Boys Basketball-Playoff Preview: (8) River Valley vs (1) Nelsonville-York

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In the Athens District of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division III boys basketball playoffs, the number one seeded Nelsonville-York Buckeyes are coming off a first round bye. The Buckeyes (12-8, 5-5 Tri-Valley Conference-Ohio) will face off against the eight-seed River Valley, who advanced after defeating Crooksville in round one. The Buckeyes have already defeated River Valley twice this year, winning by margins of 13 and 12 points.

The Buckeyes enter the playoffs having won four of their last six games, with losses coming to Wellston and conference rival Athens. The main factor for the success of the Buckeyes has been forward Daniel Kline. If he is able to make his way through the paint as he did in the game against Alexander on February 17th, it will be difficult for River Valley stop him. Against Alexander last Friday, Kline had 13 points, seven rebounds, and two incredible slam dunks that motivated his team to a 19-point blowout over the Spartans.

But the next night in a 12-point loss to Athens, Kline was a non-factor. The Bulldogs held him to just four points in the game as Kline was unable to get into a rhythm. Kline is must regain his A-game and if he does, the Buckeyes are more than capable of making a deep run in the playoffs. The Buckeyes have very good depth and will look to Casey Cox, Marc Carter, and Austin North to facilitate a productive offense that likes to turn defense into offense. The key for the Bucks as usual will be to get defensive stops and then run the fast break before River Valley can set up their defense. 

The two teams face-off tonight at 6:00 p.m. at Athens High School.