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Saturday's High School Basketball Tournament Preview


7:30 p.m. today at WSU Nutter Center


Key to Fairmont beating Centerville 69-62 on Sat., Dec. 22:

Tied 32-32 in the third quarter, Chelsea Welch scored seven straight points as part of a 9-0 that put Fairmont up for good. The Elks came within 61-57 with 57 seconds to go, but six Fairmont free throws in the final 42 seconds ws the difference.

Key to Centerville beating Fairmont 54-48 on Wed., Jan. 23:

Still nursing an elbow injury suffered two weeks ago, wearing a brace and about “80 percent,” Alex Henning was held scoreless in the second half until making a lay-up and ensuing free throw on a designed play with 1:10 to go to give Centerville the lead for good 49-48. She hit four additional free throws in the final 35 seconds and ended with 16 points.

Fairmont’s point of pride: It doesn’t get any better than Firebirds girls hoop. Fairmont has been to the state final four the past three seasons. The Firebirds have been defeated in the state title game the last two years, falling both times to Twinsburg. Guess what Fairmont’s mission is for finishing this season?

Centerville’s point of pride: Elks tied Fairmont for the GWOC Central Division title, their first since 2007. Their defeat of Fairmont snapped a 37-game GWOC win streak by the Firebirds that dated to February 2009. Football is king at Centerville, but the Elks girls hoop team is hoping to one-up the guys by winning a state title.


Anna (23-4) vs. Madison (25-2), 1:30 p.m.

Notable: The Rockets bounced Miami East 62-52 in a state-final worthy showdown in the semis. The Braves dodged Fayetteville-Perry 67-58 in their semi. The winner gets the Beachwood-Orrville winner out of the Cuyahoga Falls regional in Thursday’s 3 p.m. state semifinal at OSU’s Schottenstein Center. Current history favors Anna; it’s played in two straight state finals, winning in 2011.


Fort Loramie (24-3) vs. Tri-Village (25-2), 7:30 p.m.

Notable: Loramie, out of the SCL, out-lasted Marion Local 71-66 in its regional semi. Tri-Village dodged Mechanicsburg 47-44. Village finally broke through Loramie’s hold on the regional with a 69-48 defeat in the 2012 final. The Redskins beat the Patriots in the 2010 and ’11 regional finals. The winner plays the Elida regional winner between Arcadia/Ottoville in Friday’s 3 p.m. state semis at the Schott.


Division I at UD Arena

Winners to Wednesday’s regional semis at Xavier’s Cintas Center

Centerville (15-10) vs. Walnut Hills (24-1), 1 p.m.

Notable: The Elks get the GWOC’s most-improved award. They’ve won seven straight and have fully recovered from a 6-7 start. But they’re up against it against the Eagles, and more specifically 6-9 senior Isaiah Johnson ( 17.6 ppg, 9.2 rpg). Hills’ only loss is to mighty Huntington Prep (W.Va.) way back on Dec. 15.

Wayne (21-4) vs. Cin. La Salle (18-7), 3 p.m.

Notable: The young Warriors have won seven of eight. Half of their setbacks are to Prime Prep (Texas) and Evansille (Ind.) Harrison. Don’t be fooled by La Salle’s GCL South’s record. The Lancers were 9-7 before reeling off nine straight wins. Jeff Larkin, a 5-11 junior, averages 17.0 points.

Springboro (21-4) vs. Cin. Moeller (23-2), 9 p.m.

Notable: Maverick Morgan, Boro’s 6-11 senior center who’s headed to Illinois, dumped 28 points and 10 rebounds in a 72-51 sectional final wipeout of Northmont. The Panthers will need more of the same vs. Moeller, which has won three state titles since 1999. Senior Josh Davenport , 6-3, averages 13.1 ppg and is the GCL South POY.

Also: Colerain (11-13) plays Cin. Withrow (20-4) at 7 p.m.

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