By CODY LEIST
PDT Sports Writer
The 2012 OHSAA statewide boys basketball brackets were created and released Sunday, a week before the tournament starts.
In the Southeast District, Notre Dame is the only area team to receive a top seed. In Division IV, the Titans will have a 12-day layoff from Friday’s regular season finale to their first tournament game.
On Feb. 29, Notre Dame will take on the winner of the Feb. 21 game between No. 8 Green and No. 9 Clay. Both games are at 6:15 p.m. and will take place at Valley.
“For the kids to bounce back (from last season’s 9-13 outcome) and be at 16-2…it’s a tribute to the kids and to how hard they’ve worked,” Titans coach Matt Mader said. “After this weekend we’ll sit down and figure out what we’re going to do with 12 days off.”
Among those who have No. 2 seeds are Waverly (Division II), Portsmouth and Peebles (Division III), South Webster and Beaver Eastern (Division IV). Three other games will feature two area teams playing each other in the first round.
The first game is No. 6 Oak Hill facing No. 11 West. That Division III contest will be 8 p.m. next Tuesday at Jackson with the winner taking on No. 3 Ironton in an 8 p.m. game next Saturday.
No. 4 Valley and No. 5 Minford will face each other twice in a span of 10 days. After tonight’s rescheduled game, the Indians and Falcons will see each other again in an 8:30 p.m. game next Friday at Jackson.
Finally, No. 3 New Boston against No. 6 East for a second time in 10 days as well. The Division IV tournament game will be at 8 p.m. Feb. 28 at Valley, with the winner punching a ticket to the Division IV Southeast District Tournament.
There could be more opportunities for area teams to face each other early in the postseason. The Trojans could see Wheelersburg for a second time this season and third in a span of 11 months.
The Pirates, a 10 seed, will see No. 7 Coal Grove at 6:15 next Tuesday at Jackson.
The Jeeps could see No. 10 Western if the Indians defeat no. 7 Whiteoak next Tuesday. The Western-Whiteoak game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. at Valley.
South Webster will face Valley next Monday in a regular season game after the contest was postponed last Friday because of weather concerns. After the game, the Jeeps tournament road will start with an 8 p.m. game Feb. 29 at Valley.
The boys tournament kicks off Monday when No. 9 Northwest and No. 8 Paint Valley battle at Waverly in a Division III Southeast Sectional Semifinal. The opening tip is slated for 7 p.m.
There will be a battle of the Eastern Eagles at 6:15 p.m. Feb. 29. Beaver Eastern and no. 7 Reedsville Eastern will tussle at Meigs in a Division IV Sectional Championship.
As the only Division II team, the No. 2 Waverly Tigers will take on the winner of No. 7 Washington Court House Miami Trace and No. 10 Greenfield McClain. The game will be an 8 p.m. tip Saturday at Chillicothe Southeastern High School with the winner advancing to the districts.
In Division III, Peebles plays a 5 p.m. Saturday game at Waverly against the winner of No. 7 Westfall and No. 10 Adena. As a three seed, Piketon follows that game against the winner of No. 6 Lynchburg-Clay and No. 11 West Union.
Lastly, No. 6 Symmes Valley will play No. 3 Waterford at 8 p.m. Feb. 28 at Meigs. The 2012 Boys Southeast District Tournament for Divisions II, III and IV will be Feb. 29-Mar. 10 at Ohio University’s Convocation Center.
Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 242, or email@example.com.