Saturday, March 03, 2001

Girls district basketball preview


14 area teams play for titles today

By Dave Schutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Fourteen area girls basketball teams play today for district championships.

        Xavier University's Cintas Center plays host to the Division I games, while Mason High School is the site for Division II. The Division III and IV districts are at Vandalia Butler.

        The road to the final four won't be easy, especially in Division I as three of the top 10 teams in the state remain, including top-ranked Beavercreek, No.5 Chaminade-Julienne and No.9 Mason.

        Fourth-ranked Kenton Ridge is favored in Division II and top-ranked Versailles in Division III. Third-ranked Tri-Village, No.4 Jackson Center and No.14 Southeastern are favored in Division IV.

SATURDAY GAMES
  Division I (At Xavier's Cintas Center)
  Colerain vs. St. Ursula, noon
  Mercy vs. Greenville, 1:45 p.m.
  Beavercreek vs. Fairfield, 3:30 p.m.
  Chaminade-Julienne vs. Oak Hills, 5:15 p.m.
  Mason vs. Centerville, 7 p.m.
  Division II (At Mason H.S.)
  Purcell Marian vs. Badin, 11 a.m.
  Roger Bacon vs. McNicholas, 1 p.m.
  Trotwood Madison vs. Kenton Ridge, 3 p.m.
  Dayton Dunbar vs. Kettering Alter, 5 p.m.
  Division III (At Vandalia Butler)
  Wyoming vs. Felicity, 11 a.m.
  Greeneview vs. Versailles, 12:45 p.m.
  Mariemont vs. West Liberty Salem, 2:30 p.m.
  Division IV (At Vandalia Butler)
  Mississinawa Valley vs. Russia, 4:15 p.m.
  Tri-Village vs. Southeastern, 6 p.m.
  Jackson Center vs. Cincinnati Country Day, 8 p.m.

        DIVISION I

        Colerain vs. St. Ursula: Colerain could dominated this game.

        “We don't match up well with Colerain,” St. Ursula coach Tim Ballinger said. “We have no business where we are in the tournament.”

        En route to the sectional championship, St.Ursula upset Lakota West and Seton, while Colerain had little trouble beating Winton Woods and Princeton.

        Although Ballinger expressed concern about Colerain center Quanita Hailey Katie Haggard and 3-point specialist Annie Wessel, the St. Ursula defense held Lakota West standout Cara Wright to eight points.

        St. Ursula relies on Katie Connaughton, Kristy Mahon, Kalee Grogan and Monica Naltner.

        Mercy vs. Greenville: The Bobcats bring an eight-game winning streak into the game against a quick, pressing Greenville team.

        “They come at you for 32 minutes,” Mercy coach Mary Jo Huismann said. Their guards (Heather Brown, Sarah Johnson) are very quick and the sophomore center (Brittany Runner) scores and rebounds well.”

        Mercy lost games to McNicholas, Oak Hills and Columbus Brookhaven right after several injured players returned.

        “When they came back, we were in a funk,” Huismann said. “Now we're playing pretty well.”

        As in past seasons, Mercy features a balanced scoring attack with Siobhan Zerilla contributing 12 points a game and eight rebounds a game.

        Angie Heintz, Melissa Clavier, Erin Mullen, Jennifer Winright, Laura Obert and Kim Stern also have stepped up.

        Beavercreek vs. Fairfield: Unless Fairfield freshman sensation Wanisha Smith (21.1 ppg) turns in a great performance, the No.1 Beavers could take control early.

        Undefeated in 22 games, Beavercreek is solid at every position and especially strong on the inside with 6-foot-6 sophomore center Alison Bales. Emily Williams and Tiffany Webb also are offensive threats.

        Chaminade-Julienne vs. Oak Hills: This might be the most best game of the day.

        Ranked No.5 in Ohio, C-J is known for defense, while relying on the perimeter play of junior Megan Duffy (who's heading to Notre Dame) and sophomore Brandie Hoskins for offense.

        “They swarm to the ball on defense,” Oak Hills coach Jan Wilking said. “We are bigger on the inside but they're quicker. We hope to take advantage of our size.”

        Point guard Danielle Dietrich will be one a key for Oak Hills with Michelle Holmes (6-2), Vanessa Laug (6-2) and Monica Lack (5-10) the inside threats.

        “We played well in our first two tournament games (McAuley, Mt. Notre Dame),” Wilking said. “But we'll have to play our best game to beat C-J.”

        Mason vs. Centerville: Senior point guard Kasi Perrin-Carpenter is the key player for a Centerville team that features Jenn Uptmor and Emily Hackert on the inside.

        Coach Gerry Lackey's defending Division I state champion Comets counter with Michelle Munoz and Jere' Issenmann. But, if Stacy Shull and Nicole Stein don't convert from the perimeter, it could be a close game.

        Ashley Harris and Kelly Gaughan round out the Elks starting five and Erin Reichert is first off the bench.

        DIVISION II

        Badin vs. Purcell Marian: The teams split during the regular season. Purcell Marian won at home 50-45 on Jan.4 with Badin earned revenge (35-25) on Feb. 1 at Badin.

        Cindy Overton led the Rams in their win over Kings with 17 points. Saundra Hale led Purcell Marian with 16 points in its tourney win over Goshen.

        McNicholas vs. Roger Bacon: McNicholas won both regular season games, beating the Spartans (59-43) at Roger Bacon on Jan.4 and 75-54 Feb,1 at home

        “We've been pushing the ball a lot better and everybody is getting involved,” McNicholas coach Rob Heise said. “I'm not going there (beating a team three times is tough). We just have to play the way we've played lately.”

        DIVISION III

        Wyoming vs. Felicity: Defense, quickness and balance are the keys for Wyoming in this game. Felicity is coming off an overtime win over Georgetown.

        Mariemont vs. West Liberty Salem:Ranked No. 20 in Ohio, Mariemont is a strong defensive team that must slow down a run-and-shoot West Liberty Salem team.

        Elizabeth Kauffman scored five points in the final 12.2 seconds to lead Mariemont passed North College Hill in the sectional.

        DIVISION IV

        Cincinnati Country Day vs. Jackson Center: Four of the five starters average in double figures for No.4 Jackson Center.

        Ashley Baker led CCD past Fayetteville in the sectional with 16 points.

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