SBLive’s Top 25 in Ohio high school boys basketball: Columbus area dominates the rankings

In our preseason boys basketball Top 25, Columbus-area schools dominate the rankings.

Eleven schools from the 614 are featured in our initial ranking of the top teams in the Buckeye State, with four in the top 10. However, Columbus was shut out from all division state titles last season despite being represented in three of the four title games.

With plenty of Thanksgiving tournaments and long road trips in the early going, the top teams from Columbus will have ample opportunities to make their mark on the 2021-22 season. The big question is: When it comes time to get it done in Dayton, will any of them step up to the challenge?

Pictured above is Westerville South (photo by Ben Jordan-Downs), which opens its season today against Northland.

SBLIVE’S OHIO TOP 25

1. St. Vincent-St. Mary, Akron

Last season: 25-2, D-II State Champion, def. Cols. St. Francis deSales 72-50 in state championship.

Opening night: Saturday at Pickerington North (All Ohio Showcase)

2. Archbishop Moeller, Cincinnati

Last season: 20-5, D-I Regional Runner-Up, def. St. Xavier 72-69 in regional semifinal, lost to Centerville 40-38 in regional final.

Opening night: Saturday at Walnut Hills

3. Mentor

Last season: 25-1, D-I Regional Champion, def. Medina 65-55 in regional final, lost to Centerville 63-49 in state semifinal.

Opening night: Saturday at Lima Senior

4. Gahanna-Lincoln

Last season: 22-3, D-I Regional Runner-Up, def. Olentangy Liberty 47-39 in regional semifinal, lost to Westerville Central 45-44 in regional final.

Opening night: Today vs. Westerville North

5. Hilliard Bradley

Last season: 17-5, D-I District Champion, def. Pickerington Central 46-37 in district final, lost to Westerville Central 56-44 in regional semifinal.

Opening night: Saturday at Mason (Ohio Valley Classic)

6. St. Xavier, Cincinnati

Last season: 19-3, D-I District Champion, def. Wayne 81-65 in district final, lost to Moeller 72-69 in regional semifinal.

Opening night: Friday vs. Olentangy Liberty

7. Pickerington Central

Last season: 16-5, D-I District Runner-Up, def. Olentangy 62-34 in district semifinal, lost to Hilliard Bradley 46-37 in district final.

Opening night: Saturday vs. Buchtel (All Ohio Showcase)

8. Lutheran East, Cleveland Heights

Last season: 16-3, D-III State Champion, def. Worthington Christian, 61-56, in state final.

Opening night: Saturday vs. Olentangy Liberty at Pickerington North (All Ohio Showcase)

9. Centerville

Last season: 26-3, D-I State Champion, def. Westerville Central 43-42 in state final.

Opening night: Dec. 7 vs. Miamisburg

10. Westerville Central

Last season: 22-3, D-I State Runner-Up, def. St. Ignatius 51-42 in state semifinal, lost to Centerville 43-42 in state final.

Opening night: Today at Newark

11. Thomas Worthington

Last season: 20-5, D-I Sectional Champion, def. Independence 84-53 in sectional final, lost to Newark in district semifinal.

Opening night: Wednesday vs. Dublin Coffman

12. Shawnee, Lima

Last season: 25-2, D-II Regional champion, def. Buchtel 88-74 in regional final, lost to St. Vincent-St. Mary 71-42 in state semifinal.

Opening night: Friday vs. Bath at Elida Tip-Off Classic

13. Elder, Cincinnati

Last season: 20-4, D-I District Champion, def. La Salle 59-46 in district final, lost to Centerville 52-43 in regional semifinal.

Opening night: Saturday vs. Carmel (Indiana) at Mason Ohio Valley Classic

14. Olentangy Liberty

Last season: 20-6, D-I District Champion, def. Newark 57-45 in district final, lost to Gahanna-Lincoln 47-39 in regional semifinal.

Opening night: Friday vs. St. Xavier at Mason (Ohio Valley Classic)

15. Buchtel, Akron

Last season: 18-5, D-II Regional Runner-Up, def. Toledo Central Catholic 68-51 in regional semifinal, lost to Lima Shawnee 88-74 in regional final.

Opening night: Saturday at Pickerington Central (All-Ohio Showcase)

16. Newark

Last season: 16-11, D-I District Runner-Up, def. Thomas Worthington 53-45 in district semifinal, lost to Olentangy Liberty 57-45 in district final.

Opening night: Saturday at Walnut Ridge

17. St. Edward, Lakewood

Last season: 14-5, D-I District Champion, def. Bedford 66-52 in district final, lost to St. Ignatius 55-54 in regional semifinal.

Opening night: Saturday vs. Lakewood

18. Lima Senior

Last season: 20-5, D-I Regional Runner-Up, advanced past Toledo St. John’s in regional semifinal, lost to St. Ignatius, 56-44, in regional final.

Opening night: Saturday vs. Mentor

19. Medina

Last season: 18-7, D-I Regional Runner-Up, def. Hoover 54-43 in regional semifinal, lost to Mentor 65-55 in regional final.

Opening night: Dec. 8 at Lakewood

20. Pickerington North

Last season: 11-6, D-I District Runner-Up, def. Olentangy Orange 60-54 in district semifinal, lost to Westerville Central 41-39 in district final.

Opening night: Saturday vs. St. Vincent-St. Mary (All Ohio Showcase)

21. Dublin Coffman

Last season: 12-8, D-I Sectional Champion, def. Olentangy Berlin 61-52 in sectional final, lost to Reynoldsburg 57-56 in district semifinal.

Opening night: Tuesday at Westerville South

22. Worthington Christian

Last season: 28-2, D-III State Runner-Up, def. Taft 47-45 in state semifinal, lost to Lutheran East, 61-56, in state final.

Opening night: Saturday vs. Dayton Christian

23. Wheelersburg

Last season: 22-2, D-III District Champion, def. Eastern 66-59 in district final, lost to Worthington Christian, 50-47, in regional semifinal.

Opening night: Friday vs. Chesapeake

24. St. Ignatius, Cleveland

Last season: 19-7, D-I Regional Champion, def. Lima Senior 56-44 in regional final, lost to Westerville Central, 51-42, in state semifinal.

Opening night: Saturday at Indianapolis Cathedral

25. Westerville South

Last season: 13-3, D-I Sectional Champion, def. Westerville North 52-37 in sectional final, lost to Hilliard Bradley 41-37 in district semifinal

Opening night: Today vs. Northland

Sam Houseworth’s complete boys basketball rankings

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