MOUNT VERNON — All 11 area high school girls basketball teams found out their postseason futures on Sunday as the Ohio High School Athletic Association held its district draws statewide.
The area’s only Division I school, Mount Vernon (7-8), was seeded in the middle of the pack (24th), and will play 19th-seed Dublin Jerome (8-7) in the first round on Wednesday, Feb. 18.
“We were the 24th seed out of 41 teams, and that is right about where we should have been,” said Mount Vernon coach Doug Savage. “The No. 1 seed was Dublin Coffman, and Delaware was No. 2. ... I thought we would be right in there. If you look at all of the other teams, we are in the middle of the pack. We didn’t pick until No. 24, and a lot of the high seeds, which I thought would take a bye, didn’t. A lot of the higher seeds elected to play in the first round. That’s why I decided to go with Dublin Jerome.”
For the Jackets, Jerome is a well-known opponent. The two schools have played twice a year for the last couple of years as conference foes.
“I remember some of the kids that they had,” said Savage. “They’ve got a nice post player, but we haven’t seen them this year. I’ve just been watching their box scores and following them a little bit in the newspapers. ... They are a quality opponent. They are much improved. It will give us a good challenge.”
In Division II, the Clear Fork Colts (6-8) got a first-round bye in the Northwest District. The Colts will take on Ohio Cardinal Conference rival Mansfield Madison (6-7) on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 8:30 p.m. at Crestview High School. Madison is the No. 2 seed in the Mansfield District.
The Utica Redskins, with a 12-3 record, earned the No. 4 seed in Division III Central District and will play a first-round game against Lakewood. The two will square off on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 8 p.m. at Pickerington North High School. Prior to that game, Johnstown (8-8) will take the court at 6:15 p.m. The Johnnies, the No. 16 seed, will face Liberty Union.
Centerburg (7-8) garnered the highest seed among the Knox County teams. The Trojans were seeded 13th out of 28 schools, which was somewhat of a surprise for coach Todd Nauman.
“I think we got some respect,” said Nauman. “We were one game below .500 at that point, so I am pretty pleased with where we got.”
Centerburg will face off against No. 11 seed Columbus School for Girls in the first round on Tuesday, Feb. 17. The two will play at 6:15 p.m. at Westerville North High School.
“I chose (Columbus School for Girls),” Nauman said. “Our choices at that point weren’t good. There were already 12 teams on the bracket. We could have played Heath, Newark Catholic, Amanda-Clearcreek, Ready, Liberty Union, Pleasant, Utica, West Jefferson or Jonathan Alder. I took the team with the closest record to ourselves. I thought that was the best opportunity.
“Hopefully we can go out and compete with anybody,” added Nauman. “I felt this was the best bracket for us to go in and have an opportunity to play more than once.”
The Highland Scots garnered the 12th seed in the Central District, and will play on Monday, Feb. 16. They will play West Jefferson at 6:15 p.m. at Hilliard Davidson High School.
Last year’s Central District champion Fredericktown found the draw a little unforgiving this year. The Freddies, who went 25-1 last year and made it to the regional final, entered the draft with a 6-10 mark and were seeded 20th overall.
“I thought we would be somewhere between 16 and 20 depending on how the votes went,” said Fredericktown coach Dave Logan. “We were right where I thought we would be. ...It is really hard to tell (how good the teams are). You know the top teams are really good, but it is hard to tell. It is kind of a shot in the dark.”
The Freddies will play Northmor in the opening round on Friday, Feb. 20, at 6:15 p.m. at Westerville North High School.
“We are inexperienced,” Logan said. “We’re going to give it a shot. I thought, from where we picked, we got a game we have a chance to win. That’s what I was really after. If we could win a tournament game, that would be a great accomplishment for us.
“Northmor is really improved. They’ve played some decent teams, and have some good players.”
Two other area teams also found the draw a little tough going. East Knox (4-11) was seeded 23rd overall and faces a tough opening test as the Bulldogs will play No. 2 seed Amanda-Clearcreek (15-1). The two teams will square off on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. at Delaware Hayes High School. Winless Northridge (0-13) was seeded 27th and has a first-round bye. The Vikings will play the winner of Amanda-Clearcreek and East Knox in the second round on Wednesday, Feb. 25, at Pickerington North High School at 6:15 p.m.
In the Division III Northeast District, the Loudonville Redbirds (10-6) will square off against Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (13-3) on Tuesday, Feb. 24. The game will be played at Triway High School, starting at 6 p.m.
The area’s only Division IV school — Danville — will get its postseason under way on Tuesday, Feb. 24. The Blue Devils (11-5) will play Grove City Christian at Delaware Hayes High School at 8 p.m.