Boys Basketball Rewind: Does Cinderella’s slipper fit? Gauging tournament sleepers (March 1)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – As Revere’s lead grew Tuesday at East Tech, so did the ninth-seeded Minutemen’s chances of an upset. Afterward, Revere coach Dean Rahas called the 57-46 victory “probably one of our biggest wins.” He has been...

Boys Basketball Rewind: Does Cinderella’s slipper fit? Gauging tournament sleepers (March 1)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – As Revere’s lead grew Tuesday at East Tech, so did the ninth-seeded Minutemen’s chances of an upset.

Afterward, Revere coach Dean Rahas called the 57-46 victory “probably one of our biggest wins.”

He has been around the program for 15 years, so Rahas has a large sample size.

The OHSAA boys basketball postseason is just a day old in Northeast Ohio. Sectional games continue Wednesday with sectional finals slated for Friday and Saturday.

Revere’s reward for winning at East Tech, the No. 4 seed in the Division II Stow District tournament, is a home game vs. No. 11 University School. The winner of that game gets a ticket to Stow and the district semifinals next week against top-seeded Benedictine or Orange.

So which teams seeded beyond the top four have a chance to make their district’s final four? Here are a few candidates. Vote for your favorite in the poll.

Which lower seed can make a deep tournament run?

Cuyahoga Heights (15-7), No. 5 at Division IV Barberton District: Many on this team played on that football squad that reached Columbus a few months ago. The Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division runners-up visit Lake Center Christian School on Friday.

Euclid (1-20), No. 10 at Division I Solon: Jonathan Harris’ Panthers just picked up their first win Friday yet are not the last seed at Solon. In fact, Euclid will host No. 11 John Adams for the right to travel Sunday to Garfield Heights to tangle with the top-seeded Bulldogs. This game will be a day later because Garfield Heights hosts a district wrestling tournament. It’s familiar ground to Euclid, which pushed the Bulldogs to overtime in their last meeting.

Fairview (17-6), No. 7 at Division II North Ridgeville: The Warriors are coming off a one-point win against Firelands. They have one of the area’s better freshman guards in Luke Howes, who scored 24 points in a one-point loss to Division III power Oberlin. They travel to fifth-seeded Padua on Saturday.

Lakewood (8-14), No. 7 at Division I Strongsville: This team is capable with a signature win late in the season at Southwestern Conference champion Avon. The Rangers provide a tough matchup with 6-9 junior Jacob Sala, a double-double and shot-blocking threat.

Madison (19-3), No. 5 at Division I Euclid: Can a 19-win team be a Cinderella candidate? When it is seeded fifth, sure. The Blue Streaks didn’t win their league, but enter against a Chardon team they beat twice — however, both games were close. What makes Madison or No. 8 Chardon a Cinderella candidate is Cleveland Heights’ recent struggles. The Tigers await in the sectional finals and have lost four of their last five.

Revere (12-11), No. 9 at Division II Stow: This team is young — Kyle Tretter is the only senior in the starting lineup — but it has 6-foot-9 junior Pete Nance. No team has a player with the shot-blocking and passing ability of Nance, whose college offers already include Florida, Purdue and Tennessee.

Richmond Heights (12-11), No. 5 at Division IV Orwell: The Spartans have a big 6-9 ace in E.J. Onu. He will test an athletic Warren JFK on Friday in the sectional finals. JFK is riding high after a win to close the regular season vs. Villa Angela-St. Joseph.

Shaw (8-14), No. 8 at Division II Ashtabula: The Cardinals won three games in the Lake Erie League, are long and athletic and have the experience of a three-point loss in January at top-seeded Lake Catholic. They go at it again Friday.

Wadsworth (16-6), No. 5 at Division I Copley: The Grizzlies are in a unique situation. If they win their first-round game Wednesday, they face third-seeded Brunswick. Wadsworth coach Michael Schmeltzer avoided a potential matchup with No. 4 Stow, a league rival that the Grizzlies beat once and nearly twice.

Warrensville Heights (9-14), No. 7 at Division III Garfield Heights: Coach Brian Swift’s Tigers have won four of five entering a sectional final Friday at No. 2 Elyria Catholic.

Wellington (15-7), No. 7 at Division III Wooster: The Dukes have a tall task Friday at third-seeded Rittman. Win that and they could face No. 1 Oberlin, which they already beat once.

Westlake (14-8), No. 7 at Division I Elyria Catholic: Coach Shawn Hood’s Demons already have two wins against Avon Lake, which they visit Wednesday night. Oh, and they also have a win against third-seeded Olmsted Falls, which waits in the wings Saturday.



Don’t forget to vote for the final Boys Basketball Player of the Week for the season. Click here to check out this week’s Game Balls.


As the postseason takes shape, here is what to watch in the sectional rounds:

North Olmsted at Berea-Midpark, Wednesday: This is one of four sectional games in the Division I Elyria Catholic District bracket. The others include top-seeded Lorain playing host to North Ridgeville, Westlake at Avon Lake and Midview at Strongsville.

Each game has its own intrigue.

Nine of the Southwestern Conference’s 10 teams are in this tournament, and North Olmsted is led by SWC MVP Josh Hufstetler in a visit to Berea-Midpark. Lorain-North Ridgeville was last year’s district final, while Westlake owns to victories against Avon Lake. Meanwhile, new Strongsville football coach Lou Cirino will be introduced on the night the Mustangs face the Middies.

Chardon at Madison, Wednesday: This Division I meeting comes five years after Madison and Chardon played the Hilltoppers’ first event after the school shooting of 2012.


Clearview at Buckeye, Friday: A Division II sectional final and matchup of division champions in the Patriot Athletic Conference, Clearview owns a 76-67 win against Buckeye but this time must visit the Bucks.


Contact sports reporter Matt Goul on Twitter (@mgoul) or email ( Or log in and leave a message below in the comments section.

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