OVAC boys tourney pairings established

The brackets and pairings are set for the Wheeling Hospital OVAC Boys Basketball Championship.

The tournament, which opens Tuesday, was finalized at a meeting Wednesday morning at the OVAC office in Bellaire.

The championship games for the boys’ event will be held on Feb. 16 at Ohio University Eastern’s Health and Physical Education Center.

The top seeds for the tournament are: Bishop Donahue (1A), Steubenville Catholic Central (2A), Buckeye Trail (3A), St. Clairsville (4A) and Morgantown (5A).

The top two seeds in each class will host their semifinal games, while the teams that didn’t qualify in the top four were assigned their two consolation games by the basketball committee.

A new champion is guaranteed in four of the five classes as defending champions in all but 4A didn’t qualify for the tournament.

The only defending champion in the field is St. Clairsville, which is the top seed in 4A. The Red Devils, who are 15-2 on the season, will welcome fourth-seeded Martins Ferry.

The other game in that class pits second-seeded Steubenville against third-seeded Harrison Central.

Big Red is 14-4 on the season, while Harrison Central checked in with a 14-5 record.

In Class 1A, Bishop Donahue earned the top seed. The Bishops are 10-6 and will welcome Beallsville, which made a late charge to earn a trip into the top four. The Blue Devils, who lost in the title game last season, are 9-9.

The other semifinal finds Conotton Valley (11-6) hosting Paden City (11-5) in one of the lengthiest trips of the semifinal round.

In Class 2A, Steubenville Catholic earned the top seed after posting a 14-4 record. The Crusaders of Coach Sean Tucker will host Cameron, which edged past Shadyside, on the strength of late bonus points.

The Dragons, who are 8-6, edged out the Tigers by 16 hundredths of a point.

The other semifinal pits second-seeded Clay-Battelle (10-4) against third-seeded Wheeling Central (9-11).

The 3A field appears, on paper, to be one of the most balanced and competitive fields.

Buckeye Trail finished as the top seed with a 12-4 mark. The Warriors will welcome Monroe Central, which edged past Fort Frye after it lost to Vincent Warren on Tuesday, in the semifinal. Magnolia earned the second seed and will host River.

The Blue Eagles (11-4) lost twice to the Pilots (13-4) during the regular season.

In Class 5A, Morgantown (13-3) earned the top seed.

It’ll be a battle of Motown in the semifinals as the Mohigans welcome University (12-5). The other semifinal finds Parkersburg South (14-3) welcoming Indian Creek (13-4).

The balance of the pairings can be found on Page B4.

Staskey can be reached at sstaskey@timesleaderonline.com