ECC Teams' State Playoff Predictions
As ECC conference play comes to a close, eight of ten conference teams are still in contention for the OHSAA playoffs. The current ECC standings are as follows: Milford 9-0 (8-0), Anderson 8-1 (7-1), Winton Woods 7-2 (6-2), Loveland 5-4 (5-3), Lebanon 6-3 (5-3), Kings 5-4 (4-4), West Clermont 3-6 (3-5), Turpin 3-6 (2-6), Little Miami 0-9 (0-8), Walnut Hills 0-9 (0-8). Little Miami and Walnut Hills are no longer in contention for the playoffs and Turpin is on the bubble, and a win would likely be just enough to make the bracket.
The ECC has three Division I teams in contention: Milford, Lebanon, and West Clermont. Milford is the current one seed in the ECC as well as the one seed in Region 4. Lebanon would be as high as the four seed with a win, and as low as the nine seed with a loss. West Clermont controls its own destiny. With a win they lock in a playoff spot. With a loss they would need a Lakota East loss to clinch the sixteen seed.
Milford should be able to cruise past West Clermont in round one, especially considering Milford just recently dominated West Clermont 27-0. As for Lebanon, I expect their playoff hopes to be short lasting. I think Sycamore is able to go on the road and upset the Warriors. Milford would end up playing Sycamore in the next round where I expect another dominant win at home advancing them to the Regional Semi-Finals against St Xavier. I think this is the first real test Milford faces but I expect a close game in which Milford defends its home field and wins to advance to the Regional Finals. This is where I expect their road to end and Princeton to advance to the State Semi-Finals.
In Division II, the ECC teams vying for a playoff spot are: Anderson, Winton Woods, Loveland, Kings, and Turpin. Anderson will likely end up with the one seed. All they need is a win over Kings which shouldn’t be too much to ask of the Raptors. Winton Woods will end up with the five seed assuming they are able to take down Lebanon. Loveland will likely lock up the seven seed with a win over West Clermont. Kings currently sits at the nine seed, and as much as I expect them to lose, I don’t expect them to drop below the ninth seed as the teams below them will likely lose their ma
tchups as well. Turpin is sitting right on the bubble as the current sixteen seed. All the Spartans need to make the tournament is a win over Milford, which would take nothing short of a miracle, or a Talawanda loss.
With five of the six division two teams moving on, I expect Anderson to rout Turpin at home, I expect Winton Woods to beat La Salle, Loveland to beat Xenia, and Kings to beat Lima Senior. In round two, I expect an Anderson win over Kings, Winton Woods to upset Northmont, and for Loveland to fall short against Withrow. Moving on, I expect Anderson’s run to end in their rematch against Winton Woods. In the Regional Finals, I expect Winton Woods to have their improbable run ended by the Withrow Tigers.