By Rob Kiser
When it gets time for the sectional boys basketball tournament next February, the Piqua boys basketball team’s postseason trail will have a different look — and site.
Along with fellow GWOC North rivals Sidney and Greenville, Piqua will be dropping from Division I to Division II — and if past seasons are any indication, they will play in the Springfield sectional.
The cutoff for D-I is 388 boys — Piqua and Sidney both have 383 boys and Greenville has 354.
All of which is something Piqua will worry about when the time comes — and not any time before.
“We will still play the same teams next year during the season,” Piqua coach Heath Butler said. “Our kids are focused on the season and having as good a season as we can. It is a long regular season — and when the postseason comes, that is when we will worry about it. The kids are excited (about next season).”
With good reason.
Piqua is coming off its second straight winning season — and has already turned in a strong showing in the early stages of summer.
The Indians won the Findlay camp — going 6-0 on the final day to finish 7-3.
They also went 9-0 in the Fairmont League and are now playing in the Dayton City League.
Butler gives credit to a strong group of juniors that will be seniors next year — including Colton Bachman, Nash Black, CJ Davis, Derrick Gullett, Brady Hill and Bradley Hohlbein.
“Those guys have really done a great job,” Butler said. “I think it is (a carryover from last season’s success). We had a tough loss in the tournament to end the season, but these guys have done a great job. We have had a good summer so far and we want to continue that.”
As far as the fall sports — which along with boys and girls basketball — division breakdowns based on enrollment figures were released recently, there will be few other changes for local schools.
In volleyball, Piqua will be D-I, Miami East and Versailles will be D-III and Bradford, Covington, Houston, Lehman, Newton and Russia will all be D-IV.
In boys and girls cross country, the only change will see Versailles moving from D-III to D-II.
Piqua will be D-I, while Bradford, Covington, Houston, Lehman, Miami East, Newton and Russia will all be D-III.
In boys golf, Miami East will move from D-III to D-II, missing the D-III cutoff by just two boys.
Piqua will be D-I, Versailles will remain in D-II and Bradford, Covington, Houston, Newton, Lehman, Newton and Russia will be D-III.
In girls golf, Piqua will remain the only D-I school, while Bradford, Covington, Houston, Lehman, Miami East, Newton, Piqua, Russia and Versailles will be D-II.
In both boys and girls soccer, Piqua will be D-I, while Lehman, Miami East and Newton will be D-III.
In girls tennis, Piqua will be D-I and Lehman will be D-II.
In boys basketball, Miami East and Versailles will remain D-III, while Bradford, Covington, Houston, Lehman, Newton and Russia will be D-IV.
In girls basketball, Piqua will remain D-I, while Miami East and Versailles will be D-III.
Bradford, Covington, Houston, Lehman, Newton and Russia will all be D-IV.
And when the postseason does arrive, Butler knows the change could benefit the Indians.
“We were one of the smallest schools in Division I,” Butler said. “That could be a little intimidating. So, I think that can gives us some confidence going into the tournament.”
Which is something Piqua will get excited about when the time comes.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.