District Predictions (Regional %):
I feel very confident in the top 4 seeds here. Hiland is a lock. I think Garaway can make it to districts but they will have the toughest route. They have great coaching with Coach Miller and they have some players playing great with Kallie Regula and Rylee Putt. They have some solid role players as well. Tusky Valley will get though, they have played well most of the year, have increased their schedule toughness and its paid off. They gave Hiland their toughest challenge outside of D1 schools this year. They are coming into tourney play on a losing streak against Hiland and Maysville but they still have to be feeling very good about themselves. I believe they will get a third shot at Hiland in the district final. Union Local is a very intriguing team. I think they are very good. They’re just still very young and inexperienced. They have a very good post player that’s a freshman and some solid young wings to go with her. Their junior PG is very good and makes the team go. They will run into a deeper and more experienced Tusky Valley team in the districts, but I promise you you will see this team in the districts the next 4 years and challenging for regionals in a few years.
Outside the Top 4:
I think there are three teams that have a shot at making it though. Sandy Valley, Martins Ferry and Bellaire. Sandy Valley will have to play very well to beat a Tusky team that they’ve lost to twice already. However that gap has closed some. It will be a tough path but the Cardinals have a shot behind the schools all-time leading scorer Karlee Altimore. Martin’s Ferry and Bellaire have to battle a third time for a chance to take down the 4 seed Garaway for a district appearance. They’ve split the season series so far but Ferry has more horrible wins, over Shadyside and Wheeling Central. Bellaire has a dynamite guard in Davis, and a winning tradition, that will be a fantastic sectional final matchup.
There is no team in this region that can beat Hiland, let alone this district. They are too deep, they are too talented, too well coached and too fundamental. Hiland is my pick to advance to regionals. They have the best post player in Zoe Miller, the best PG in Morgan Yoder and the best shooter in Brynn Mullet, it’s just that simple. Tusky Valley did keep it close with them on their home floor. However the Hawks have three wins over the other top seeds in this district by 48 points or more. If anyone keeps it within 30 of Hiland in this district they should feel great about it.