Author: Rob Ellis

Week 1 Power Rankings Breakdown

Dayton, Ohio — This week will mark another new season for high school basketball in the Dayton area. Dayton crowned two state champions last year as Botkins and Centerville both won their first state titles in school history.

This article will break down the Preseason Power Rankings that were released yesterday across our social media platforms. These rankings will be released on a weekly basis throughout the season.

D1

1)Centerville | 0-0 (0-0, GWOC) |

It’ll come as a shock to no one that Centerville comes in at number one in our D1 power rankings. The Elks return their D1 trio of Indiana commit Gabe Cupps, Florida State commit Tom House, and Rich Rolf who just recently announced he would be reopening his recruiting process. The Elks return one of the best teams in the state and are nationally ranked to begin the season. They will face a gauntlet of a schedule as they face five prep schools and other Ohio powerhouses like Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary and Moeller. With the majority of their state championship roster returning, it should be another dominant year for the Elks.

Centerville junior Gabe Cupps

2)Franklin | 0-0 (0-0, SWBL) |

Some might be surprised to see Franklin this high up, but there are no surprises with the talent the Wildcats have returning. The duo of Nate Paarlberg and Noah Rich mixed with the three point shooting from Isaiah Bales will be overpowering in the SWBL this year. The Wildcats have also compiled a solid out-of-conference schedule as they’ll face Lakota West, Butler, Belmont, Lebanon, Greeneview, Edgewood, Thurgood Marshall, and Springboro all this season. The culture that Coach Bales has instilled and the obvious chemistry this team has will make for another great year as Franklin went 20-2 (12-0, SWBL) last season.

Franklin senior Nate Paarlberg

3)Beavercreek | 0-0 (0-0, GWOC) |

Led by the duo of Adam Duvall and Gabe Phillips, Beavercreek will have a chance to do something special this season. The Beavers went 7-15 last year in the regular season and finished 6th in the GWOC. Despite all that, ‘Creek made it all the way to the District Semifinal’s before falling to the eventual state champion Centerville Elks. Beavercreek had multiple players step up last year as Kyle Putnam made a big leap and was one of the key contributors by the end of the season. They return a solid cast of role players that gained crucial varsity experience last year as this Beavercreek team should make some noise in the GWOC this season.

Beavercreek senior Adam Duvall

4)Fairmont | 0-0 (0-0, GWOC) |

Due to COVID, Fairmont was only able to play 14 games last season. Heading into Kenny Molz’s third year at Fairmont, this group has really started to come together. Led by the duo of Anthony Johnson and Dasan Doucet, Fairmont returns a lot of their team from last year as Jamison Rountree, Cadyn Hower, and Eli Sherwood should all be big varsity contributors this season. The Firebirds will open up at the Benner Field House Classic on Friday when they battle Westland on Friday.

Fairmont senior Anthony Johnson

5)Wayne | 0-0 (0-0, GWOC) |

Wayne graduated Malcolm Curry, Cam Fancher and the GWOC player of the year Prophet Johnson. Big man Elijah Brown will also not be playing this season as he’s committed to play football in the fall for Alabama. The Warriors will lean on junior 4-star Lawrent Rice who has been highly talked about since his freshman season. This will be Rice’s first chance to truly be the face of the team. Notre Dame football commit Aamil Wagner will be returning and Miami (OH) football commit Adam Trick will also be joining the team to help bring some more size to Wayne.

Wayne junior Lawrent Rice

OTHERS: Miamisburg, Northmont

D2

1)Alter | 0-0 (0-0, GCL Co-Ed) |

The Alter Knights will return one of the more talented squads in the Dayton area this season. Headlined by Marshall commit Jacob Conner and the talented guard tandem of Ryan Chew, A.J. Leen, Anthony Ruffolo, and Gavin Geisel. Most of those players were able to gain valuable playing time and experience last year as only Chew and Conner had seen meaningful varsity minutes before last season due to the talented team Alter had in 2020. The Knights will be kicking off their season at Mason as they take on Homestead (IN) at the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic.

Alter senior Jacob Conner

2)Dunbar | 0-0 (0-0, DCL) |

Tony Dixon flipped the culture at Dunbar last season and the Wolverines will look to take another step forward heading into Dixon’s second season. A tough postseason loss to Carroll ended the Wolverines season but they return a good group of players. Brothers Antaune Allen and Antone Allen will be paired with Darian Leslie as Dunbar will look to repeat as City League champions and make a deep run into the postseason this year.

Dunbar junior Antaune Allen

3)Chaminade Julienne | 0-0 (0-0, GCL Co-Ed) |

After Jonathan Powell entered the starting lineup for C-J, their whole season tuned around. Powell is now regarded as one of the top sophomores in the state as he just recently picked up an offer from the University of Dayton. Despite losing Dan Nauseef and A.J. Solomon from their state semi-final bound team from a year ago, this well coached Eagles squad should still be one of the top teams in Division II in Southwest Ohio this year.

Chaminade Julienne sophomore Jonathan Powell

4)Oakwood | 0-0 (0-0, SWBL) |

Oakwood narrowly fell to Trotwood in the postseason last year but although that ended the Lumberjacks season, it showed a lot of hope for this upcoming year. Junior Will Maxwell and senior Keon Wright will be a deadly duo as they head into their second season playing together. Jack Epley will also be a key player heading into this season as he was locked in from three last season. Oakwood will open up against Edgewood on Saturday. They will play Alter in early December and Franklin twice later in the season.

Oakwood junior Will Maxwell

5)Trotwood-Madison | 0-0 |

Senior transfer Anthony McComb was nothing short of spectacular during his lone season for the Trotwood-Madison Rams last year. Losing him will also lose a majority of Trotwood’s offensive production from last season. Trotwood’s team will be young this year but they will still have a lot of talent. Sophomore’s Will Yates, Tim Carptener and Delamarr Blanton should all have big seasons this year as this core group will be a scary sight throughout the next couple of seasons.

Trotwood-Madison sophomore Tim Carpenter

OTHERS: Tippecanoe

D3

1)Versailles | 0-0 (0-0, MAC) |

After finishing 7th in the MAC and going 8-14 in the regular season, Versailles made a very impressive postseason run. Led by junior Jaydon Litten, the Tigers won a district title and made it all the way to the Regional Semi’s before falling to Shawnee. Versailles will return Litten along with Connor Stonebraker who should have a big junior season for the Tigers as well. They will have a delay on their season as the Versailles football team is still alive in the OHSAA football playoffs. They play on Saturday with a trip to the state final on the line.

Versailles senior Jaydon Litten

2)Preble Shawnee | 0-0 (0-0, WOAC) |

After a dominant freshman season where he averaged 22.5 PPG, sophomore Mason Shrout will look to take another step forward moving into the WOAC. Preble Shawnee did graduate their top big man in Bryce Singleton, but a new coaching staff will look to lead Preble Shawnee to the top of the WOAC this year. Shrout will look to reach new heights this season as the Arrows take their talents to a new conference in 2022. They’ll have their season delayed due to the success of their football team as they’ll open up their year against Stivers on December 7th.

Preble Shawnee sophomore Mason Shrout

3)Springfield Shawnee | 0-0 (0-0, CBC) |

Springfield Shawnee had a historic year last season as they won their first district title in 44 years. They did graduate Jamon Miller and Drew Mitch who had big seasons. Despite that, the Braves will look to add onto that success as they return junior Zion Crowe and R.J. Griffin who were both big parts of their run last year. They’ll have a solid test early on as they’ll face a D-I opponent in Butler to open their season.

Springfield Shawnee junior Zion Crowe

4)Stivers | 0-0 (0-0, DCL) |

Stivers came into last season with a lot of uncertainties after losing a majority of their back-to-back district champion team. But coming into this year, the Tigers have found their identity and look to make a run this upcoming season. Brendan Crump will be one of the top players in the City League this year and could even have a shot at winning player of the year in the City League. Kyng Aidoo is an extremely athletic player that this team can rely on and Kam Baxter-Bell will look to take another step forward heading into his junior season. Stivers will open up the year with a big time matchup against Trotwood.

Stivers senior Brendan Crump

5)Anna | 0-0 (0-0, SCAL) |

Despite losing star players year after year, Anna has still been able to sustain their success very well. Following the departure of Bart Bixler, the Rockets were still able to capture a District Title last season. McKane Finkenbine will be the face of this team in 2022. The guard has lethal range and showed that all throughout last season. The Rockets will be a top team in an always competitive Shelby County League. They will open up at New Knoxville on Friday to begin their new season.

Anna senior McKane Finkenbine

OTHERS: Arcanum

D4

1) Tri-Village | 0-0 (0-0, WOAC) |

Josh Sagester has coached a lot of talented teams over the years, but this Tri-Village team might be the deepest team he’s had. The Patriots didn’t graduate a single person from their 22-0 regular season last year. They return the reigning CCC player of the year in Layne Sarver and who will be paired with Josh Scantland, Wilson Suggs, and Dalton DeLong. Tri-Village will also play one of the toughest schedules a D4 can schedule. They will open up versus the largest public school in Ohio as they battle Mason. They will also face Badin, Botkins, Waynesville, Meadowdale, Cincinnati Christian and Fort Recovery. With all this talent, the Patriots should have one of their best seasons in recent memory.

Tri-Village senior Layne Sarver

2) Botkins | 0-0 (0-0, SCAL) |

After a state title run that captivated the small town of Botkins, the Trojans will look to get back to work with a big test against Jackson Center to open the season. They will have a new head coach after Sean Powell departed for Lima Bath after the great job he did rebuilding this program. The new head coach will be Phil Groves who was the former girls basketball coach at Botkins. Returning a solid team with Jacob Pleiman, Carter Pleiman, Jameson Meyer, and others, Botkins should be a top contender for the SCAL title this season.

Botkins senior Jacob Pleiman

3)Jackson Center | 0-0 (0-0, SCAL) |

Jackson Center’s last SCAL title came back in 2013. The Tigers graduate two-time SCAL player of the year in Aidan Reichert. Reichert was also a three time all-first team player and was the face of this team the past couple of seasons. Despite that, Jackson Center returns a well-coached and balanced team that can shoot the ball extremely well. Kellen Reichert, Carson Regula, They’ll have a tough test right off the bat as they travel to Botkins for a big time SCAL showdown against the defending state champs.

Jackson Center senior Carson Regula

4)Catholic Central | 0-0 (0-0, OHC) |

Springfield Catholic Central came up just short of an OHC South title last year and they’ll look to reach that point this season. The Irish will bring back one of the more talented teams in the OHC this year as they have building for this season for some time now. Juniors Tyler Galluch and Cole Ray along with seniors Ashton Young and Ian Galluch will be the leaders on this team as they return a very talented group in 2021. The Irish play Kenton Ridge on the road to open the year and they’ll have Springfield and Anna later in the season to wrap up a solid out-of-conference schedule.

Catholic Central junior Tyler Galluch

5)Fort Loramie | 0-0 (0-0, SCAL) |

Fort Loramie is another SCAL team that graduated a good amount of talent last season but will still bring back a competitive squad into 2022. The Redskins came up just short to the eventual state champion Botkins Trojans in the District Semifinal’s last year. They will return their second leading scorer in Caleb Maurer who looks to have a big junior year. But they will be without all-SCAL first team selection and their leading scorer from a year ago in Caeleb Meyer. Fort Loramie will start off the year at home against Russia on Friday night.

Fort Loramie junior Caleb Maurer

OTHERS: New Bremen, Troy Christian