7 takeaways, predictions from the area Division I girls basketball district tournaments 2017 (poll)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The girls basketball postseason began Feb. 13 across Ohio with sectional games as part of district tournaments. Here is a preview of each Division I district tournament in the cleveland.com coverage area. Check back for information...

7 takeaways, predictions from the area Division I girls basketball district tournaments 2017 (poll)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The girls basketball postseason began Feb. 13 across Ohio with sectional games as part of district tournaments.

Here is a preview of each Division I district tournament in the cleveland.com coverage area. Check back for information about Division II on Friday, and Divisions III and IV on Monday.

Click on each district name for the updated bracket.


Teams: 1. Kent Roosevelt, 2. Stow, 3. North, 4. Austintown-Fitch, 5. Warren G. Harding, 6. Boardman, 7. Canfield, 8. Walsh Jesuit, 9. East, 10. Youngstown East, 11. Canton McKinley

Takeaways: Two regional qualifiers in one district suggests this could come down to a showdown between Stow and McKinley. Stow defeated top seeded Canfield, 56-40, for the district championship last year and followed it up winning a share of the Suburban League National Division this month with Twinsburg. McKinley joins the district after winning the Canton District last year. (Last year’s bracket)

Who will win the Akron district?

cleveland.com prediction

Canton McKinley over Stow

Both sets of Bulldogs will have their share of challenges in reaching the finals. Looking back at Stow’s schedule I can’t find where the team has had the challenge this year of stopping a scorer as prolific as sophomore Kierstan Bell. The sophomore reached 1,000 career points last week in a 62-48 win against Hathaway Brown, which suggests she is the key to this year’s success. Last year, the teams met in the regional semifinals with McKinley taking a 45-27 win. If Stow can win this district, it will because of their lineup and defense. Stow has given up an average of 35.3 ppg to opponents and its five starters have been active each averaging between 8.5 and 13 points per game.

The winner advances to the Canton regional and faces the Perry district champion.


Who will win the Canton district?

Teams: 1. Canton GlenOak, 2. North Canton Hoover, 3. Massillon Jackson, 4. Massillon Perry, 5. Massillon Washington, 6. Louisville, 7. Green, 8. Barberton, 9. Ellet, 10. Lake, 11. Garfield.

Takeaways: Canton McKinley, last year’s district champion, is now gone after moving to the Akron District. So this leaves Hoover has a favorite, but don’t forget about the 59-55 loss to GlenOak in early December. Ellet joins the group after competing in the Akron district last season. (Last year’s bracket)

cleveland.com prediction

Hoover over GlenOak

Circle your calendars because the district finals could be a third meeting between GlenOak and Hoover. Hoover lost in the finals last year and has two losses to avenge against Federal League champion GlenOak. Both losses ended in close games, so don’t be surprised if the Vikings come out with a chip on their shoulders.

The winner advances to the Canton regional and faces the Euclid district champion.


Who will win the Elyria district?

Teams: 1. Amherst, 2. Westlake, 3. Avon Lake, 4. North Ridgeville, 5. Olmsted Falls, 6. Avon, 7. North Olmsted, 8. Lorain, 9. Elyria, 10. Midview, 11. Valley Forge.

Takeaways Amherst would have the edge to reach the finals as one of the leaders in the Southwestern Conference that includes a handful of the district title contenders. The only other team in the pairings to beat the Comets was Westlake who won the district a year ago against Avon, 39-21. Amherst fell in the semifinals to Avon 53-51. in 21 games, Amherst averaged 12.1 assists highlighted by Kamyrn Dziak (9.8 ppg) and Sydney Roule (19.9 ppg) combining for 6.3.

Freshman Gina Adams (14.4 ppg and 7.8 rpg) has come on as a key contributor for Westlake coupled with Kate Pavilonis (9.2 ppg), Maddie Fleming (6.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.1 apg)  (Last year’s bracket)

cleveland.com prediction

Amherst over Olmsted Falls

Coaches have said that beating a team three times in a row is always tough, but I like Amherst against some of its familiar conference opponents. The Comets came close to winning the conference title, but dropped two games to Westlake and one to Berea-Midpark. Westlake, last year’s champion, would get my vote to win but dropped six of its last eight games to end the regular season.

However, don’t count out Olmsted Falls. The Bulldogs are assisting on 60 percent of its field goals. The team was lost in the success of its Southwestern Conference counterparts, but in the past week picked up momentum with three wins including one over conference champ Berea-Midpark. Olmsted Falls should have added motivation by avenging some earlier losses, but they still have a tough challenge. Amherst has had one of its better seasons and I refuse to believe that the girls are going to end the year falling early in the playoffs.

The winner advances to the Broadview Heights/Norwalk regional and faces the Toledo district champion.


Who will win the Euclid district?

Teams: 1. Solon, 2. Twinsburg, 3. Maple Heights, 4. Shaker Heights, 5. Bedford, 6. Aurora, 7. Nordonia, 8. John Hay, 9. Hudson, 10. John Adams, 11. John F. Kennedy

Takeaways Solon has been a dominating force in its conference and in the area this season. Twinsburg, who won a share of the Suburban League National Division title, has history against the Comets and could have a good shot of contending. Jasmine Bishop (13.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg) and Dasja Anderson (12.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg) all average double-figure scoring for Twinsburg through 21 games.

DePaul signee Dee Bekelja leads the Comets in scoring with 18.2 followed by Alexis Stover (11.3 ppg) signed to Ohio University and Valencia Myers (13.8).

Maple Heights, Bedford, John Hay and Aurora were leaders in their respective leagues, so don’t underestimate their momentum. Nordonia has an uphill battle to return to the district finals without some key players from a year ago. (Last year’s bracket)

cleveland.com prediction

Solon over Twinsburg

Solon has at least a few more consistent scorers than their opponents in the Euclid district and is playing exceptionally well. Twinsburg started out strong in their last meeting with the Comets, but were outscored 48-18 over two quarters. Solon went on to take a 67-45 win at home.

The winner advances to the Canton regional and faces the Canton district champion.


Who will win the Medina district?

Teams: 1. Berea-Midpark, 2. Wadsworth, 3. Wooster, 4. Strongsville, 5. Medina Highland, 6. North Royalton, 7. Cuyahoga Falls, 8. Brunswick, 9. Firestone, 10. Copley.

Takeaways Wadsworth, last year’s state champion, would be no surprise. However, Southwestern Conference champion Berea-Midpark has made a strong case to return to the district finals once again.

The Titans have five players averaging seven points or more, highlighted by Jada Marone (19.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 5.0 apg, 3.0 spg); Miranda Otero (9.3 ppg, 13.7 rpg) and Lexie Scarton (9.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 5.2 apg, 2.0 spg). Jasmine Kinsey (8.0 ppg) and Amaya Johnson (7.0 ppg) combine for an average of eight rebounds per game.

North Royalton senior Gabby White (21.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 3.5 spg, 1 bpg) is playing in her final season and is a talent to keep an eye out for when the Bears open at Highland on Saturday. She is signed to play at West Point.

Strongsville juniors Lindsey Thall (15 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 3.1 bpg) and Marnae Holland (14.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 3.2 spg) are all averaging in double digit scoring for the Mustangs. (Last year’s bracket)

cleveland.com prediction

Berea-Midpark over Wadsworth

The idea that last year’s state champion Wadsworth might not win the district is incredible, but that just reflects how Berea-Midpark has found more ways to win ball games. The Titans rode a long 13-game win streak since December, but the success caught up after dropping 49-47 loss to Olmsted Falls last week. Berea-Midpark should be able to get back on track for the playoffs, but every possession will surely count.

The winner advances to the Canton regional and faces the Parma district champion.


Who will win the Parma district

Teams: 1. St. Joseph Academy, 2. Magnificat, 3. Lakewood, 4. Parma, 5. Medina, 6. Normandy, 7. Rocky River, 8. Brecksville, 9. Garfield Heights, 10. Lincoln West

Takeaways: The St. Joseph Academy Jaguars have had an incredible regular season and have drawn a line separating themselves from their district opponents. Last year, 23 points separated the Jaguars from winning the district to watching Magnificat advance to regionals. The Blue Streaks ended the regular season losing seven of its last eight games. Brecksville joins the district after moving from Medina and Garfield Heights comes from Euclid. (Last year’s bracket)

cleveland.com prediction

St. Joseph over Magnificat

The Jaguars have proven they can compete with the state’s finest teams, defeating Magnificat twice this season, including a 16-point win in late January. St. Joseph Academy has multiple players who can score consistently. Senior guard Claire Orsagos leads the Jaguars in assists with three per game. Colleen Neitzel leads in scoring with 11 ppg.

Sara Spicer (13.2 ppg), Colleen Woidke (9.9 ppg) and Abby Adler (8.9 ppg) are the top three scorers for Magnificat.

The winner advances to the Broadview Heights/Norwalk regional and faces the Medina district champion.


Who will win the Perry district?

Teams: 1. Mentor, 2. Brush, 3. Euclid, 4. Eastlake North, 5. Chardon, 6. Cleveland Heights, 7. Kenston, 8. Mayfield, 9. Shaw, 10. Madison, 11. Riverside, 12. Willoughby South

Takeaways: There's several possible contenders here. Take for example last year’s finalists Euclid and Mentor, which split their head-to-head meetings by a single point. Then, Western Reserve Conference opponents Chardon, Eastlake North and champion Brush have all had a shot at each other.

Chardon has put together a balance with six players led by sophomore Sydney Feller (12.5 ppg) shooting 40 percent from the 3-point arc, and Grace Bradley (10 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.2 spg, 3 apg).

Eastlake North junior Samantha Pirosko (18.4 ppg, 10.5 rpg) and freshman Destiny Leo freshman (13.7 pts, 5.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.8 blocks, 1.7 steals) are two players to watch.

Euclid should have motivation after a disappointing 58-40 loss to eventual state semifinalist Solon in regionals.

Keep a look out for WRC champion Brush. Former Richmond Heights coach Demarris Winters, now with Brush, led his former team to the district finals in back-to-back seasons, so he knows the way. He is supported by the help of Arielle Debase (15 ppg), Danea Sanders (12 ppg) and Jenna Perry (12 ppg). (Last year’s bracket)

cleveland.com prediction

Mentor over Euclid/Brush

Mentor needs to redress some painful district losses from the past two years. The Cardinals were upset by Shaw two years ago and then last year in the finals to Euclid after earning the top seed. Nicole Heffington (14.8 ppg), Maddy Moyer (15.8) and Gianna Pegoraro (8 ppg) have given coach Steve Thompson consistent offense. But if the team doesn’t shoot well the title could go to Brush or Euclid. Both teams are physical and can defend the 3-point line.

The winner advances to the Canton regional and faces the Akron district champion.

Reporter’s note: Stats through games played through Feb. 14

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