John Bruce, Contributor
If you are trying to determine the greatest team to ever play in the Scioto Valley Conference, how would you do it? Would you use recency bias? Would you know that a certain number of years were better than others?
Whatever way that you decide to make your picks on these brackets, one thing that I ask of you is this: use the facts and information provided to you in the coming article and whatever experience you have with these teams to make the best choice.
Last week, we released four regionals, named after legendary basketball coaches and figures in the Scioto Valley Conference. Today, we continue the trend with our first Round of 32 bracket, coming in our Larry Jordan Regional.
NOTE: Photos in this article have been generously provided or found via Facebook.
Larry Jordan Regional
The Larry Jordan Regional is named after one of the greatest coaches in SVC and Southeastern Ohio history. Coach Jordan compiled a record of 605-371 between Southeastern, Waverly, Jackson, and Western. But it was at Southeastern where he made his biggest impact, as he led the Panthers to 17 SVC championships, 18 sectional championships, 10 district championships, and 3 regional championships. Yes, those numbers are real. Oh, and he finished his Southeastern career with a record of 539-242, a winning percentage of 69 percent.
As a player, Jordan was a standout in high school and in college. While at Southeastern, he scored 1,298 points and was second-team All-Ohio in Class A in 1964. Jordan also has the county record for rebounds in a game and is likely in the exclusive club of players who had over 1,000 career rebounds and 1,000 career points. However, his overall rebounding numbers have not been located at this time. Following high school, Jordan took his talents to the state of Kentucky, where he starred at Morehead State University. As a senior captain in 1968, Jordan averaged 15.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
Jordan was the 2008 Paul Walker Award winner from the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association. Larry was the SVC Coach of the Year 15 times, the District Coach of the Year on six occasions, and the Associated Press Southeast Coach of the Year three times. Larry is also a member of the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
No. 1 Southeastern ‘89-90 (24-2) vs No. 8 Piketon ‘85-86 (22-3)
- The 1989-90 Southeastern team is the clear favorite in this matchup. Larry Jordan’s Panthers featured two 1,000-point scorers in Mike Adams and Aaron Skeens. Both players won the SVC Player of the Year award, while also helping the Panthers finish the regular season 19-1 alongside a 14-0 SVC mark. Following the regular season, the Panthers rolled off sectional, district, and regional championships, before bowing out versus St. Henry in the Final Four. Besides Adams and Skeens, the Panthers also started Chad Mitten, Mike Jordan, and 6-foot-6 Chad Jordan. Off the bench came Carl Lawhorn, whose rebound of a missed 3 in the regional final set up a 3 from Skeens to send that game into overtime. Possibly the most impressive moment of the season for the Panthers was their overtime win over Columbus Wehrle. Wehrle would go on to win their third consecutive state title in March 1990.
FIRST ROUND: defeated No. 16 Southeastern ‘16-17 (91% of the vote)
- The ‘85-86 Piketon Redstreaks were the peak of the Joe B. Stewart era in the Village of Piketon. They were led by SVC Player of the Year Scott Legg, who averaged 20 points and 6.6 assists per game to pace the Redstreaks to their first SVC championship. The ‘Streaks displayed excellent depth, with only Legg and Rod Nichols (12.1 points) averaging in double figures, but averaged a steady 67 points per game. Tim Hill had a putback bucket in the closing seconds of the sectional final to give the ‘Streaks their first sectional title since 1958. Trace Davis knocked in a 10-footer in the closing seconds to beat Crooksville in the district semifinal, and Legg paced the Redstreaks to their first district title with a 29-point effort. Bud Brabson notched 15 off of the bench for the winners. Doug Smith was the fifth starter for the ‘Streaks and provided them with excellent size inside.
FIRST ROUND: defeated No. 9 Adena ‘79-80 (63% of the vote)
No. 5 Zane Trace ‘00-01 (19-3) vs No. 13 Piketon ’03-04 (19-4)
- The 2000-01 Pioneers were the first team to finish unbeaten in SVC play in 11 seasons and featured outstanding depth and talent. Gary Kellough was able to use the depth to dominate SVC and sectional championships. SVC Player of the Year Jeran Cox (14.9 points, 5.4 assists) ran the show, while fellow seniors Seth Haynes (5.6 assists) and Nate Sever (18.6 points, 72 percent shooting) gave the Pioneers a three-headed monster. Of course, you need complimentary pieces to aid that monster and the Pioneers had just that. 6-foot-11 senior Colt Mitchell was an intimidating rim protector while sophomore Nate Singer gave some extra versatility as well. Even more depth off the bench helped the Pioneers to an 18-2 regular season, with an average margin of victory at 18 points per night.
FIRST ROUND: defeated No. 13 Logan Elm ‘64-65 (75% of the vote)
- After going 15-48 over the previous three years, Piketon was very confident coming into the 2003-04 season. Brett Coreno had the horses to make a push at their first SVC championship since the ’91-92 season and they would win that and more. SVC Player of the Year Kyle Vulgamore was paired with juniors Kyle Miller, Eric Farmer, and Eli Porter to finish as a district runner-up. Vulgamore put up ridiculous numbers (17.2 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals) and ended with more than 1,000 points in his career. Miller and Farmer reached that number as well. Darrack Haithcock, Nathan Francis, and Ben Thompson played key parts to the ‘Streaks return to the top of the SVC.
FIRST ROUND: defeated No. 4 Southeastern ‘74-75 (54% of the vote)
No. 6 Southeastern ‘84-85 (23-2) vs No. 14 Huntington ‘88-89 (18-6)
- Larry Jordan’s Panthers scorched through the SVC with a 16-0 record, before also storming to a district championship. They were led by two-time SVC Player of the Year Bryan Alley, who led the Panthers’ attack with 18 points each night. Juniors Doug Hice (13.5 points, 7.4 rebounds) and Dean Cartee (9 points, 7.8 rebounds) also made the all-league team. Jon Dresbach, Dan Reynolds, and Scott Hutchison were key cogs in the impressive attack as the Panthers won four games to win their district crown, winning by an average of 19.5 points.
FIRST ROUND: defeated No. 11 Zane Trace ‘09-10 (64% of the vote)
- The 1988-89 version of the Huntington Huntsmen became the first team in school history to reach the district championship game. Jerry Mowery’s Huntsmen finished second in SVC play, but made a run before falling in overtime to eventual regional champion Wheelersburg. With experienced guards in Marty Kellough, Todd Black and Chad Carroll, and quality bigs in Geremy Ray and Mark Williams, the Huntsmen came within an eyelash of winning the first district championship in school history.
FIRST ROUND: defeated No. 3 Unioto ‘17-18 (62% of the vote)
No. 2 Bishop Flaget ‘82-83 (23-1) vs. No. 7 Southeastern ‘77-78 (20-3)
- The first SVC school to finish the regular season unbeaten, the 1982-83 Bishop Flaget Panthers are also the only team to ever have co-SVC Players of the Year on the same roster. Ron Lovely’s Panthers soared through the regular season unblemished before falling in triple overtime in the district finals. Seniors Pat Austin (16.7 points) and Tony Taylor (16.1 points) shared the honors, while junior Nick Corcoran (13.4 points) also starred for the Panthers. Corcoran would go on to win Player of the Year honors the next season. The Panthers featured eight seniors on the roster and had great depth aided by John Stark, Steve Hirsch, Paul Corcoan and Jimmy White.
FIRST ROUND: defeated No. 15 Unioto ‘73-74 (82% of the vote)
- After making a run to the Final Four the previous year, the 1977-78 Panthers made another deep tournament run. Larry Jordan’s squad was led by SVC Player of the Year Rick Schrader (15.4 points) and fellow seniors Toby Kellough (11.3 points). Jeff Detty (9.8 points) and Sam Eldridge (9.7 points) also contributed consistent scoring. Scott Eldridge and Mitch Holton gave big minutes as well. Holton would be the hero in the district championship game as he hit a 20-footer with four seconds remaining to win the title. Like others, a key injury likely kept them from reaching the Final Four, as Schrader went down late in the district finals, which hampered him into the Sweet 16.