By David Fong
MIAMI COUNTY — The winter of our discontent is nearly at an end.
Well, for sports fans anyway.
While there still may be a few weeks of winter remaining from a climate standpoint, the most exciting part of the winter sports season kicks into full gear this week with the opening of postseason tournaments for many of the winter sports. By the end of next week, all of of the winter sports — with the exception of gymnastics — will have started postseason play.
Here’s a look at the when tournament play begins for all of the winter sports:
All of Miami County’s boys basketball teams will finish up the regular season by the end of this weekend. Sectional tournament play for all teams begins Feb. 18.
Two teams to watch for heading into the postseason are Tippecanoe and Miami East, the two highest-seeeded teams in the tournament heading into to the postseason. Tippecanoe is the No. 1 seed in its Division II sectional tournament bracket, while Miami East is the No. 2 seed in its Division III sectional tournament bracket.
The girls basketball regular season finished this past weekend. No teams from Miami County were able to capture a conference championship.
The girls sectional tournament begins Thursday. One team to watch out for in the postseason is Tippecanoe, which earned the No. 1 seed in its Division II sectional tournament bracket.
The league and conference tournaments for the Greater Western Ohio Conference, Central Buckeye Conference and Southwest Buckeye League took place last weekend, with Milton-Union capturing a SWBL Buckeye Division championship.
Several teams have matches this week to close out the regular season. The postseason opens with sectional tournaments beginning Feb. 19.
In Division I, Troy will compete in the Centerville 1 sectional, while Piqua will compete in the Centerville 2 sectional. In Division II, Tippecanoe will compete in the Tippecanoe 1 sectional. In Division III, Covington, Lehman, Miami East, Milton-Union and Troy Christian all will compete at the Lehman sectional.
The Troy, Tippecanoe and Piqua boys and girls bowling teams all will be competing in Division I sectional Tournaments. The Division I boys sectional tournament will be held Feb. 17 at Poelking Lanes South, while the Division I girls sectional will be held Feb. 18, also at Poelking Lanes South.
Sectional swimming tournaments will be held this weekend. Troy will compete in the Division I sectional Friday and Saturday at Trotwood-Madison High School.
In Division II, Tippecanoe, Miami East, Troy Christian, Bethel, Lehman and Piqua will will compete Friday and Saturday, also at Trotwood-Madison High School.
Troy sophomore Joe Dutton broke his own Greater Western Ohio Conference meet record and set a new Troy High School record in the 500 free at the GWOC North Division meet recently, as both the Trojan boys and girls swimming teams placed second behind Butler at Trotwood High School.
Dutton won the 500 free in 5:05.14 and added a victory in the 200 free (1:54.86). Mitch Orozco won the 100 fly (58.3 seconds) and was third in the 200 IM (2:16.16). Tristan West was second in the 50 free (23.02 seconds) and 100 free (50.42 seconds) and Jared Liew was third in the 200 free (2:00.87) and 100 back (1:01.07). The 200 medley relay of Liew, Dutton, Orozco and West was second (1:47.85), as was the 200 free relay of Liew, Jack Armstrong, Orozco and West (1:35.33), and the 400 free relay team of Dutton, Armstrong, Jack Gates and Calvin Armstrong was third (3:52.07).
All three Troy girls relays teams placed second: the 200 free team of Caronline Pratt, Melanie Harvey, Blake Whitford and Courtney Carmack (1:56.78), the 400 free team of Katie Castenada, Maria Poggi, Annie Griffith and Harvey (4:31.1) and the 200 medley team of Carmack, Castenada, Whitford and Pratt (2:08.99). Carmack was second in the 200 free (2:15.19) and third in the 100 fly (1:07.48), Castenada was second in the 500 free (5:50.91), Harvey was third in the 50 free (29.9 seconds) and Whitford was third in the 100 free (1:06.38).
The Tippecanoe boys won the Central Buckeye Conference championship, their second straight. The 200 medley relay team of Ryan Wall, Jay Bell, Evan Stapp and Ben Jans won, setting a new CBC meet record, as Bell also set a new league record while winning the 100 free. Bell added another win in the 100 breast, Stapp won the 200 IM and 100 fly, Jans was third in the 200 free and fifth in the 500 free, Wall was second in the 100 back and fourth in the 200 IM and Mason Doll was third in the 10 fly and fourth in the 50 free.
The Red Devil girls were second in the CBC behind Bellefontaine. On the girls side, Sam Williams won the 500 free and was third in the 100 back, Arielle Arnett was second in the 200 IM and second in the 100 free, Alexis Cook was second in the 200 free and second in the 50 free and Cami Cahill was third in the 100 breast and fourth in the 100 fly.
Troy — the lone hockey team in Miami County — is scheduled to open Southwest Ohio High School Hockey League tournament action Thursday at Centerville.
Troy will begin district tournament play next week against a team that has yet to be announced.
Troy, Tippecanoe, Miami East and Piqua all will compete in the district tournament Feb. 27 at Lakota East High School. The Troy gymnastics team is one of the favorite to reach the state meet.
Contact David Fong at [email protected]; follow him on Twitter @thefong