Brackets, Bases, and Bogies

Shots in the Darke

Just got home from a tough Monday morning workout with BJ Paulus at SNAP 24-7 and decided to take a look at a myriad of sporting events of interest to fans around the county.  Where to begin? Let’s start with the past weekend’s state wrestling tournament! 

Versailles’ Taran Tyo finished second in D-III, losing only to Delta’s (don’t know where that is located) Austin Kohlhofer in the 285 pound class by a 5-1 decision. Teammate Carson Bey took the podium after placing fourth at 165. Congrats to both Tiger wrestlers as well as Greenville’s Ben Hartzell who participated at 144 pounds in D-II. 

How about those Tri-Village Patriots moving on to the state D-IV semi-finals after knocking  out defending state champion Botkins in the regional finals! Josh Sagester’s team played tough defense in avenging a regular season loss to the Trojans and now look to repeat the  2015 team’s title run. Tip off is Saturday at 2:00 at UD Arena against Antwerp, a 52-31 winner in their regional contest over Tiffin Calvert. The Archers hail from Paulding County, between Fort Wayne and Defiance and from what I’ve gathered have a strong inside game. T-V is on a roll and most Darke County fans will be in attendance to support them in their quest for the trophy! The other half of the bracket has Richmond Heights matching up with Berlin Hiland from Holmes County. 

In other divisions, the Southwest region is represented this weekend by Cincinnati Taft in D III, Alter in D-II (trying to duplicate the Alter girls D-II state title of a few days ago), and  Centerville in D-I, looking to repeat as state champions and riding a 44-game winning streak. 

Girls champions crowned over the past weekend in addition to Alter were Waterford in D-IV, Cincinnati Purcell-Marian in D-III, and Reynoldsburg in D-I, defeating Mason in overtime 63-56.  Great basketball at all levels and just a short drive away at UD! 

Baseball ownership and players association reps finally got their acts together and reached an agreement so that the season will be played in full beginning April 7th, concluding the  regular season October 5th. Free agent signings will dominate the next week or so, making it  difficult to have any semblance of accurate pre-season predictions (not that most so-called  experts know anyhow!).  

As part of the five-year agreement, the DH will be used in the National League from now  forward, and in 2022 there is the possibility that the bases will be enlarged (what in the world is  going on with that? Player safety after over 150 years of the perfect dimensions for a ball diamond?), a pitch clock, and robot umpires calling balls and strikes! Good Grief!! 

 The Reds made a major move yesterday in trading starting pitcher Sonny Gray to Minnesota for the Twins first-round pick of last year, pitcher Chase Petty, an 18-year-old from New Jersey.  Gray was a stalwart performer for the Reds and the team hopes to replace him with past first round selections Hunter Greene (the Sports Illustrated cover boy of a few years ago) and Nick Lodolo. If Petty develops as expected and Greene and Lodolo are as good as advertised 

Cincy should have a strong rotation in the next few years, giving fans reason to hope. Don’t even mention Tommy John!! 

 Hey, just got my golf clubs regripped and new cleats in my golf shoes. With the Masters tournament only a few weeks away (April 7th through the 10th) it must be time to loosen up the old swing (hopefully I’ll find a new one!) and get back in action at Turtle Creek! 

 Finally, get those brackets ready as March Madness begins with the First Four at UD Arena Tuesday evening. Wright State to the Final Four? Always a great week of anticipation as we all make our best guesses as to the brackets! One final thought—can anyone tell me why UD, UC, Miami, Xavier, and Wright State don’t play each other on a regular basis? Anyhow, I like Arizona to win it all, beating Gonzaga in the title game—we shall see!! In the meantime, stay healthy and active!! 


Dr. Alex Warner | Correspondent for Darke County Now

Dr. Alex Warner / Correspondent

Alex Warner is a retired Greenville chiropractor as well as a former educator and high school coach. He has over 30 years experience in broadcasting high school sports on both radio and public access television in addition to producing over 50 episodes of the local television series “Our Town”. A man of many interests, he is naturally curious with a “gift of gab”. He currently writes the weekly sports column “Shots in the Darke” and hosts “Talk of the Town” featuring people, places, and events that make Darke County the place we choose to reside.

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