Round 3 for SWBL girls rivals Franklin and Bellbrook

  • Marc Pendleton
  • Staff Writer
3:34 p.m Monday, March 5, 2018 Sports
Franklin girls coach John Rossi celebrates a playoff defeat of Monroe at Lebanon. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

The Bellbrook girls basketball team had Franklin’s number in the regular season, but everything changes in the postseason.

Bellbrook (18-8) and Franklin (19-6) will play for the third time in a Division II regional semifinal at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday at Springfield High School. Bellbrook handily won both regular-season Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division games, 66-36 and 52-34.

The girls basketball two-game regionals in all four divisions are this week. All regional champs advance to next week’s season-ending state final fours at Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center in Columbus.

»RELATED: Girls basketball regional schedule

All other winter sports also are winding down:

• Boys basketball is one week behind the girls, with teams playing district finals this week. 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 the Schottenstein Center from Thursday through Saturday.

• 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 and Coldwater was the D-II girls runner-up.

• Finally, the boys state ice hockey tournament is Friday and Saturday at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.

»RELATED: Boys basketball district final schedule

This is a strong girls basketball playoff statement by the SWBL rivals. It’s only the second time Franklin has ventured this deep into the postseason. The Wildcats advanced when Jordan Rodgers hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds of a triple-overtime defeat of Carroll in a marathon district final at Mason last Friday.

“It was the best feeling I’ve ever felt before,” Rodgers said. “Just knowing that that’s the shot that counted after all the 3s that I had tried to shoot that game and missed.”

»RELATED: GWOC reps fall in D-I girls district finals

Tippecanoe (24-2) will join the SWBL reps by playing Bloom-Carroll (15-10) out of the Columbus district in the 8 p.m. nightcap. The winners return at 7 p.m. Saturday to decide the D-II regional championship.

The D-III boys are up first this week with two district finals at UD Arena on Tuesday. Shelby County League co-champ Anna (21-4) takes an eight-game win streak against Cincinnati Purcell Marian of the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed Central (19-6) at 6 p.m. Cross County Conference champion Bethel (19-5) plays Cincinnati North College Hill (21-2) at 8 p.m.

Chaminade Julienne boys 62, Alter 56: The Eagles made a slim halftime lead hold up for a D-II sectional final win at UD Arena on Sunday. CJ (11-14) advances to a D-II district final against Trotwood-Madison (22-3) at 8 p.m. Thursday also at UD Arena.

It was the Eagles’ third defeat of the Knights after sweeping the regular-season GCL Co-Ed North series. Milton Gage scored 20 points to lead CJ. Jack Nauseef added 16 points and Joey Green hit three 3-pointers. Connor Bazelak led Alter (10-15) with 12 points.

»RELATED: Revised boys D-II schedule

• The GCL Co-Ed North also has divisional champ Fenwick and Carroll still alive in the boys tourney. Fenwick (17-6) will play either Thurgood Marshall (9-14) or Dunbar (17-4) in a D-II sectional final at UD Arena at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. Dunbar, ruled out of the tourney by the OHSAA for using an ineligible player, has filed an injunction for a court ruling that likely won’t be ruled upon until Wednesday morning.

»RELATED: OHSAA “puzzled” by Dunbar’s lack of action

Carroll (14-8) will play Cincinnati Hughes (20-3) in a D-II district final at UD Arena at 6 p.m. Thursday.

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