Peebles, West Union grab #2 seeds –
By Mark Carpenter –
After a regular season which saw a pair of Adams County varsity boys squads finish at the top of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference standing, it is time to think postseason, Convo, and “Basketball 30.” The Southeast District Division III and Division IV sectional tournament brackets were released on Sunday, Feb. 11 and now all four county boys teams know when and where their tourney trail begins.
Easily the biggest surprise and feel-good story of the season has been Coach Greg Himes and his West Union Dragons, who have already clinched a share of the SHAC big school division title and can win it outright with a victory at Lynchburg on Friday night. A 14-4 record earned the Dragons a #2 seed and an automatic berth in a Division III sectional championship game on Feb. 23 at 8:30 p.m. at Waverly High School. West Union will face the winner of #7 seed Western Latham (10-9) and #10 seed Southeastern (7-11) with a trip to the district tournament at the Ohio University Convocation Center on the line. If the Dragons capture a long-awaited sectional title, they will be at the Convo on March 3 at 8:15 p.m.
“I’m very happy with our draw,” said Coach Himes. “I am not ready for our season to be over and I am very excited about tournament time.”
Also in Division III, Coach Nathan Copas and his North Adams Green Devils stood at 9-10 when the brackets were released and will be a #8 seed in the sectional tourney. The Green Devils will face #9 seeded Portsmouth West (7-9) on Feb. 19 at 6:15 p.m., also at Waverly HS. A win there sends the Devils to the sectional finals where they would face #1 seed Piketon on Feb. 23 at 6 p.m., with the coveted trip to the Convo at stake.
Coach Josh Arey and his Peebles Indians sported a record of 14-5 at the time of the draw and are the champions of the small school division of the SHAC, their sixth conference title in the past 10 years. Their fine season to this point earned the Indians a #2 seed in the Division IV tournament and a spot in a sectional final, where they will battle the winner of #7 seed Whiteoak (11-9) and #10 seed Sciotoville East (3-10), Peebles will be in action at Northwest High School on Feb. 28 at 6:15 p.m., looking for the “W” that will send them to a March 4 date at the Convo in the district semis. The tournament has not been kind to the Indians the past couple of season, so they will certainly be looking for redemption.
Finally in Division IV, Coach Josh Reaves and his 4-16 Manchester Greyhounds will be a #8 seed and in action at Northwest HS on Feb. 20 at 7 p.m., facing off with the #9 seeded Titans from Portsmouth Notre Dame. A win there sends the Hounds to the sectional finals and a return to Northwest on Feb. 27 at 6:15 p.m. to face #1 seed Dawson-Bryant (13-4). A few years ago Greyhound fans got accustomed to trips to the Convo and perhaps this year’s squad can put the pieces together and pull off a couple of surprises.
Check with your school to see if pre-sale tickets are available and get your only local coverage of the postseason tournaments in the sports pages of The People’s Defender.
The complete Division III and IV brackets can be found at www.seodab.org.