Who will take home the hardware and win a state basketball title in the state of Ohio?
Lots of good teams. Lots of good teams North, South, East, and West. In the Cincinnati area, there are four or five teams that could be considered favorites. Could Franklin, led by the reigning Mr. Basketball Luke Kennard, win a state title? Sure, they could. Could Mason, or Elder do it? Yes, they could. Can Sylvania Southview , the current top ranked team in Ohio, finish an undefeated season, and bring a title back to the Toledo area? Sure, they could.
All those teams are capable of winning a state title. There is one team however, ranked in the state’s top ten all season, that has both the talent, and has been battle tested with a brutal schedule
Huber Heights Wayne
Remember the Warriors? Last time we heard from Wayne, they were in the state football finals in Division I, falling just short in losing to St. Edward. A few of the players from that team are huge contributors to the basketball team. The Warriors may have the best starting five in the state. The are big enough, athletic enough, and have been tested enough to make them “pick” in the state of Ohio in win the Division I state title. Why the Warriors?
- 18-3 overall record. Only one of those losses was to an Ohio team in Wilmington, the state’s 4th ranked team, and only by 5 points on Wilmington’s home court
- The other two losses were to national powers. A five point loss to Montverde Academy of Florida, the #1 team in the country, and another five point loss to Sierra Canyon of California, another team ranked in the top ten nationally.
- They have some very impressive wins against national and state powers. The best win on their schedule was a 76-68 win over Findlay Prep of Nevada, when Findlay Prep was the number one team in the country. Wayne has also beaten Whitney Young out of Chicago, and posted a 22 point win over Cleveland Central Catholic, one of the better teams in the Cleveland area.
The Warriors have talent at all positions:
Ahmad Wagner…. The 6’7″ senior is actually going to the University of Iowa to play football. An extreme athlete, and currently ranked as the 7th best player in the state of Ohio by 24/7 Sports
Xeyrius Williams…. The 6’8″ senior is the inside force for the Warriors. Will attend the University of Dayton next year. Currently ranked as the 14th best player in the state of Ohio by 24/7 Sports
L’Christian Smith…. The 6’5″ freshman is one of the kids to keep and eye on. Built like a man already at over 200 pounds, he will have the choice to play either basketball of football at the next level if he stays healthy. Already has a football offer from the University of Kentucky.
Trey Landers…. The 6’5″ wing in one of the highest ranked juniors in the state. A great leaper, has offers coming in from Division I schools, the latest being Dayton.
D’Mitrick Trice…. The 6’0″ point guard was also the quarterback on the state finalist football team. He is the son of head coach Travis Trice, and the brother of Travis Trice Jr, currently playing basketball at Michigan State. A 4.0 GPA student, he already has offers from Penn, Yale, and Harvard
Roderick Caldwell…. One of the risers in the sophomore class. The 5’10” guard has range beyond the three point line, and also finish at the rim
What kind of road to the finals does Wayne have?…. The Warriors start their “Road to Columbus” on February 27th, when they take on Vandalia Butler, with the winner of that game playing Riverside Stebbins in the second round. Wayne is the top seed in the combined Dayton district. Their half of the district shouldn’t present much problem, but they could face state ranked Cincinnati Elder in the regional semi-final, and potentially Wilmington in the regional final.
Wayne is the pick to win the Division I state basketball title in Ohio