Just like it has been all season, Anna High School again stood atop Division III — garnering 19 of 25 first-place votes — when the final Associated Press state girls basketball poll was released Tuesday.
“That’s where we started out, and that’s where we wanted to finish,” head coach Jack Billing said.
The Rockets, who won the state title last March, are hungry for a repeat and have showed it. They rolled to an undefeated (20-0) record, their third consecutive Shelby County League championship, and won by an average of 32.4 points per game.
In fact, Anna hasn’t lost in 43 straight games including playoffs, with its last defeat coming in December 2010.
Anna, which has any number of players that can star on a given night, has become such a feared squad around the state that most coaches placed their teams in brackets far away from the Rockets. Each of the other three No. 1 seeds placed themselves on the opposite side of the bracket, making it so that Anna couldn’t face any of them until the regional final.
Tonight the quest for a second successive state title begins in earnest as Anna takes on Dixie (2-17) at 6 in Tipp City.
The Rockets were joined by seven other area teams when the final state poll was unveiled.
In Division I, Springboro (19-1) and Fairmont (17-3) ranked fourth and 10th, respectively. Both teams went unbeaten in their divisions within the Greater Western Ohio Conference, but haven’t faced each other this season.
Carroll and Chaminade Julienne, which finished with identical records (18-2, 9-1 Girls Greater Cincinnati League) were rated fourth and fifth in Division II.
Madison (19-1) finished fourth in D-III, while in D-IV Triad (19-1) was ranked fourth and Marion Local (15-3) 10th.