(3-29-20) Last week the OHSAA cancelled the Boys High School State Basketball Championships, with that 8 teams in each division will end the season without a loss, but they were not able to finish their journey to Columbus.
It is the first time in OHSAA since state championships started in 1923 that they were not completed or crowned champions in the history of the association.
So how will the 2020 season be remembered in the OHSAA record books? With an * asterisk that says ‘tourney not completed due to coronavirus‘. How about listing the Final 8 teams and giving them some form of special credit for what they have accomplished and what they had to give up due to the pandemic.
All 8 schools should be proud of their accomplishments during this tournament run, you did something special that you will remember the rest of your life. Congratulations.
The ‘What Ifs’…..
Taking a look at the D IV Final 8, four of the teams were ranked in the final poll.
That included #1 and undefeated Columbus Grove, #5 Lucas, #7 Richmond Heights and #8 Berlin Hiland. The remaining four were not ranked or received any points in the final poll, Parkway, Jackson Center, Columbus Wellington and Grandview Heights.
Three of the four ranked teams were in the bottom of the Regional Final brackets…. Columbus Grove, Richmond Heights and Lucas…while Parkway was the only non-ranked team.
#8 Berlin Hiland, who has been to Columbus numerous times, is the only ranked team in the top bracket.
Who would have won those Regional Finals? Would there have been upsets? How did the 8 remaining schools match-up? Who would move on and who would win the State title? That is the most frustrating part of all of this in 2020 and we will never know.
This story was posted before it was announced that tournament games had been postponed –
For Parkway the season ended just one game away from reaching their first ever Final Four in Columbus, the Regional Final is the farthest the program has moved in the tournament since the school was formed from consolidation back in the 1960’s.
Parkway and Shelby County neighbor Jackson Center both had this in common…neither team won their conference title this season, but both schools were headed to a Regional Final.
Another Mercer County connection in the tournament is Grandview Heights. A member of that team is Luke Lachey, the son of Ohio State and St. Henry star Jim, a key member of this squad. Grandview Heights according to OHSAA records has made it to Columbus just once before back in 1998.
For Berlin Hiland, the disappointment of cancelled tournament games was two-fold as their girls team was also scheduled to play in the D IV State Semifinals.
A last minute win by Wellington over Ft. Loramie, the excitement of a big win to advance…only never getting a chance to play again. Shelby County fans were hoping for a match-up game with Ft. Loramie and Jackson Center, but that did not happen with Wellington’s comeback win over the Redskins. Those are the things that make high school basketball special.
One thing that all 8 teams have in common is the disappointment of not being able to play that ‘next game’ or to be that one team that wins a D IV State title. Not just coaches and team members…but family, friends and fans of those teams also suffer that disappointment. You dream of playing and winning a state title, but not this year.
The ‘what ifs’ will be talked about for years to come. Let’s hope it never happens again.