McDonald – 14-0 (21-3)
Lowellville – 11-3 (17-6)
Western Reserve – 10-4 (18-7)
Springfield – 9-5 (14-10)
Waterloo – 5-9 (6-17)
Mineral Ridge – 4-10 (7-16)
Sebring – 3-11 (8-15)
Jackson-Milton – 0-14 (2-21)
2017-18 All-MVAC First-Team
Jack Cappabianca, Western Reserve
Vaughn Dorsey, Waterloo
Kade Hilles, Western Reserve
Matt Hvisdak, Lowellville
Braedon Poole, McDonald
Zach Rasile, McDonald
John Ritter, Springfield
Nate Solak, Lowellville
Five things to know about the MVAC
The MVAC members accounted for a 5-8 record in the playoffs. Two teams (McDonald & Western Reserve) advanced to the District Semifinals. Reserve upset #2 McDonald (54-52) to advance to the Struthers District Championship.
McDonald’s Zach Rasile, who averaged 26.9 points as a sophomore, has the opportunity to be the first player to be named to the Boys’ Starting Five a third time. Rasile joined Graham Mincher (Springfield), Malik Miller (Farrell), Peyton Aldridge (LaBrae), Colin Reardon (Poland), and Niko Fatimus (Poland) as the six players to have received the honor twice.
McDonald has won 69 games over the past three seasons. That’s the most wins by any area-Ohio team during that span. The Blue Devils have also been ranked in the AP Top 10 in 14 straight weeks, including 3 times at #1 (during the 2016-17 season).
A year ago, the MVAC held the advantage over the EOAC – 9 wins to 7 losses – and were 5-5 against the Northeastern Athletic Conference and faced the All-American Conference 13 times (4-9).
Last year, the top four teams combined to post a 44-12 league mark (McDonald, Lowellville, Western Reserve, Springfield). When those 4 teams who pitted against one another during the regular season, 8 of those 12 games were decided by 9-points or less and two of those contests went to overtime.
…The Blue Jays open the campaign with four consecutive home games (against United, Lordstown, Springfield, Sebring). Jackson-Milton welcomes Columbiana, Mogadore and Maplewood for their Holiday Invitational at the end of the year. Jackson-Milton plays Southeast, Lisbon and Mathews on the road to close out the season.
…The Rockets began 2017-18 with a perfect 5-0 record. Big difference from the previous year when they started 0-4…Lowellville is matched against a challenging non-conference slate which includes matchups with Campbell Memorial, United, East Palestine, Mathews and Struthers.
…McDonald is back as they’ll look to compile another 20-win season – which would be their 9th in 11 years. The Blue Devils begin 2018-19 with a trip to Girard and a home date with Chaney before opening the league schedule with Waterloo on December 11. McDonald will also play Kennedy, Niles, Maplewood, Valley Christian, Bristol and Mathews in their non-conference schedule throughout the remainder of the year.
Mineral Ridge (7-16)
…Ridge is in search of another surge in the win column this year. The Rams won just 1-game in 2016-17 but bumped up the wins last year to 7. Mineral Ridge will be pitted against a challenging non-conference schedule with dates against the likes of Maplewood, Mathews, Campbell Memorial, Columbiana, Badger and Pymatuning Valley.
…McKinley plays McDonald, Springfield and Lowellville a combined six times within 45 days. Their MVAC schedule pits the Trojans against the Tigers, Rockets and Blue Devils in a successive rotation each time they meet. Sebring is matched against Struthers and Campbell Memorial this season.
…Springfield has three games to prepare for McDonald on December 14 (games vs. Salem, Crestview and Jackson-Milton). The Tigers lost their two games last year to McDonald by 6 points (77-71) and by 7 in overtime (71-64). Springfield will face the likes of Salem, Campbell Memorial, South Range, Lisbon, Columbiana, Girard and LaBrae in their season finale on their non-conference schedule.
…The Vikings begin their season with a game against Garfield on November 30. Waterloo will get their feet wet early as they are scheduled to meet McDonald and Lowellville in their first two conference games on the road before returning home to play their first league matchup with Mineral Ridge on December 18. The Vikings finish the year with a home date against Southeast and a trip to Newton Falls.
Western Reserve (18-7)
…Reserve opens with two challenging matchups (at Columbiana and home versus Newton Falls) before beginning the league slate with an outing at Sebring. The Blue Devils will play their first three league games on the road (Sebring, Mineral Ridge, Lowellville). Western Reserve will participate in Crestview’s Holiday Tournament along with the Rebels, Heartland Christian and Leetonia.