Good ole' Mother Nature holds the key as to whether or not the Wheeling Hospital OVAC Girls' Basketball Championship semifinals and consolation games are played tonight across the Ohio Valley.
With the forecast calling for some more heavy white stuff at just about tip-off time, things don't look good for tonight's contests, which could throw a monkey wrench into the tournament's progress.
However, should the action go on as scheduled, I'm going to try and figure out who will be wearing the gold medals when the championship finals are contested Saturday on the campus of Ohio University Eastern.
Of the five classes, Class 2-A seems to be the most intriguing as all four squads are quality teams.
Wheeling Central held off Bridgeport for the No. 1 seed and will host Clay-Battelle, which is the unknown factor in the foursome. The Maroon Knights are battle-tested and will prevail.
The other semi is probably the most intriguing game on the entire slate tonight. It pits the No. 2 seeded Bulldogs against No. 3 Shadyside at what WILL be a capacity crowd inside the John J. Havlicek Gymnasium.
Bridgeport officials said the gym holds 1,000 fans. For some strange reason, I think there will be some that get turned away at the doors. So, you'd better get their early.
As for the game, I like the Lady Dogs in a thriller.
I will also take Bridgeport to defeat Wheeling Central for the title.
In Class 4-A, Martins Ferry and Union Local will collide for the third time tonight when the No. 3 seeded Purple Riders of first-year head coach Lindsay Coyne traveling to Morristown to meet Drew Greenwood's Lady Jets in 'The Hangar.'
There will be no JV game contested. The varsity action tips at 7.
UL?and Ferry have split a pair of low-scoring games so far, with each winning on th other's home floor.
With that said, I'll take the Purple by a slim margin in the title tilt.
On the other side of the bracket, No. 1 Steubenville should have no problem with No. 4 Oak Glen.
That sets up a rubber match between Martins Ferry and the Big Red. Each team has won a game, but I'll take the Purple to prevail.
Class 3-A has a Pioneer Valley Conference flavor as all four squads reside in that conference.
Top-seeded River hosts Shenandoah, with each team winning on the other's home court.
Rick Isaly's Lady Pilots have struggled down the stretch, losing twice last week on their home boards. Look for that to change tonight. River flows to the finals.
No. 3 seeded Monroe Central takes to the road when it travels to Beverly where second-seeded Fort Frye awaits.
I'll take the Seminoles, which sets up an all-Monroe County final, which the Seminoles also win.
Class 1-A has No. 2 seed St. John Central hosting No. 3 Weirton Madonna in "The Greenhouse."
The Lady Irish of Bubba Kapral own a victory over the Blue Dons in their only meeting. I see them making it two straight tonight.
Meanwhile, in the 'Take to the Highway' game, Morgantown Trinity treks to Bowerston to meet No. 1 seed Conotton Valley.
Not knowing much about either of these squads, I'll go with the visitors.
I'll take the Green to win the Gold.
In Class 5-A, the city of Morgantown is primed for a championship game just west of St. Clairsville, but I don't see it that way.
I'm going with third-seeded Indian Creek to knock off No. 2 Morgantown. I also like No. 4 John Marshall to eliminate No. 1 University. With Bre Berryman standing tall in the middle, I'll go with the Redskins to win it all.
Sectional Tournament Draws
The post-season begins in Ohio next week and the seedings were disclosed during meetings around the Buckeye State Sunday.
In Division II?action which has been from OUE to Union Local, Buckeye Local meets Edison next Monday.
In Division III?action in Cambridge, has Bellaire meeting Fort Frye and Martins Ferry hooping with Steubenville Central on Saturday, Feb. 16. Monroe Central meets Shenandoah on Valentine's Day, with that winner meeting Union Local on Feb. 19. St. Clairsville tangles with West Muskingum the same night. At Dover, Harrison Central plays Sandy Valley Feb. 13.
In Division IV?action at UL, Shadyside meets Caldwell and St. John Central plays Barnesville on Feb. 16. Bridgeport and Beallsville square off on Feb. 18, as does River and Frontier.
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