CLEVELAND, Ohio – The boys basketball postseason begins this week with sectional games as part of district tournaments. Here is a preview of each Division IV district tournament in the cleveland.com coverage area.
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RELATED: District pairing takeaways.
Teams by seed: 1. Lutheran East, 2. Dalton, 3. Mogadore, 4. Lake Center Christian, 5. Cuyahoga Heights, 6. Hillsdale, 7. Mapleton, 8. Kidron Central Christian, 9. Open Door, 10. St. Martin de Porres, 11. Lake Ridge, 12. Northeast Ohio College Prep, 13. Whitney Young.
Click here for the bracket.Who wins the Barberton District?
Favorite: Lutheran East can boast one of the toughest schedules for a Division IV team in the state. That is why the Falcons received the top seed despite a 13-9 record.
Dark horse: Lake Center Christian is the fourth seed, but it is adjusting to a coaching change after Phil Budervic resigned in mid-February. Lake Center Christian has shooters with senior 1,000-point scorer John Paul Miller and sophomore Payton Triplett.
Five players to watch
Jordan Burge, Lutheran East: A 6-3 junior forward, Burge transferred last year from Division I Shaker Heights. He averaged a team-high 18.0 points with 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists.
Trey Brooks, Open Door: Just a sophomore, Brooks is a 6-3 forward who averaged 18.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals in the regular season.
Mitch Clark, Dalton: A 6-5 senior forward, Clark nearly averaged a double-double last season and received second-team Inland District honors.
Jarad Dunn, Mogadore: The Wildcats have been a force in this district, and the 6-3 senior forward has been around for those runs — including Mogadore’s 2015 regional run.
Maurico Tate, Lutheran East: Like Burge, Tate transferred from a Division I school. The senior point guard averaged 17 points with 10 assists per game, making him a player of the year candidate for the district and state.
Breakdown of the bracket
A potential district semifinal between Lutheran East and Mogadore could be the highlight of this tournament. They played last year for the title, and the Falcons won 57-49 en route to a regional final appearance.
cleveland.com pick: Lutheran East over Lake Center Christian.
Winner advances to Canton Regional vs. East District champion.
ORWELL GRAND VALLEY DISTRICTWho wins the Orwell District
Teams by seed: 1 (tie). Cornerstone Christian, 1 (tie). Bristol, 3. Warren JFK, 4. Maplewood, 5. Richmond Heights, 6. Windham, 7. Badger, 8. St. John School, 9. Chalker, 10. Lordstown, 11. Newbury, 12 (tie). Bloomfield, 12 (tie). Fairport Harding.
Click here for the bracket.
Favorite: Cornerstone Christian shared the No. 1 seed with Bristol as both accumulated the same vote total from coaches in this bracket. Seeding wise, the eighth and ninth teams opted to face Cornerstone and avoid a potential matchup with Bristol. However, the Patriots are the defending state champions with returning Associated Press state player of the year Michael Bothwell and a core that includes senior wing Brandon McQueen.
Dark horse: Richmond Heights’ road includes a home game vs. Lordstown. If the No. 5 seeds gets past that, it likely draws third-seeded JFK on the half of the bracket that includes Bristol.
Five players to watch
Michael Bothwell, Cornerstone Christian: Bothwell took the state by storm from his 41 points to beat Lutheran East in the regional final to helping the Patriots win state gold. A 6-3 junior guard, Bothwell is averaging 20.9 points and 7.6 rebounds.
Tommy Donadio, Bristol: A 5-10 junior guard, Donadio averaged a team-high 20.8 points. The Panthers ranked fifth in The Associated Press state rankings. They finished just a spot ahead of Cornerstone.
Brandon McQueen, Cornerstone Christian: The 6-1 senior guard turned into a sixth man last year for the Patriots’ run to their first state title. He is one of the state’s toughest defenders and is averaging 17.0 points and 2.1 steals.
Antonio McQueen, Warren JFK: McQueen is a leaper and 6-6 senior forward, who some local players might recognize from his play at NEO Youth Elite events at Garfield Heights. McQueen and JFK are conditioned from a North Coast League schedule that includes multiple games against Villa Angela-St. Joseph and Central Catholic.
E.J. Onu, Richmond Heights: A 6-9 senior shot blocker, Onu could turn the fifth-seeded Spartans into a spoiler. They open vs. No. 10 Lordstown before a potential matchup with McQueen and JFK.
Breakdown of the bracket
While Bristol shared the top seed based on vote totals from the coaches, it could have a more daunting road once teams reach Orwell for the district’s final four.
cleveland.com pick: Cornerstone Christian over Warren JFK.
Winner advances to Canton Regional vs. Struthers District champion.
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