeast other than I've heard New Boston had a soft schedule and is overrated, but that's just what I've read on message boards so who knows?

- I always find it interesting with two brackets to see where the #3-5 teams pick. #3 Berne went to Wellington's District but did not choose a play-in game, which seems pretty customary. Must go along with that thought that #3-#16 could all beat each other, so why risk it (although that does give a long layoff)?

- The SHOCKER to me is what happened with #4, #5, #6, and #8:
~ #4 East Knox follows Berne Union and picks opposite of a heavy hitter to potentially meet Grandview in the District finals. They also elected not to do the play-in game (they've really improved since being a bottom seed just a few years ago).
~ #5 Newark Catholic DECIDES TO LINE UP WITH #4 EAST KNOX in the Sectional finals! What?! NC picked the play-in game with the chance to face #4 East Knox on the road in Grandview's District instead of taking a bye elsewhere. Furthermore, they could have picked a different line, taken the bye, and assuming they won their first round game would have played East Knox in the District Semi's on a neutral site. So NC is taking a risk with a play-in game only to face the #4 seed on the road after the #4 seed can scout them an extra time and has more preparation. Very bold! Additionally, their play-in game turned out to be KIPP Columbus, who definitely isn't a cupcake that they can just cruise through.
~ #6 Fisher Catholic then picks THE SAME DISTRICT SEMI-FINAL AS #4/#5. I can't get over this! Newark Catholic beat Fisher Catholic by 12 at FC's home court less than a month ago. What's the logic here? Was FC missing people? It was close in the first half but NC went on a big 3rd quarter run. Did FC really want to duck Berne Union that much to avoid a potential District Semi-Final on Wellington's half of the bracket?
~ #8 Patriot Prep, who could have taken a bye and hosted a Sectional Finals game against a lesser opponent, line up with #6 Fisher Catholic! I know that they beat them earlier in the year and played them well in the tournament last year, but they could have hosted for a Sectional Title against an inferior opponent! I guess they felt this would give them the best shot of advancing to the District Finals, but that's quite the risk. Go big or go home I suppose!

- #7 seed Shekinah Christian could have lined themselves up to host a Sectional Finals and then had a rematch of last year's District Semis with Berne Union. However, they instead chose to line up with Grandview Heights in the District Semis. I'm not entirely sure of the logic, but maybe they assumed that would not be a desirable spot for other teams of similar talent and didn't want to risk losing that early? It worked, because they got paired up with Tree of Life, who they've already beaten twice by double digits. But that puts an early ceiling on their run.

Who isn't happy?
- I'd think East Knox is pretty frustrated with how things worked out. They get the #4 seed, do the same thing as Berne Union at the #3 seed, and somehow get stuck in a sectional with #5 Newark Catholic (or even KIPP) only to need to face #6 Fisher Catholic or #8 Patriot Prep in the District semis.
- Fisher Catholic probably thought they would be safe in their Sectional Finals round give the difficulty of that District Semi bracket. I'm sure they thought they might get a matchup with a #12-#15 seed, but instead got #8 Patriot Prep, who has given them trouble in the past. I still think Fisher will be the favorite, but they'll need to play well in their opener.
- Berne Union might be a little nervous in their first game than they expected. They had just beaten Fisher Catholic pretty handily but squeaked by Millersport. Now they'll probably face Millersport in their Sectional Finals. Still the heavy favorite, but enough to make them a little nervous heading into that matchup. That is assuming Millersport wins of course. Millersport split with Granville Christian during the season so that is no gimmie.
- Is Wellington allowed to be a little unhappy? They beat Grandview during the season and got placed below them in the tournament, forcing them to go to the tougher Regional site.
- I don't think Grandview Heights is unhappy per se, but if you look at Wellington's path to the District Semis, the toughest opponent they might play would be #12 Ridgedale or #15 Grove City Christian. Grandview will roll everyone, but likely facing #7 Shekinah will at least make them try a little before District Finals. They'll still put a running clock on them, but it won't be a total sleepwalk.

Who is happy?
- Delaware Christian has to be ecstatic with how things broke out in terms of their chance to make their first ever District Finals appearance. They won't be a heavy favorite in any game, but their strong defense and tough schedule should have them well prepared and able to keep things close. Yes, Cardington did beat them way back on a Monday in December, but to avoid the heavy hitters until the District Finals and still be able to host a tournament game has to have them feeling good.
- Cardington has to like their chances as well. They did beat Delaware Christian after all.
- Ridgedale gets to host a game as the #12 seed and their opponent (Grove City Christian) needs to drive about 90 minutes to get there on a Tuesday night. Should be a bit of a home court advantage.
- Grove City Christian has a realistic chance to win their opening game and get a Sectional Title despite a 3-16 record. I know they play in a tough conference, but they are still 3-16. I'm sure they were upset that Tree of Life got ranked ahead of them, especially since Tree chose to play Shekinah Christian (at Jonathan Alder). GCC beat Shekinah on that neutral site a couple years ago in the tournament, so I think they would have picked that game if they had the chance. Still, that's not a bad matchup in terms of style for GCC either. I might have them winning that one when if I make predictions.
- Tree of Life couldn't have expected to be ranked as high as #14. They lost to lower seeded KIPP and Grove City Christian (by 35). Instead of facing an opponent like Ridgedale (who they just lost to by 21) on the road, they get to play conference opponent Shekinah Christian. Yes, they've lost to Shekinah twice by 15 points, but those rivalry games and playing a team 3 times in one season can change some things. Plus, they get to play on a neutral site since Shekinah can't host (their gym floor is something like 3 feet too short to meet regulations for tournament games). Tree could have easily been seeded below Fairfield Christian as well and been stuck with Grandview Heights or Wellington for their first game.

I won't make any predictions just yet, but I at least wanted to share my observations after looking things over. I still can't believe Newark Catholic's decision. Should make things very interesting until the District Finals!
 
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