As expected, the Orange Pioneers and Olentangy Braves received high seeds and more favorable matchups at the 2012 Central District Girls Basketball tournament draw, held Sunday at Liberty High School.
Orange (17-1) received the best seed among county teams, No. 3 overall out of 43 schools in Division I, behind only Pickerington North and top-seeded Reynoldsburg. The Pioneers will open tournament play at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14 at Pickerington Central High School against No. 38-seeded Whetstone.
The winner of that game faces No. 36-seeded Walnut Ridge at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, also at Pickerington Central, and sets up a likely matchup against either eighth-seeded Central Crossing or 13th-seeded Newark in the district semifinals. If the seeding holds, Orange would play a district title game against No. 4-seeded Northland.
“I thought it was an interesting draw,” Orange coach Mary Ann Grimes said. “No real surprises. Reynoldsburg was going to be No. 1 and Pickerington North was going to be No. 2. We knew No. 3 was between Northland and us, and we knew if we were three, Northland was coming after us and, probably, if I was No. 4, I was going to after them.”
Olentangy (16-2), moving up to Division I after two years in Division II, was the No. 7 overall seed, and takes on Westland, the No. 30 seed, in the first round of play at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15 at Orange High School.
The Braves could face Hayes (9-9) in the sectional final at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21 at Orange, and a win there would set up a potential district semifinal with No. 14-seeded Hilliard Bradley, a rematch of last year’s Division II District Championship. A win in the semifinal would likely see them facing No. 1 seeded Reynoldsburg for the district title.
“I’m pretty happy with the draw, even though we had to jump in with Reynoldsburg,” Olentangy coach John Feasel said. “That’s a steep hill to climb, but even so, we’re happy with where we’re at. We just have to go out and play hard.”
Hayes, seeded 24th overall in Division I, will face No. 20-seeded Dublin Jerome at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15 at Orange High School for the chance to advance to a possible matchup with Olentangy.
Liberty (8-10) was seeded 23rd overall in Division I, and will take on No. 22-seeded Logan at 7:45 p.m. at Wednesday, Feb. 15 at Hilliard Davidson High School, with a win likely setting up a second-round matchup against No. 6-seeded Gahanna.
In Division II, Big Walnut (10-8) received and Buckeye Valley (7-12) were seeded in the middle of the pack. The Golden Eagles, the No. 12 seed, will face No. 18 seed Columbus South at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 at Hayes High School, and would potentially face No. 4 seed Brookhaven in the sectional final.
The Barons, selected the No. 15 seed, will play ninth-seeded Whitehall at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 at Pickerington North High School. A win there would more than likely pit Buckeye Valley against No. 2 seed Hartley in round two.
In Division IV, Delaware Christian (10-7) was seeded ninth out of 20 schools, and took a first round bye. The Eagles will play at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22 against No. 7-seeded Fisher Catholic at Westerville Central High School. A win would put them in the district semifinals, likely against No. 5-seeded Worthington Christian at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 29 at Westerville Central.
Village Academy (8-9), seeded 13th in Division IV, will play in the first round against No. 14-seeded Madison Christian at 7:45 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16 at Westerville Central. The winner of that game faces No. 2-seeded Shekinah Christian at 7:45 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24 at Westerville Central.
Aside from Reynoldsburg in Division I, Jonathan Alder, Africentric and Newark Catholic were elected top seeds in Divisions II, III and IV, respectively.