Springfield’s turn at the Division I boys sectional tournament draw came a couple spots later than coach Isaiah Carson anticipated.
But Carson was pleased with where his Wildcats ended up on the bracket during Sunday’s draw at Centerville High School.
Fourth-seeded Springfield (13-6) plays No. 19 Butler (4-14) in the first round Feb. 20 at Trotwood High School. Butler High School is hosting the D-I, Dayton 2 sectional so the game was moved to the neutral site at Trotwood.
“I like my bracket a lot. I like our matchups,” Carson said. “We have to come out and play, of course, and take care of business but I like who we drew. … I thought we’d be a two or three (seed). I was a bit a surprised by the four. We’ll see how it plays out.”
Springfield beat Butler 79-47 on Dec. 12.
Should the seeds play out, Springfield would play No. 3 Springboro (16-4) in the sectional final.
No. 8 Tecumseh (18-3) placed itself in the D-I, Dayton I bracket against No. 6 Sidney (14-6). The first-round game is 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at Butler.
Wayne (20-0) earned the No. 1 seed in the 21-team super-sectional and was followed by No. 2 Centerville (12-8).
“We’ve been looking forward to the tournament all year long,” said Carson, who guided the Wildcats to the D-I regional final last season. “Our kids got a taste of it a year ago. They love it. There ain’t no time like March. We played a tough schedule to gear up for it. We’ve seen some good times. We’ve seen some rough ones. But we’ve learned from the rough ones and gone forward. I think we’re in a good spot right now. We just gotta keep it going.”
In D-IV, Southeastern (19-2) earned the No. 2 seed at the Troy sectional behind No. 1 Tri-Village (17-3). Southeastern plays No. 11 Miami Valley (4-14) on Feb. 20.
“I knew we could be good. Last year was up and down and I learned a lot from that experience,” second-year Southeastern coach Brian Hecker said. “Going to Tri-Village and just seeing we could compete with a team like that, I think it gave our kids a lot of confidence. It’s not a lot of what I do, it’s how well they’ve played this year.”
Southeastern lost to Tri-Village 66-62 on Nov. 28.
In other highlights from the draw:
No. 3 Shawnee (12-7) picked a tough first-round opponent with No. 1 Tippecanoe (13-7). The teams meet Feb. 20 at Springfield High School. Tipp won the first regular-season meeting 48-43 and the two teams play again Friday.
In D-III, West Liberty-Salem (18-2) earned the highest area seed at No. 4. The Tigers play No. 15 Dayton Christian (7-13) on Feb. 19 at Northmont High School.
In D-IV, No. 3 Yellow Springs (15-5) plays No. 10 Jefferson (6-11) on Feb. 20 at Troy.
At the Piqua sectional, Triad (14-6) earned the No. 3 seed and plays No. 10 Riverside (7-12) on Feb. 20 at Piqua High School.