CLEVELAND, Ohio – Monday will mark the first day of the girls basketball district semifinals.
So with several district champions being crowned by the end of the week, which top seeded team in the area stands the greatest chance to be eliminated?
There is a total of 13 area No. 1 seeded teams in the hunt for a district title led by defending champions Elyria Catholic, Gilmour, Solon and Lake Ridge Academy.
Below are some of takeaways looking ahead to the district semifinals. Vote and share your thoughts.
No. 1 Seeded Teams: Amherst, Berea-Midpark, Mentor, St. Joseph Academy, Solon
Takeaways: I’m circling the top seeded teams in the Elyria, Medina, and Perry districts. Berea-Midpark has to face one of the most competitive Greater Cleveland Conference teams in Strongsville. Then, if they can make it to the Medina district finals the Titans will potentially face last year’s state champion Wadsworth.
Amherst is also in conundrum looking ahead in the race for Elyria District crown. Avon, Avon Lake and Olmsted Falls are all familiar with each other as members of Southwestern Conference. Let’s not forget that Olmsted Falls knocked off last year’s district winner Westlake last week. I don’t expect any blowouts because how much these teams know each other. Some of these games may resemble a chess match as coaches strategize against each other.
Lastly, Mentor is playing for vengeance in the Perry district. The team was eliminated twice in the past two years, so winning this district should be important to the Cardinals.
But let’s not overlook last year’s district champion Euclid and two Western Reserve conference powers in Brush and Eastlake North vying for a regional playoff spot.
See related: Division I previewWhich No. 1 seeded team has the greatest chance to be eliminated in districts?
No. 1 Seeded Teams: Elyria Catholic, Hathaway Brown, Perry, Tallmadge
Takeaways: The Elyria and Macedonia district semifinals screams drama when you look at the brackets.
While Elyria Catholic won this district last year and the Great Lakes Conference the past two seasons, I can’t help but wonder what the remaining teams could have in store for the Panthers. Keystone, who will meet Elyria Catholic in the semifinals, lost to the Panthers by one point back in November. On the lower side of the bracket the Panthers have two familiar opponents that have an advantage with their familiarity of each other.
Elyria Catholic was favored to win the district by 42 percent compared to Padua with 35 in cleveland.com’s poll.
Then in the Macedonia district, the entire Revere community has elevated its support after a one-point win against last year’s district finalist St. Vincent-St. Mary. If Laurel wants a shot in the finals, the Gators will have to find a way to silence Revere’s excitement on Monday.
On the other side of the bracket, Hathaway Brown has Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy on the radar before they can consider defending their district title.
STVM was favored to win the district by 37.1 percent ahead of Hathaway Brown (30.6), Laurel (14.5) and Revere (4.8).
Lastly, Tallmadge will have to find a way of dethroning last year’s district champion Archbishop Hoban in Uniontown. If the Blue Devils can work that out, Norton or Marlington will be waiting on the other side.
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No. 1 Seeded Teams: Garrettsville Garfield, Gilmour
Takeaways: The fact is that Newton Falls won the district last year. So Garfield will have to continue bringing its best game in the Ravenna district as the playoffs continue. The two could meet in the finals, unless they are upset by Brookfield and Champion.
See related: Division III preview
No. 1 Seeded Teams: Cuyahoga Heights, Lake Ridge
Takeaway: If last year is any indication, the Grand Valley district winner could be a surprise.
While Lake Ridge went home with the Norwayne district trophy last year, take for example the Grand Valley district with Cuyahoga Heights among the contenders. Last year Cuyahoga Heights and top seeded team Richmond Heights were both knocked off by eventual state semifinalist Cornerstone Christian, but the team is back in the hunt again this year. The top seeded Redskins will have to get through Lutheran East and either Cornerstone or Badger before winning the district.
Cornerstone was favored to win by 30 percent ahead of Windham (23.3) and Cuyahoga Heights (18.3). Cornerstone will be without head coach Lisa Stopp for an unknown time period for health reasons.
Frank Soria is leading the Patriots.
See related: Division IV preview
Prayers for Coach Stopp! CCA loves you! pic.twitter.com/9VgXvV2scf— Cornerstone Hoops (@CCA_HOOPS) February 26, 2017
PERFORMANCE(S) AND MOMENTS TO REMEMBER
Gilmour senior guard Emily Kelley became the state’s all-time leading 3-point scorer with 353 and counting. Kelley broke the record set by Shadyside’s Karli Bonar in 2013, according to the OHSAA records.
Congratulations to @emily_kelley4 for an outstanding accomplishment as she is now the all-time three point leader in OHSAA history with 353! pic.twitter.com/lGh2hMMJYK— Isaac Pastrana (@IsaacPxP27) February 25, 2017
Ohio Northern signee Emily Brock tied a career high 26 points to lead Revere past top seeded St. Vincent-St. Mary. Brock lost her mother Betsy Brock the day before to cancer. (see story)
I love this school, this community, this family. My mom was with ALL of us tonight. Thank you EVERYONE for the incredible support.