Trotwood back to Final Four as they hold off Hughes
The Trotwood Madison Rams focus has been simple this season:
Get back to State. Redemption.
While it wasn't a easy task, the Rams showed the moxie and to make it happen despite losing 2 D-1 level players last season, as they held off a very good Cincinnati Hughes squad 84-74 en route to the win.
The Rams star players, Senior Myles Belyeu, Junior Amari Davis, & Sophomore Carl Blanton led the charge.
Trotwood seized control early and was up as many as 18 at one point in the 1st half.
It wasn't until the 3rd quarter did Hughes find its footing and almost widdled the lead all the way down, getting it to 6 at one point. But Trowood was Ram tough late, knocking down Key FTs and playing enough solid D, with Belyeu finishing strong as well, providing the difference in the game.
The leaders in Belyeu and Davis carried the Rams back to Columbus with a chance for redemption from last season. Both averaged 20+ in the Regionals, with Davis averaging 25ppg.
As we know last season the Rams came in #1 in their Division, but was upset by LeBron James old sqaud, Akron-St Vincent St Mary's, who went on to win the State Title.
A team they beat by 30 points earlier in the season.
Well fast forward to this season, & guess who's sitting on the other side of the bracket?
You guessed it.
St. V's. Coached by the legend Dru Joyce.
Will this be the "Year of Redemption" for the Rams?
Trotwood did lose to St Vs earlier in the year.
Makes for a good storyline, don't ya say?
Wayne falls in final minutes to Moeller
Wayne knew that in order to get to state they would have to beat Cincy Moeller to get there.
For most of the night, the Warriors went toe for toe with the powerhouse from the Nati.
Only in a crucial stretch in the 2nd half that Moeller has shown to do in other games did the Warriors fall behind in the Regional Final, ultimately leading to a loss to the Back to back State bound Crusaders.
Wayne was ahead at halftime 27-26 following a barrage of offense in the last couple minutes to snatch the lead. Deshon Parker was brilliant, along with Darius Quisenberry who helped lead the O.
But like they have done so often this season, the Crusaders regrouped in the 3rd quarter, outscoring Wayne by 11 en route to a 10 point 3rd quarter lead and all of the momentum.
Wayne cut it to 4 with 3 min left in the 4th, but went cold down the stretch as Moeller had a little too much depth, which wore out the Warriors late in the game.
Stars of the Regional
Here are the top players of the Regional Games:
Amari Davis (Trotwood) - Davis poured in 30 points in the Regional Semis against Columbus South, when the Rams needed it most, then dropped 20 more in the Championship Game.
Davis, a smooth lefty with major rise, is undoubtedly a Top 5 Junior in Ohio, maybe one of the top players in the country.
Darius Quisenberry (Wayne) - Quisenberry was the best player all season for the Warriors and showed up big time in the Regionals again, as the Wayne Train almost defeated Moeller. The GWOC player of the Year, Quisenberry was rock solid, and is a instant starter at Youngstown State. The PG can do it all, and hit key contested buckets all year along with the ability to dunk on ya.
With a strong frame and build, Qusienberry is college ready to do major work for the Penguins next year.
Quisenberry was arguably a Top 5 player in the State this season.
Jeremiah Davenport (Moeller) - Davenport could be headed for immediate stardom, as the 6'6 wing player took over both Regional Games in the 2nd half - when the Crusaders needed him most - as Moeller makes a back to back visit to State.
The Wright State commit has a excellent mid range game, can shoot it deep, or dunk it with the best of em. He is a intense player, who should propel the Crusaders to a OHSAA Championship.
On top of that, he should be a starter from Day 1 as the Raiders got a steal in the NBA prospect.
Yeah I said it.
Davenport is a legit NBA prospect.
See for yourself.
Myles Belyeu (Trotwood) - Belyeu has shown that he has all the qualities to take the Rams to the state title, with a monster performance in the Regional Final (24 pts, 6 boards, 3 stls) to lead Trotwood back. Belyeu has been the most consistent player on the Rams this season. And standing at 6'4 210, Belyeu is built like a College Ready football player, but has athleticism to play both wing positions on the D-1 level.
He is one of the Top unsigned D-1 Level players in Ohio. If not the best.
He could have a similar fate like his former teammate Torrey Patton, who exploded for a record last year at the State and landed a D-1 offer from multiple schools, before signing with Akron.
Jaxson Hayes (Moeller) - Hayes, a Texas commit, dominated with his size (7'0) and agility as he helped the Crusaders get back to the final four. With his dominance in the paint and touch, he should be a huge force come This weekend, and in the future for the Longhorns.
Deshon Parker (Wayne) - Parker, headed to James Madison, was brilliant in the 1st half and throughout the game against Moeller. As the offense struggled early, Parker took on the heavy lifting, leading the Warriors to a halftime lead, often at times looking like the best player on the court.
Parker will be perfect for the Madison staff to put in, whether it will be at the 2 or the 1.
He can shoot from deep, run the point, or slash to the basket. And standing at 6'3, Parker has perfect Combo guard size for D-1. Comes from great lineage
Giovanni Santiago (Hughes) - Santiago led Hughes to a big win in Regionals then dropped 20 in the loss against Trotwood in the Final. Santiago was a force in dropping 3s or getting to the basket.
Blue Smith (Wayne) - Blue led the Warriors to the Regional Final with a big 4th quarter over Princeton in the Regional win.
Smith, who has a knack for the big play, will take his big frame (6'6, 220) and playmaking ability to Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes as a Wide Reciever.
"Blue" has already been anointed as the "Goal Line Savior" for Ohio State as they will look to Randy Moss a few defenses this fall.
Carl Blanton (Trotwood) - The super soph showed why next year could be his breakout season, and if the Rams are to win a title, Blanton will probably have a big hand in making that happen. Blanton amassed a double double in the Regional Final and had the best statline of the night:
17pts, 10 reb, 4 dimes, 4 stls, 1 blk
Blanton, standing at 6'3, and can play 3 positions, is primed to become the next star for Trotwood and with the vets such as Belyeu and Davis to follow? Sky's the limit for the sophomore, who comes from great lineage.
Raheim Moss (Springfield) - Moss led the Cats to a great season, and was the primary scorer in the game against Moeller. Moss is a top 10 All-Ohio player in football, and equally as dynamic on the court too. Standing 6'3, he is a super athlete who is still learning the game, but has all the tools to become a D-1 stud.
Springfield has plenty of talent and will be back too.
Springfield has plenty of talent and will be back too.