Hoops, Mats, and “Let It Go”!!

Shots in the Darke

Get ready for some serious high school basketball this week as the state girls tournament has reached the regional stage and boys district finals are on tap. Locally, in D-IV action, Tri-Village’s Lady Patriots take to the court Thursday evening at 6:00 in the Vandalia-Butler Student Activity Center against Danville, with the winner to meet the victor of the Fort Loramie and Cincinnati Country Day game. 

Meanwhile, in the boys brackets, Tri-Village matches up with Fayetteville-Perry at UD Arena in D-IV play with a 5:00 Tuesday tip-off. The Versailles Tigers meet Georgetown in a D-III clash Saturday at noon at Fifth-Third Arena on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Good luck to all three local teams as they continue on down the tournament trail! 

Greenville’s boys ran into a possible Final Four team in D-II Kettering Alter, losing to a Knight  squad that represents some of the best in high school skills and talent. The Wave lose seven  seniors from this year’s team but Coach Bobby Jones will welcome back junior point guard  Jarrod Demange and three talented freshmen in Eric Brenner, Drew Hamilton, and EB Fall  among others so the future looks promising. 

What in the world was going on Saturday in mens college basketball? The TOP SIX ranked teams all lost, all on the road! Gonzaga, Arizona, Auburn, Purdue, Kansas, and Kentucky all went down as did ninth-ranked Texas Tech. I think it’s safe to say that the Road to the Final Four in New Orleans is wide open for almost anyone who can get hot in the next month or so.  

In the Big Ten, Wisconsin holds the lead with a 14-4 mark, followed by Purdue and Illinois at 13-5 while Ohio State, following a road loss to Maryland, checks in at 11-6. This week will be interesting as teams jockey for conference tournament seedings. Expect at least seven and most likely eight squads to participate in March Madness. 

UD’s Flyers suffered a hit to any possible at-large bid to the Dance with an unexpected loss at LaSalle Saturday. The Red and Blue will now need to win the A-10 tournament to qualify.  The Raiders of Wright State have a four-seed going into the Horizon League tourney and need to win it all as the league is most likely a one bid conference. How about the Lady Flyers winning the A-10 for the fifth time in the last six years? Coach Shauna Green has assembled a powerhouse in her six years at the helm and the team should make the Dance regardless of the A-10 tournament outcome. 

 If you didn’t make it to Memorial Hall Saturday for the Darke County Center for the Arts show featuring the Motones versus the Jerseys you missed an evening of great entertainment.  Classic hits from the ‘60s and ‘70s had the auditorium rocking all night long!! 

High school wrestling enters district level this week with D-II matches at Wilmington High  School and D-III being held at Hobart Arena in Troy. GHS wrestlers placed fourth in team scoring at the D-II Graham sectional with four grapplers qualifying for district competition. MVL champion Ben Hartzell finished 2nd at 144, Matthew Edwards 2nd at 165, Logan Thatcher 3rd at 138, and freshman Andrew Winner 4th at 285.  

Versailles won the D-III title, edging Legacy Christian by three points in claiming the Sidney Lehman sectional. The Tigers have 13 wrestlers moving on with individual champions Caleb Kaiser at 175, Brayden Keihl at 215, and Taray Tyo at 285. Second place finishers were Payton Platfoot at 132, Kale Epperly at 157, and Carson Bey at 165. Good luck again to all taking to the mat, keep those shoulders up!! 

Finally, Kathy and I just returned from Fort Wayne Sunday evening after going to see  “Disney on Ice” at the Memorial Coliseum with daughter Lauren, granddaughter Millie, 4, and  grandson Clarkson, soon to be 3. The Coliseum first opened in 1952 and has seen several phases of improvements and renovations over the years, seating up to 13,000 for basketball and over 10,000 for concerts and hockey. Can any of you recall listening to Fort Wayne Komet hockey on WOWO radio? Also, do you remember when it was the Fort Wayne Pistons before the NBA club moved to Detroit? Why the nickname Pistons? Because a General Motors plant in town made pistons for all GM engines! 

Anyhow, you haven’t lived until you hear around 5,000 pre-teens sing along with songs from “Frozen”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Moana” and other Disney hits. The Disney choreography, technology, and presentation were excellent as usual, leaving kids and adults alike entertained on a February day! Until next time, 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.

Previous Tri-Village Boys place 1st and the Girls placed 2nd at the 12th Annual Tri-Village Powerlifting Meet

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