BELLVILLE – The tournament trail is clearly marked for the Clear Fork High School boys’ and girls’ basketball teams.
Let the fun begin.
Clear Fork’s boys team, in Division III during the past two seasons, moved up into D-II this season, just in time to join a formidable 14-team Madison district.
How formidable? Suffice to say the field is stacked better than the breakfast pancakes at the V&M Restaurant on Main Street.
Eleven of the 14 teams had winning records as of last Sunday’s tournament draw. In fact, the 14 teams combined have a 140-69 record.
Clear Fork (16-4 at the draw) earned the No.-6 seed in voting by the 14 team coaches. The Colts have a bye in the first round and will play on March 2 at 6 p.m. at Bucyrus High School.
Their opponent will be either No.-2 seed Mansfield Senior (12-6) or No. 14-seed Port Clinton (2-15), who play one another on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. at Bucyrus.
Should the Colts win, they will play in the district semifinals at Madison Junior High on March 6 at 6:15 p.m.
Potential opponents in that semi-final are Norwalk (11-8), Sandusky Perkins (10-9), Sandusky (13-6) or Tiffin Columbian (3-16).
Teams in the lower half of the district bracket, with games at Willard, are Ontario (11-7), Clyde (13-6), Lexington (16-5), Galion (7-13), Vermillion (16-3), Bellevue (10-8) and Shelby (12-7).
The Clear Fork girls (7-14) are the No.-6 seed in Shelby’s 13-team Division III district field.
The Colts play Feb. 21 at Lexington against No.-7 seed Crestview at 8 p.m. Should Clear Fork win, it plays again Feb. 24 at 3 p.m. at Lexington against the winner of the Edison-New London game.
In the other half of the Lexington field, Colonel Crawford plays Wynford with the winner advancing to play top-seed Margaretta.
In the top half of the district draw, with games at Willard, Bucyrus plays Willard with the winner meeting Seneca East while Western Reserve takes on Huron with the winner meeting Galion.
The district semifinals and finals are March 1 and 3 at Shelby High School.
For statewide tournament brackets for boys and girls, visit www.ohsaa.org.