The opening week of the playoffs had plenty of excitement, and the ThisWeekSPORTS.com Predictions Panel was ready for the challenge. At least most were, as 12 of the 15 panelists correctly predicted at least three-fourths of the games. John Hulkenberg led the staff by winning 18 of 20 to move into third place behind Jeff Stevenson and Scott Gerfen. Stevenson kept his two-game lead over Gerfen as they were two of the four panelists who went 17-3.

As for our Lone Wolf picks, Scott Hennen stood alone in correctly picking Grandview to beat Paint Valley. Jarrod Ulrey lost his pick of Centennial to topple Jackson. For the year, the staff is 5-19 on such picks. Undaunted, Ulrey again went Lone Wolf by picking Walnut Ridge to take care of Cincinnati La Salle.

Enjoy the regional semifinals!

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Springfield (10-1) vs. Dublin Jerome (9-2)

Wildcats: Baker, Blackledge, Cochran, Dolan, Frantz, Gerfen, Hennen, Hulkenberg, Hummel, Purpura, Resnik, Stevenson, Ulrey

Celtics: DiRenna, Thompson

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Toledo Whitmer (10-1) vs. Dublin Coffman (9-2)

Panthers: Baker, Cochran, Frantz, Hummel, Thompson

Shamrocks: Blackledge, DiRenna, Dolan, Gerfen, Hennen, Hulkenberg, Purpura, Resnik, Stevenson, Ulrey

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Olentangy Liberty (10-1) vs. Groveport (9-2)

Patriots: Baker, Cochran, DiRenna, Dolan, Frantz, Hennen, Hulkenberg, Resnik, Stevenson, Thompson, Ulrey

Cruisers: Blackledge, Gerfen, Hummel, Purpura

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Pickerington Central (10-1) vs. Olentangy Orange (10-1)

Tigers: Baker, Blackledge, Cochran, DiRenna, Dolan, Frantz, Hulkenberg, Hummel, Purpura, Resnik, Stevenson, Thompson, Ulrey

Pioneers: Gerfen, Hennen

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Anthony Wayne (11-0) vs. Olentangy (6-5)

Generals: Blackledge, Cochran, DiRenna, Dolan, Frantz, Hennen, Hulkenberg, Hummel, Stevenson, Thompson, Ulrey

Braves: Baker, Gerfen, Purpura, Resnik

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Cincinnati La Salle (9-2) vs. Walnut Ridge (11-0)

Lancers: Baker, Blackledge, Cochran, DiRenna, Dolan, Frantz, Gerfen, Hennen, Hulkenberg, Hummel, Purpura, Resnik, Stevenson, Thompson

Scots: Ulrey

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Jonathan Alder (11-0) vs. Jackson (11-0)

Pioneers: Baker, Blackledge, Dolan, Frantz, Gerfen, Hennen, Hulkenberg, Purpura, Thompson

Ironmen: Cochran, DiRenna, Hummel, Resnik, Stevenson, Ulrey

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Bloom-Carroll (9-2) vs. Waverly (9-2)

Bulldogs: Baker, Gerfen, Hennen, Purpura, Thompson

Tigers: Blackledge, Cochran, DiRenna, Dolan, Frantz, Hulkenberg, Hummel, Resnik, Stevenson, Ulrey

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Ironton (10-1) vs. Amanda-Clearcreek (9-2)

Tigers: Baker, Blackledge, Cochran, DiRenna, Dolan, Frantz, Gerfen, Hennen, Hulkenberg, Hummel, Resnik, Stevenson, Thompson, Ulrey

Aces: Purpura

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West Jefferson (10-1) vs. Springfield Shawnee (9-2)

Roughriders: Baker, Blackledge, Cochran, Dolan, Frantz, Gerfen, Hennen, Hulkenberg, Hummel, Purpura, Resnik, Stevenson, Ulrey

Braves: DiRenna, Thompson

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Grandview (7-4) vs. Mechanicsburg (9-2)

Bobcats: Baker, Hennen, Resnik

Indians: Blackledge, Cochran, DiRenna, Dolan, Frantz, Gerfen, Hulkenberg, Hummel, Purpura, Stevenson, Thompson, Ulrey

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Newark Catholic (8-3) vs. Shadyside (8-3)

Green Wave: Baker, Cochran, DiRenna, Dolan, Frantz, Gerfen, Hennen, Hulkenberg, Hummel, Purpura, Resnik, Stevenson

Tigers: Blackledge, Thompson, Ulrey

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DeSales (9-2) vs. Harrison (10-1)

Stallions: Unanimous pick

Wildcats:

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Hartley (10-1) vs. Granville (10-1)

Hawks: Unanimous pick

Blue Aces:

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Licking Valley (11-0) vs. New Concord John Glenn (9-2)

Panthers: Unanimous pick

Muskies:

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Harvest Prep (10-1) vs. Waterford (9-2)

Warriors: Unanimous pick

Wildcats:

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Standings

Jeff Stevenson: 17-3 last week, 125-45 overall

Scott Gerfen: 17-3, 123-47

John Hulkenberg: 18-2, 121-49

Steve Blackledge: 17-3, 120-50

Patrick Dolan: 16-4, 117-53

Frank DiRenna: 11-9, 116-54

Eric Frantz: 14-6, 116-54

Andy Resnik: 15-5, 115-55

Scott Hennen: 17-3, 115-55

Lee Cochran: 16-4, 113-57

Jarrod Ulrey: 12-8, 112-58

Dave Purpura: 15-5, 110-60

Ryan Baker: 15-5, 109-61

Scott Hummel: 15-5, 106-64

Neil Thompson: 15-5, 104-66