- By Marc Pendleton Staff Writer
The Springfield High School and Catholic Central boys basketball teams were a lock to make deep runs in their respective postseasons. But Emmanuel Christian Academy? Be a believer.
Emmanuel Christian, buried in the Metro Buckeye Conference during the regular season, has done the unthinkable. The Lions will join both Springfield and Catholic Central in district finals this week.
All the Springfield-area girls basketball teams have been eliminated from the playoffs, which are at the regional level this week.
»RELATED: Girls basketball regional schedule
All the other winter sports also are winding down:
• Boys basketball is one week behind the girls, with most teams playing district finals. Those winners qualify for next week’s regionals at Xavier University’s Cintas Center (D-I) and UD Arena (Divisions II, III and IV).
• This week is the season-ending state wrestling tournament at Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center in Columbus from Thursday through Saturday.
»RELATED: Boys basketball district final schedule
• The boys and girls D-I state bowling tournaments are Friday and Saturday at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl. Mechanicsburg won the D-II boys state bowling team title last weekend. Northwestern was sixth and Graham seventh among D-II girls.
• Finally, the boys state ice hockey tournament is Friday and Saturday at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.
»RELATED: Bellbrook, Franklin girls in Round 3
Emmanuel Christian was struggling at 3-9 and was a MBC afterthought with Troy Christian (20-3), Dayton Christian (18-6) and Legacy Christian (18-6) all separating themselves from the rest of the conference. Besides, Emmanuel lugged a three-game losing streak into the postseason.
But that all changed when Emmanuel stunned No. 3 seed Franklin Monroe 70-54 in its D-IV sectional opener and backed that up with an equally impressive 61-48 defeat of No. 5 seed Tri-Village in a sectional final. The Lions converted 27 of 32 free throws and were again led by leading scorer and rebounder Adonis Davis with 16 points, Jason Channels (15) and Fred Shropshire (14).
That launches unlikely Emmanuel Christian (10-14) into a D-IV district final against Russia (15-8) of the Shelby County League at 7:30 p.m. Friday at UD Arena. Those other MBC powers? Eliminated.
Joining Emmanuel on Friday is Catholic Central (21-3), which is paired against Ripley Union-Lewis (17-8) out of a Columbus district at 5:30 p.m.
Springfield (20-4) is one of three Greater Western Ohio Conference National East teams that will play in boys basketball D-I district finals at UD Arena on Saturday. Springfield (20-4) is matched with Cincinnati Elder (14-11) of the Greater Catholic League South in the 9 p.m. nightcap. Other GWOC teams that will play are Wayne and Fairmont.
»RELATED: Revised boys D-II schedule
• Springfield senior Quincy Scott was third in the D-I indoor state track and field meet long jump (23 feet, 1.5 inches) at Spire Institute in Geneva on Saturday. Shawnee’s Jace Mitchem (12-0) matched that with a third in the combined Divisions II-III girls pole vault.
Other area high placers were junior Justin Peterman of Kenton Ridge, ninth in the boys Divisions II-III high jump (6-0) and Springfield senior Dyier Smith (8.53), who was 10th in the 60-meter high hurdles.
• Mechanicsburg senior Caleb Westfall rolled a three-game series of 681 and was second overall among D-II individuals in boys state bowling. Graham junior Tanner Monaghan (644) was fourth. Northwestern senior Taylor Edington (577) was fifth among D-II girls.