The OHSAA Elida Division IV Boys Basketball draw will be held on Sunday Feb 11. A strongly balanced field (all but 2 teams have better than a winning record) and 5 sectional semifinal byes should make for some interesting seeding and placement. You have the top 4 Division IV teams in the Green Meadows Conference (#1 Hicksville, #2 Wayne Trace, #4 Ayersville, and #5 Antwerp), and the top 2 teams in the Northwest Conference (Lincolnview and Crestview) vying for positions at Elida. Meanwhile Putnam County representatives Fort Jennings and Ottoville have strong records while Continental may prove to be a tough out. Delphos St Johns and Parkway represents the Midwest Athletic Conference. St Johns is 9-6 while Parkway is 7-2 outside of conference play.
Sectional games will be held the week of Feb 26 at Paulding and Van Wert. The Elida District will have games on March 6 and 9. The Elida District field is a lot different from last year where Ottawa Glandorf was a sectional site and most of Putnam County League schools were in that District. Last year Delphos St Johns advanced out of the Elida District and made it to the State Semifinals.
The winner of the Elida District will take on the winner of the Napoleon District on March 13 at 8:00 at Bowling Green State University. The Napoleon District features teams from the Buckeye Border Conference and Toledo Area Athletic Conference. They also have the only 2 Division IV AP poll ranked teams in the BGSU Regional in #7Toledo Christian and #8 Pettisville. Last year Holgate (who now is in the Liberty Benton District) made it out of the Napoleon District.
The other side of the Division IV BGSU regional has teams from Liberty Benton and Fostoria Districts. The Liberty Benton District has the remaining PCL teams along with some Blanchard Valley Conference teams and Holgate. Last year North Baltimore was the Liberty Benton Regional qualifier and will try to defend that title. The Fostoria District is new this year and will take up the forth BGSU Regional spot. Last year the Willard District winner advanced to BGSU, this year Willards representative will go to the Canton for that Regional. Mansfield St Pete was last years fourth regional qualifier for BGSU. The Fostoria District is made up of teams mainly from the BVC and the Sandusky Bay League.
Fort Jennings 12-5
St. John’s 9-6
Wayne Trace 14-3
–Mike Jones, Sportswriter