News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
This Weeks Deal
The Plex
Batting-Cage Tokens at 51% off for $22
($45 Value)
This Week Only
$22
52% off
Local Business Search
Stock Summary
Dow16900.70-14.37
Nasdaq4406.4610.26
S&P 5001964.830.15
AEP54.830.03
Comcast54.26-0.095
GE26.2050.005
ITT Exelis17.120.01
LNC51.79-0.02
Navistar36.74-0.08
Raytheon92.780.68
SDI18.060.08
Verizon50.090.45

ACAC Tournament as wide open as it's ever been (with schedule)

More Information

ONLINE

For more high school basketball coverage, follow The News-Sentinel crew via Twitter at www.Twitter.com/prephoops_ns

No one a clear-cut favorite entering today's first-round games

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 10:28 am

Trying to determine the hierarchy in the Allen County Athletic Conference before the league's in-season tournament that begins today is about as hard to do as keeping track of Leo boys basketball coach Cary Cogdell's wholesale substitution patterns.

Six teams are tied atop the conference standings with 2-1 records.

Good luck figuring out which of those is best.

Leo has won three straight and has one of the best overall records in the league at 6-3. But the Lions recently lost to Garrett, which lost to Adams Central, which lost to Woodlan, which lost to … well, you get the idea.

That list of teams does not include Bluffton, which has won five of the last six ACAC Tournaments.

Those looking for competitive and unpredictable basketball will enjoy this week's event.

“Easily it is the most wide-open it's ever been,” Cogdell said. “There is not a year you can compare it to at all.

“Most years there are two or three teams (at the top), but not to the extent of what this year is.”

Arguably the best first-round matchup today is Leo (6-3) against host Woodlan (4-4).

After beginning the season 1-3, the Warriors have won three of their last four and enter the tournament with some much-needed momentum after the program's first win at Bluffton since 1996 over the weekend.

“A couple of our big, important players are football players,” Woodlan coach Dave Randall said. “Maybe it took us some time to get the football out of them.”

Jaylin Bennett has come on lately with Randall making sure that the Warriors' offense runs through the senior forward. He also believes the defensive intensity has picked up with Greg White's play inside.

The Warriors beat Leo a season ago in the tourney semifinals, an outcome both teams remember.

“A lot of (our returning) kids played in that game last year,” Randall said. “They know what can be done.”

Cogdell, whose Lions are the only other team to have won the tournament in the last six years when they were champions in 2011, believes there are positives and negatives with the immense competitiveness of this season's field.

“It makes your road more challenging. There aren't any gimmies. You have to be focused,” Cogdell said. “It can work both ways. It helps keep you more focused (each game), but the margin for error is slimmer.”

The first-round games will be held at the school sites today, with the semifinals and championship games to be held at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum later this week.

ACAC Tournament schedule

Boys

Tuesday

Heritage at Bluffton, 7:45 p.m.

Leo at Woodlan, 7:45 p.m.

Southern Wells at Adams Central, 7:45 p.m.

South Adams at Garrett, 7:45 p.m.

Thursday

At Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

Heritage/Bluffton vs. Leo/Woodlan, 6 p.m.

Southern Wells/Adams Central vs. South Adams/Garrett, 7:45 p.m.

Saturday

At Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

Championship, noon

Girls

Tuesday

Heritage at Bluffton, 6 p.m.

Leo at Woodlan, 6 p.m.

Southern Wells at Adams Central, 6 p.m.

South Adams at Garrett, 6 p.m.

Wednesday

At Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

Heritage/Bluffton vs. Leo/Woodlan, 6 p.m.

Southern Wells/Adams Central vs. South Adams/Garrett, 7:45 p.m.

Saturday

At Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

Championship, 10 a.m.