My much-too-early picks:
Congrats to Aurora on their predicted second-place finish in two
Oh Bob, you flatter us! MVS will be without William Groger (ineligible due to 8th grade status), so John John and Max will be carrying the bulk of the load at Regionals. Anything can happen, but I see a ferocious four-team race for the two spots between MVS, Sidney, Beavercreek, and Northmont, with Sidney and Beavercreek maybe having a slight edge in a vacuum (not considering draw). Beavercreek went undefeated in the GWOC, beating Sidney on opening weekend, and Sidney was second with a win over Northmont in the final weekend. I would also say that Northmont has looked very strong on OAC questions in the two tournaments I've seen them at (not they don't always look good!). Teams that could play spoiler: Tippecanoe, Centerville?
Having read for John-John playing solo for MVS at Copley, he looked pretty confident and collected in the process playing as a freshman (on his own) versus four-person, generally much older teams (like Brecksville-Broadview Heights.) I think that experience, coupled with his experiences playing undermanned (less than four players) on plenty of pyramidal questions through the year, can offset not having his brother playing alongside him. Max is pretty solid also, so my guess is MVS will be pretty competitive. Possibly good enough to win the entire region, but as you mentioned there are three other teams (SHS, BC, and NM) right there with MVS and two of them are captained by two incredible senior players with plenty of OAC regionals + state experience. It could be MVS, BC; it could be MVS, NM; it could be MVS, SHS; it could be any of those three, MVS; and it could be any two of the other three schools as well! There are so many possibilities and combinations, given the parity between the top four teams, that anything could happen and the draw will (unfortunately) play a huge role in who gets knocked out first.
Even though they were probably half a notch below MVS, Beavercreek and Sidney through the first 3/4 of the season, Northmont appears to have really picked up. Kara appears to have more help, but I can't tell if she's getting help more help from the players eligible to play in Regionals (the high schoolers) or if she's getting complimented better by middle schoolers such as Samantha. Regardless, NM will be pretty well prepared I think for Regionals. No discredit to Coaches Benedict, Bickel or Spence (all fine coaches and good people!) but few coaches in the state of Ohio (in my opinion) can improve a team quicker and have them more prepared for Regionals than Jones.
Centerville, Tipp, and CJ might play spoilers - all three are good teams as well, and I don't want to write them off as not having a chance to get one of this region's two state bids, but WC is certainly the toughest path this year to states.
Southwest: I don't know. I've seen Little Miami and Walnut Hills play this year, and Wyoming was at Mason Mashup (NAQT) and was strong. I'll go ahead and say Little Miami and Wyoming in some order. LM has a nice team this year. One of the really big Cincinnati schools could make me eat my words though.
Always the toughest region to call, IMO, because of how seldom these schools (with the exception of Little Miami recently) play Saturday circuit events. My guess is Walnut Hills and Wyoming will square off in the loser's bracket final, for the right to play Little Miami. Before the questions went pyramidal, by my guess and estimation, one could never count out one of the GCL Mega-Catholics (X, Elder, and Moeller) to take the region, but none of Catholic schools down that way have played any tossup/bonus pyramidal this year with the exception of Mercy. Experience on pyramidal questions, I think, prevails here.
Southeast: I'll go ahead and pick Fisher to win, and Dublin Jerome to finish second on a hunch. St. Charles could be in the mix, and don't take your eye off the ball against Wheelersburg.
Good plug on Wheelersburg - always solid team from the Ohio River area. This region could be another one where the draw sets the tone for the tournament.
Northwest: Anything here would be a total guess. I've seen Ben Logan play several times and thought they looked good. If I'm thinking of the right Riverdale, they've got two brothers(?) who were nice players in middle school a couple years back...could be a team to watch down the line, but might be too early just yet.
My guess is Ben Logan and St. Mary's in either order.
Northeast: I'll take Copley to win and Cloverleaf to finish second. Don't sleep on Wooster.
Read for Wooster at Copley, they have a pretty solid player who gets some contributions here and there from teammates. Could be good enough to beat Cloverleaf in the losers bracket (assuming Copley bounces the Colts into there), just depends on the packet I guess. Also, watch out for Black River.
North Coast: This region feels like it has the most teeth of any outside the West Central. I like Westlake, Olmsted Falls, and Solon in some order, and the draw could play a factor.
Yeah, this one is also really tough to call. Hard to bet against Solon based on tradition and how they've looked this year, but Aurora and Westlake are both pretty good as well. If Olmsted Falls has their full A team playing, they can probably make the top 2 as well. Tough region also!