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5 Things To Watch For This Week

1. Ready, Set, Draw!: High school boys basketball teams in the Southwest District gather at various sites Sunday to determine top seeds, set up potential rematches and – for some teams — stay away from the favorites to extend their season as long as they can. Nowhere might that be tougher than in the Division II sectional at Trent Arena and Butler. The super site includes Thurgood Marshall (17-1), Alter (14-3), Dunbar (15-4) — three of the top five teams in the state rankings — as well as Franklin (13-3) and Valley View (11-5).

2. Sign of the times: National championships in college football end on the field in January. They begin in high schools across the country on National Signing Day, a self-declared national holiday for high school and college football fanatics. Ohio State’s haul of area talent includes top recruits Cameron Burrows of Trotwood-Madison, Evan Lisle of Centerville and Jalin Marshall of Middletown. But the football talent from the Miami Valley certainly doesn’t end there. Seniors can sign their National Letters of Intent Wednesday through April 1. Football commands the spotlight, but it’s not the only sport where athletes can sign their NLIs. Athletes in cross country, field hockey, soccer, track and field and boys water polo can sign Wednesday through Aug. 1.

3. Dayton City League showdown: Its Thurgood Marshall vs. Dunbar, a rematch of the top two teams in last week’s Division II state poll. This one takes place 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the University of Dayton Arena. More than 4,000 people packed Trent Arena to watch Marshall beat Dunbar 81-62, snapping the Wolverines’ 37-game winning streak. Dunbar’s A.J. Harris and Marshall’s Mark Alstork and Derrick Daniels — among others – are worth the price of admission. Harris is being pursued by Ohio State, Michigan, Cincinnati, Butler, Dayton and Wright State. Alstork has interest from programs like Miami University, Wright State, Maryland, Toledo, Columbia and Yale. With his 20 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in the first game, it’s no wonder offers for the 6-foot-7 freshman Daniels are pouring in. Dayton, Wright State and Iowa have reportedly offered, while Indiana — among other schools – has reportedly shown interest.

4. Making a splash: High school swimmers and divers are set to make waves at sectional tournaments this week. Divers take to the pool Monday through Wednesday at Miami University. Swimmers compete Friday and Saturday at St. Xavier, Mason, Trotwood-Madison and the Washington Twp. Rec Center in Centerville. The fastest swimmers and top divers advance to districts next week.

5. Ice in their veins: The Dayton Demonz, who lead the Federal Hockey League by a staggering 33 points, return to Hara Arena for a three-game homestand. Dayton hosts 1000 Islands 7:35 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Danville comes in Sunday for a 4:05 p.m. game.

— Compiled by Greg Billing

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