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Friday, Apr. 12, 2024

Random Thoughts: boys state tourney

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

The latest installment of Random Thoughts centers completely around the 2024 boys basketball state tournament, which was played Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the University of Dayton.

Best games

In my opinion, the best games at the state tournament were the Division IV semifinals between Lima Central Catholic and Hiland (2OT, 62-59 Hiland), the Division II semifinals between Shelby and Maysville (68-65 Maysville) and the Division I semifinals between Cleveland St. Ignatius and Delaware Hayes (54-53 St. Ignatius).

It was a heartbreaking loss for Lima Central Catholic, as Nick Wigton hit a deep trey from the left wing at the buzzer in the second overtime to give Hiland the win. As exciting as that game was, Shelby and Maysville may have been even more exciting. It was a back and forth game, but a late flurry by Maysville gave the Panthers the win. St. Ignatius and Hayes went right down the wire as well.

Trey-palooza

Over the course of 30 games this season, Maysville attempted 854 three point shots and converted 322 of them (37.7 percent). In the championship game, Maysville set an all-divisions record by hitting 14 threes, which brought the previous record of 13 shared by Upper Sandusky, Cincinnati Taft and Worthington Christian.

It’s fair to say Maysville seemed to be the fan favorite at the tournament. They were the underdogs but they were fun to watch.

Long and short

The biggest disparity in travel was the Division II semifinal game between Kettering Archbishop Alter and Youngtown Ursuline. Alter High School is less than 20 minutes from UD Arena. It took Ursuline four hours to get there.

Now, for anyone who says the championships should be in Columbus, just remember, there were plenty of years when Columbus area teams could have practically walked to St. John Arena or Value City Arena.

Biggest surprise

Speaking of Alter and Ursuline, that game was the biggest surprise at the tournament. Most people figured it would be a competitive game and on paper, it appeared Ursuline would be the favorite. Of course, games aren’t played on paper. Alter dominated the game in every way imaginable, 73-37.

Dayton vs. Columbus

Over the past week, I’ve heard and seen comments about how the state tournament should be at Ohio State. Folks, Ohio State doesn’t want to host the games anymore. Dayton does. It’s as simple as that.

Attendance

Total attendance for all championship games was 18,133, which is very low. Here is the breakdown:

Division I: 5,189
Division II: 6,257
Division III: 3,359
Division IV: 3,328

To be blunt, fans didn’t turn out for Divisions III or IV. The schools in those title games just don’t have big fan bases. If it was Hiland and Russia in the Division IV title game you can bet attendance would have nearly doubled. Division III title game attendance would have been significantly higher if Ottawa-Glandorf made it.

As always, if you have thoughts or comments on any of the above topics, feel free to email me at sports@thevwindependent.com.

POSTED: 03/26/24 at 3:46 am. FILED UNDER: Sports