CINCINNATI – The Ohio girls’ basketball sectional tournament schedule is set. The fun begins next week.
Area coaches held the annual draw for the sectional tournament Sunday in the four divisions as several area teams prepare for the postseason.
Greater Miami Conference powers Mason and Lakota West wouldn’t meet until the regional tournament, but there are certainly multiple storylines before any such scenario transpires.
Let’s take a closer look at the final week of the regular season and this season’s final Power 9 rankings:
1. Lakota West
Last week’s ranking: 1
This week’s schedule: At Fairfield Wednesday. Versus Middletown Saturday.
The Firebirds have won five consecutive games since a loss to Solon at the Classic in the Country in mid-January.
Junior guard Sarah Jones had 15 points and a season-high nine rebounds and eight steals in a 56-46 win at Colerain Saturday. Lakota West is on track to capture a third consecutive Greater Miami Conference title -- likely sharing this one with Mason if this week’s results go as planned. The Firebirds open the sectional tournament Feb. 18 against visiting Western Hills.
Last week’s ranking: 2
This week’s schedule: At Princeton Wednesday. Versus Sycamore Saturday.
The Comets bounced back nicely last week with wins over Lakota East and Hamilton after losses to Lakota West and Alter. It was the first time Mason lost consecutive games since January 2015.
Mason has an opportunity to capture at least a share of the GMC title for the first time since 2013 this week.
Sophomore forward Sammie Puisis still leads the GMC in scoring average (17.2 ppg.) to go along with 6.2 rebounds, 2.9 steals and 1.8 assists per game. Freshman point guard Megan Wagner leads the GMC with 4.5 assists per game. Mason plays either Mount Healthy or Amelia in a sectional semifinal Feb. 23.
Last week’s ranking: 3
This week’s schedule: At Dayton Carroll Saturday.
There may not be a more dangerous team in the city right now than McAuley, which has won eight consecutive games. The Mohawks defeated St. Ursula 65-18 Thursday, just two days after a 51-44 win over Mount Notre Dame. McAuley defeated McNicholas 62-40 Monday.
McAuley captured the Girls Greater Catholic League title outright. It’s also the second conference title in three seasons.
Senior forward Alexah Chrisman (Rice signee) leads the team in scoring and rebounding (12.6 ppg., 2.4 bpg.). Junior guard Hallie Heidemann had 18 points, six rebounds and three assists against St. Ursula. She averages 11.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.2 steals. McAuley plays the winner of Northwest and Sycamore in the sectional semifinal Feb. 22.
4. Mount Notre Dame
Last week: 4
The Cougars have won six of their past seven since returning home from the Classic in the Country in mid-January. MND defeated Centerville 60-27 Monday night. Sophomore guard Gabbie Marshall had 17 points and seven steals in a 73-37 win over visiting Thurgood Marshall Saturday. Junior forward Abby Voss had 16 points, four steals and four rebounds in a 60-48 win over Ursuline Feb. 2. If recent history is any indicator, longtime MND coach Scott Rogers will have his team ready for the tournament.
MND plays Colerain in the sectional tournament opener Feb. 18.
5. Summit Country Day
Last week: 5
This week’s schedule: Versus Cincinnati Country Day Wednesday.
Summit, which averages 61.1 points, is near the completion of an undefeated regular season and recently captured its third consecutive Miami Valley Conference Scarlet division title. Summit finished last season undefeated and it is looking good for a repeat.
Summit doesn’t have a player in the top seven of scoring average in the MVC but it does have plenty of solid contributors. Junior guard Alea Harris averages 10.6 points and 5.0 rebounds to complement junior guards Kiana Allen (10.5 ppg.) and Ravin Alexander (10.3 ppg.) among other leaders. Alexander averages 6.7 assists.
Summit plays Aiken in the opening round of the sectional tournament Feb. 16.
Last week: 7
This week’s schedule: Versus Mason Wednesday. At Hamilton Saturday.
The Vikings have won three of the past four games including a 46-31 win over Lakota East. Junior forward DeAsia Reid continues to be one of the top players in the GMC. She averages 11.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. Princeton plays Loveland in the first round of the sectional tournament Feb. 16.
7. Walnut Hills
Last week: 8
This week’s schedule: At Loveland Wednesday. Versus Kings Saturday.
Walnut Hills has won four consecutive games including a 46-44 win over Anderson. Walnut Hills sophomore Kennedi Myles averages a double-double -- 14.4 points and 11.3 rebounds. Junior Regan Anderson averages 10.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists. Walnut Hills plays the winner of Little Miami and St. Ursula Feb. 21.
Last week: 6
This week’s schedule: Idle. Completed regular season.
The Lions lost to Mount Notre Dame 60-48 Feb. 2 but bounced back two days later with a 63-21 win over Seton.
Senior guard Elle Folan averages 12.5 points, senior forward Maddie Stuhlreyer (Harvard signee) averages 11.3 points and 6.3 rebounds and sophomore forward Emma Shaffer averages 10.5 points and 8.4 rebounds. Ursuline has an interesting matchup with Talawanda (14-6) Feb. 15 in the first round of the sectional tournament.
9. Glen Este
Last week: 9
This week’s schedule: Versus Anderson Wednesday. Versus Loveland Saturday.
Glen Este has won six consecutive games since mid-January. This is a team to look for in the tournament. Several players have stepped up for Glen Este including junior guard Jasmine Hale, who averages 13.3 points and 5.2 rebounds. Sophomore guard Dakota Reeves averages 9.4 points and 2.9 rebounds. This team won’t be any easy out in the sectional tournament. Glen Este plays Seton in the first round Feb. 18.