Waterford's boys cage squad will be seeking a second straight postseason upset when it tips off against the Portsmouth Sciotoville Community School Tartans in a Division IV Southeast district semifinal at the Ohio University Convocation Center at 8 p.m. tonight.
Sciotoville Community is also known as East High School.
Getting to the Convo, the seventh-seeded Wildcats (9-13) looked more like the No. 2 tournament seed than Symmes Valley (12-11) did when claiming a 57-40 sectional final decision at Meigs last Wednesday.
Photo courtesy of Pam Brooker
Waterford’s Austin Shriver, center, looks to pass in a game against Fort Frye. The Wildcats play the Tartans in a district semifinal at the OU-Convo tonight.
Especially in the second half.
With the score knotted at 25-all going into the locker room at the end of the second quarter, Tom Simms-coached Waterford outpointed Symmes Valley 32-15 after the intermission to win its first sectional championship in three years.
"It's been the talk of the week just to go to the Convo," said Waterford senior Brian Moore after the game. "That's what we all strived to do tonight.
"We played as a team, and we came through. We just got a big victory."
The 6-foot Moore led a balanced green and white scoring attack with a game-high 19 points to go along with six steals, five rebounds and three assists.
Sophomore Cody Paxton added 15 points and four caroms, and senior Austin Shriver netted 12 markers and four boards.
Aa a team, Waterford made 20 of 43 from the field, had 12 steals, and forced 24 turnovers.
The triumph was sweet payback, because a year ago, the Wildcats were eliminated from the playoffs by the lower-seeded Vikings.
Eli Strahler, Jacob McCutcheon, Tanner Pottmeyer, Tryston Crawford, Mitch Ginther, Austin Bauerbach, and Joe Pugh are also expected to see court action for the Wildcats tonight
Adam Bailey-coached and No. 3-seeded East (16-7) advanced to the Convo by virtue of its 55-46 win against the sixth-seeded Franklin Furnace Green Bobcats (8-15) in a sectional championship game at Valley High.
The Tartans of Sciotoville were paced by 6-10, 300-pound senior Patrick Bias, who had a double-double with 24 points and 18 rebounds. Justin Grager, a 6-1, 200-pound senior, chipped in with 15 markers and 11 boards.
The blue and white duo combined to make 12 of 17 shots from the floor, from mostly inside the paint.
Some other East players to keep an eye on will be Shain Siebert, Hayden Russell, Tyler Bradford, and Nick Basham. The Tartans have only one player on their roster under 6-foot.
With its height advantage in the halfcourt offensive set, East is expected to pound the ball inside against Waterford.
The Wildcats can counter that, though, with an uptempo, transition game.