Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Metro/Valley Divisions down to the wire

Five of seven Chagrin Valley Conference divisional championships have been awarded this spring.

The remaining two could take a while to determine.

Cuyahoga Heights and Independence are in the hunt for the Metro Division championship in softball while three fastpitch teams are vying for at least a share of the title in the Valley Division.

The Metro Division race heated up last week when Independence beat Cuyahoga Heights, 5-2, to earn a split in the season series.

Heights currently sits at 10-1 in league play while the Blue Devils are 10-2.

For Cuyahoga Heights to win the title outright, it needs a win at Kirtland (May 21), and a win over Wickliffe on Monday, along with a win over West Geauga when that game gets rescheduled. Heights’ magic number to win the conference is reduced with an Independence loss in either of its two remaining games.

Cuyahoga Heights can finish 2-1 or even 1-2 and still win the title outright but Independence would have to lose one or both of its remaining games.

Independence’s outright title hopes rely on the Blue Devils winning both remaining games—West Geauga on May 21 and a yet-to-be-scheduled game against Wickliffe—along with Cuyahoga Heights losing at least two of its last three games.

Even winning a share of the conference title will be difficult for the Blue Devils as that scenario relies on Cuyahoga Heights–one of the hottest teams in the area–losing at least one of its final three contests.

In the Valley Division, West Geauga controls its own destiny as the Wolverines are 10-2 with three conference games remaining. Crestwood completed its league schedule with a 12-3 record and needs West Geauga to lose at least one of its remaining games to earn a share of the title—and they would share it since they split their season series. Wickliffe is 10-3 with two games remaining and can earn a share of the title with two wins and at least one West Geauga loss.

West Geauga’s path to the title is a bit clearer as the Wolverines don’t need help from any other team to win the title. The Wolverines simply have to beat Cuyahoga Heights, Independence (May 21), and Lutheran West and they’ll hang the banner.

Should the Wolverines stumble in any of their three remaining games and finish league play with a 12-3 mark, they’d share the title with Crestwood and potentially Wickliffe, defending on how the Blue Devils finish.

Crestwood’s path to the title is wholly dependent on what West Geauga and, to a certain extent, Wickliffe do in their remaining games. Should the Wolverines finish 3-0, Crestwood would finish second. If West Geauga goes 2-1, the two teams would share the title. If the Wolverines go 1-2 or 0-3, Crestwood would win the title outright, again, depending on how Wickliffe finishes.

Wickliffe must beat both Cuyahoga Heights and Independence and needs at least one West Geauga loss to earn a share of the conference title. If West Geauga finishes 1-2 or 0-3 and Wickliffe wins both of its remaining games, the Blue Devils would split the title with Crestwood since both teams won one of the head-to-head matchups this spring.

Remaining Games to Watch:

Friday, May 21

  • West Geauga at Independence
  • Cuyahoga Heights at Kirtland

Monday, May 24

  • Wickliffe at Cuyahoga Heights

Yet to be Scheduled

  • Independence vs. Wickliffe
  • Cuyahoga Heights at West Geauga
  • Lutheran West at West Geauga
Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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