The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022

Monday Mailbag: playoffs, hoops, more

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

This week’s Monday Mailbag features questions about Van Wert’s postseason chances, Lima Central Catholic, Clyde-Van Wert, Clinton-Massie, Van Wert’s basketball schedule and the Division IV all-MAC volleyball finals.

Q: Do you think Van Wert will run into any conflicts this postseason? Their offense is off the charts. Also, you keep picking Lima Centrap Catholic to lose and they’ve won , how far of a run do you think they make? Kaden Farmer

A: Hi Kaden. It’s the playoffs and anything can happen. While I know this week’s opponent, Port Clinton, is vastly improved from last year, I believe Van Wert is the favorite to win the game. A big conflict could come in the form of Clinton-Massie, a team that’s just as physical or even more physical than St. Marys Memorial, the only team to beat the Cougars this season. The Falcons knocked off No. 1 Cincinnati Wyoming 42-14 on Friday, which was a real eye opener.

As far as Lima Central Catholic, I did pick them over Crestview and they had to hang on for dear life to win that one. They seemed pretty beat up after that which was part of the reason I picked them to lose to USV in the quarterfinals. I’m surprised that they beat Edon by such a wide margin on Saturday. They play Hopewell-Loudon this Saturday, a team that finished No. 2 in the final AP poll. If they win that one, they’d likely play Marion Local or St. Henry in the semifinals, so we shall see.

Q: I thought you said Clyde would present a big challenge to Van Wert. What happened? Name withheld upon request

A: Clyde had some chances but didn’t capitalize. Van Wert stopped the Fliers on downs twice in the first half, once at the Van Wert 22 and the other at the Van Wert 25. The Cougars also intercepted a pass in the end zone, which squelched another promising drive.

In theory, had they converted those opportunities it could have been 21-21 at halftime. Instead, it was 21-0 and became 28-0 in the third quarter which forced Clyde to all but abandon the running game.

Q: What are your thoughts on Clinton-Massie’s upset of No. 1 Cincinnati Wyoming? Does this pave the way for Van Wert to make it back to the state championship game? Name withheld upon request

A: I’m not exactly surprised that Clinton-Massie won the game but I am surprised by the margin (42-14).

As far as the Cougars, first things first – Van Wert has to defeat Port Clinton on Friday and the Falcons have to defeat Cincinnati McNicholas.

Clinton-Massie presents all sorts of challenges. They run the old wishbone offense and they’re a brutally physical team. Against Wyoming, the Falcons finished with 442 yards of offense, all on the ground. They didn’t complete a single pass in the game.

Q: With Van Wert’s deep playoff run, does this mean the start of the boys basketball season will be delayed? Name withheld upon request

A: Yes. More information will come out soon but the opening weekend’s schedule of games against Crestview and Lincolnview will be postponed. Should the Cougars win on Friday, look for more games to be moved.

In addition this Friday’s girls’ season opener at Ottoville has been moved to this Saturday.

Q: I’m sure there’s a simple answer to this, but how did two teams from the same conference, New Knoxville and St. Henry, wind up playing each other in the state championship match? Name withheld upon request

A: Even though the two schools belong to the Midwest Athletic Conference and are separated by about 25 miles, they wound up in different sectional/district brackets, then different regional brackets. New Knoxville won the Elida regional and St. Henry won the regional at Clayton Northmont, sending both to the Division IV state tournament at Wright State.

They were paired up against different opponents (Monroeville and South Webster respectively) in the semis, won those matches then faced off in the state title match.

If you have a sports question or comment for the next Monday Mailbag, please email it to sports@thevwindependent.com.

POSTED: 11/15/21 at 4:53 am. FILED UNDER: Sports