By Chris Chaney
More than half of Clermont County’s 10 girls’ high school basketball teams were sent home after the first round of play in the Southwest Ohio District’s sectional tournament, but senior-led squads like that of New Richmond, Goshen, Felicity-Franklin and Milford were able to extend their season into the second round.
The Lady Lions of New Richmond, Southern Buckeye Conference American Division champions and district tournament hopefuls, eased past interdivision rival Clermont Northeastern in the first round of the Division II sectional, 35-13, but now find themselves in the teeth of one of the area’s toughest sections.
“It’s a tough bracket, there’s not doubt about that,” New Richmond head coach Brad Hatfield said. “Clearly, the top three seeds (Wyoming, New Richmond and McNicholas) want to play against the Tecumseh (Lower) bracket in districts if they happen to make it there, so it turned into a tough bracket with a lot of teams that we don’t usually see like Wyoming and McNick.”
The Lady Lions’ second-round contest was slated for Wednesday, Feb. 19, after the publishing date for this edition of The Clermont Sun. Check swdab.org for the results and follow @ClerSunSports on Twitter for the most up-to-the-minute scores.
Similar to New Richmond, Goshen skated past first-round opponents Taylor, 46-25, to secure a date with Wyoming in the second round on Feb. 19. Again, that score was not available at deadline.
Among the other teams that were able to advance to the second round was Felicity-Franklin. The Lady Cardinals garnered a No. 2 seed in the Division IV sectional by virtue of their 14-5 record and runner-up finish in the SBC-National. A first-round cakewalk over Lockland pitted Felicity against Middletown Christian for the right to play for a sectional championship. The Lady Cards took care of business, winning 43-39 and earned themselves their second consecutive trip to the sectional finals. Felicity will play Seven Hills on Saturday, Feb. 22 at noon at Monroe High School.
Milford was also a second-round tournament team, the only one of the three Division I Clermont County squads. The Lady Eagles beat No. 22 Turpin, an Eastern Cincinnati Conference rival, 49-35 in the first round before falling to No. 6 seed Mercy in the sectional semifinal.
The Lady Eagles finished the season 14-10, an 11-win improvement on their season a year ago.
One-and-doners among the local delegation included Amelia, Batavia, Bethel-Tate, Clermont Northeastern, Glen Este and Williamsburg.
In Division I, Amelia was sent home by a tough Mount Notre Dame squad that has already tallied 16 wins on the season. The Lady Barons simply didn’t have enough firepower and lost 89-29 to end their season at 6-17.
Glen Este, the other DI team from the area, was unable to hold off Hamilton as the Big Blue ended the game on 25-14 run in the fourth quarter to beat the Lady Trojans 63-55.
In Division II, Bethel-Tate lost a hard-fought game to SBC interdivision foe Georgetown 75-70. The Lady Tigers fought back after giving up a 17-0 run in the third quarter, but timely free-throw shooting iced the game for the Lady G-Men.
Batavia, by virtue of the draw, didn’t play their first-round game until Tuesday, Feb. 18. The Lady Bulldogs, seeded No. 9 in the DII Withrow bracket, fell to No. 6 Hughes, 39-31. Batavia finished the season with an 8-15 record.
In Division III, Williamsburg was bounced by Greeneview, the No. 2 seed in the Wilmington sectional. The Lady Wildcats finished the season 0-19.
Keep up with the rest of the sectional tournament happenings by logging onto the Southwest District Athletic Board website at swdab.org.