by Samuel Houseworth

(2-9-22) Sam Houseworth takes a look at all four divisions in the 2022 OHSAA Boys Basketball Tournament, including ratings for every team.

COMPLETE Houseworth’s 2022 OHSAA Boys Tournament Basketball Rankings

D IV

Usually, there are one, maybe two contenders in the state’s smallest division. However, this year, any one of three teams can win it all. Some bonus points for fans, all of them are in different regionals. So, the final four in Dayton could be a true state championship, instead of watching a regional across the state to see who wins.

The depth of the five northwest districts is unreal. There’s no question that Antwerp will make a deep run in the postseason. But after that, New Bremen, Calvert, Marion Local, and Lima Perry are all talented teams who could make things difficult for the Archers. Unfortunately for fans, three of those teams are all in the Wapak district.

In Kettering, a Tri-Village vs. Botkins regional final seems like a guarantee. There are a couple of teams who could pull off a major upset, Russia, Jackson Center, and Springfield Catholic Central just to name a few. But ultimately, Tri-Village has the easier path and will face few challenges en route to Dayton.

Lucasville Valley is the northeast’s favorite to make it to state, but simply put, they ain’t winning it. That leaves Richmond Heights, Tri-Village, and Antwerp. The semifinal between the latter two is almost a coin flip. But the computers give a slight edge to Tri-Village. As for Richmond Heights, despite their less-than-appealing record, those losses came against some of the top teams in the state like Fairfield, St. Vincent-St. Mary, and Lyndhurst Brush. Richmond Heights isn’t the heavy favorite to win the state championship, but they are the heavy favorite to make it there. And when you can only pick one team, that path matters.

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D III

By far the most competitive division in the state, there are close to a dozen teams who have a realistic chance at winning it all at UD Arena this year. To top it all off, nearly every part of the state is included in that list of contenders.

Along with being the most competitive, D-III features the toughest district across all divisions in the Lima district. O-G and Wayne Trace are both state contenders who are perfect in their respective conferences so far. The slight edge goes to O-G in what should result in an easy path to the Bowling Green regional final.

In the Bowling Green regional, we could see the Lima district winner pitted against teams like Harvest Prep and Colonel Crawford, who are both state contenders. O-G has already taken down Harvest Prep in one of the most thrilling finishes this season. There’s no doubt they could do it again.

For the D-III state semi-finals, the computers are predicting O-G, Cincinnati Taft, Columbus Africentric, and Cleveland Heights Lutheran East. Any of these teams could win it all in Dayton, though Lutheran East would be the minnow of this final four. Taft would likely get the easier path to the state championship while O-G and Africentric would square off in a battle for the ages. Ultimately, O-G is as battle tested as they come, playing in an all D-II conference with one of the more challenging schedules for a school their size. O-G, by the slimmest of margins, is the favorite to win their first state title since 2013.

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D II

Plenty of fans had written off St. Vincent-St. Mary after their 0-2 start. Who can blame them? The Irish lost 2021’s Mr. Basketball and current Ohio State starter Malaki Branham. Maybe it was just a rebuilding year in Akron. However, the Irish have gone 15-1 since that ugly start and are the heavy favorites to win their 10th state championship in boys basketball.

For WBL fans, there isn’t much hope of one of their teams getting too deep into the postseason. The Ada district is almost exclusively WBL teams, but the path through the Bowling Green regional is not one that any of them have the horses to traverse.

The Vandalia regional looks especially brutal even though it is a month away. The prospect of Alter vs. Woodward in the regional final is a state championship caliber contest is any other year.
However, this year, the championship is St. Vincent-St. Mary’s to lose. Outside of the two teams from southwest Ohio, other contenders include Akron Buchtel, Waverly, and Columbus Beechcroft. But to the benefit of the Irish, they wouldn’t have to face any of these contenders until the state semi-finals.

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D I

Coming into the season, everybody and their sister had their eyes on Centerville, wondering if they could repeat despite last year being their first boys basketball state championship. All the pieces were there including the return of Florida State commit Tom House and Indiana commit Gabe Cupps. But repeating is easier said than done.

Looking at the teams that the northeast district sent into Lima Senior’s quadrant, this is a great opportunity for the Spartans to make their first state appearance since 2016. The path for Lima Senior is a cake walk all the way the district final, where they will likely face Findlay or Perrysburg. The Spartans already own a season sweep over Findlay and they had Perrysburg’s number last season.
A potential meeting with Sylvania Northview could be problematic. The NLL champion is the favorite to make it to state from the Toledo regional, with Lima Senior, Brecksville-Broadview Heights, and St. Ignatius trailing behind.

In Dayton, expect Centerville to force their way all the way to the state championship, likely facing the winner of the Columbus regional, favored by Gahanna. There, I like Centerville to win their second D-I state championship in as many years.

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