OHSAA sectional and district tourney changes outlined

The calendar is going to flip to February at the end of this week.

That means that winter sports tournaments are going to heat up soon. Actually, they got under way last week with the inaugural team wrestling tournament opening.

The basketball tournaments begin in about two weeks for girls and three weeks for boys. Swimming’s postseason opens this Saturday with sectional play and the individual wrestling tournament will open in two weeks.

The brackets for the girls’ tournament will be set one week from today around the state of Ohio.

There were no divisional changes in the winter sports because the OHSAA counts every two years, so there could be changes forthcoming next winter.

However, the Eastern District has changed some of the sites of the sectionals and districts.

IN GIRLS’ BASKETBALL, the Division II sectional has a new home. After spending the last few years at Ohio University Eastern, the site has shifted to Union Local High School.

The teams ticketed for UL are Beaver Local, Buckeye Local, Carrollton, Edison, East Liverpool, Indian Creek, Minerva, Steubenville and Tri-Valley.

Two survivors from that bracket will qualify for a one-game district at Zanesville High School against the survivors of the sectional at Tri-Valley, which finds Cambridge, Dover, John Glenn, Maysville, Meadowbrook, Morgan, Philo, River View and West Holmes battling.

The Division III tournament remains the same in all facets. Cambridge and Dover will host sectionals, while the two winners at each site will earn a trip to the district at Steubenville High School.

The change comes at the district level where Steubenville will host a twinbill on Feb. 28 instead of separate games.

In Division IV, Union Local will continue to host the sectional in the small-school division as well. Claymont will host the other bracket as it’s done in years’ past.

The district, which has been held at Indian Valley since at least the mid 90s, will move up the interstate to New Philadelphia. It will also host a doubleheader of games on Feb. 28.

IN BOYS BASKETBALL, the sites are basically the same.

The Division II boys sectional will be held at Ohio University Eastern with one team from the bracket earning a trip to Athens for the regional tournament. The other eastern district site is Zanesville.

In Division III, Meadowbrook and Claymont will host sectional tournaments with two winners from each site earning a trip to the district tournament at OUE.

In Division IV, Union Local will play host to a section as will New Philadelphia. The big change in boys occurs in this division where one team will advance to a one-game district at Meadowbrook High School on Saturday, March 9 at 1 p.m.

THE WRESTLING sectionals will once again be held at Claymont and Buckeye Local for Division II. The East and Central districts will combine for the second level of competition and will travel to Heath High School.

The Division III sites are Barnesville and a handful of Eastern District teams are dispatched to Cardington-Lincoln. The district will be held at Philo High School.

THE BOWLING tourney will begin its quest for the state tournament locally at St. Clair Lanes in St. Clairsville. The girls will roll on Feb. 9 and the boys will compete on Feb. 16.

SWIMMING will begin its quest for Canton’s Branin Natatorium at Steubenville High School. The districts will be held at Ohio State University.

Staskey can be reached at sstaskey@timesleaderonline.com