Saturday, March 24, 2018

Rams wallop Meadowbrook, chance at Redemption, face Saint V in championship game

The Trotwood Rams, making their 2nd straight OSHAA State Basketball appearance, had a 10:45 game, against a mentally sharp and tough minded team in Meadowbrook, so the consensus was uncertainty on how the high scoring Rams would come out the gate.

Amari Davis leads fast break in Trotwood 88-42 win over Meadowbrook in the OHSAA Semifinals 

Well they put all of that to bed, as they came out with one of the best performances in ohsaa history with a 88-42 thumping of Meadowbrook in the state semifinal D-2 matchup.

Rams junior star G-F Amari Davis led all scorers with 21 points, Senior captain and star G Myles Belyeu added 18, with Super sophomore G-F Carl Blanton adding 18 as well.
Throw in the intensity of 2-sport star Justin Stephens and his electrifying dunks and blocks, and you had one of the greatest Semifinal wins in OHSAA history.

So big a margin that the newly added "Running Clock" Rule was implemented due to score difference.

 With Akron St Vincent St Mary winning their semifinal game (62-51 over Lexington) it sets up the Rematch the Rams have been Oh-So patiently waiting for.

Most of the players and the coaches still feel the sting of the last second loss from last year.

They want nothing better than to avenge that loss in the Championship.

However be careful what u wish for.

Know that coaching guru Dru Joyce will have a couple of tricks up his sleeve, as he guided his St. V squad to a epic win past season.
They are the benchmark in high school sports in Ohio right now.

And Joyce is a master of getting his troops ready for war.

This should be a war for D-2 supremacy.
Are the Rams up for the task?

State Title on the Line.

Redemption has been the theme all season. Will it continue for RamNation hoops like it did for football?

As we already Instragram tagged LeBron James, get ya popcorn ready.

Should be a ESPN Classic.

515 gametime.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Regional Recap: Trotwood holds off Hughes headed back to State; Wayne falls late to Moeller; Stars of Regional; Statline of the Weekend

Here's the Recap / Headlines on what went down in Cincy in the Regional Finals:

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.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Regional Recap; Wayne finishes strong behind Blue, stops Princeton; Trotwood explodes in 2nd half; Springfield falls to Moeller

Here's the Recap on regional action in Southwest Ohio
2 sport Star Blue Smith lines up a 3 late in the game vs Princeton in the Regional Semifinal 

Moeller powers past Cats as Springfield struggles early
The Springfield Wildcats knew they would have to be on point offensively to have a shot against Moeller, a team who will play ball control despite the great talent that is boasted.

Top Junior Raheim Moss drops 2 on Moeller 

 Springfield got off to a bad start, and it was all she wrote as the Cats fell to Moeller 65-44.

  Wright State commit Jeremiah Davenport dropped 20 to lead the Crusaders on the night.

Jeremiah Davenport goes for 2 of his game high 20 points as the Cusaders stop Springfield 

Wayne stops Princeton as Blue delivers late 
The Wayne Train stopped the All-Cincy final that was hoped for, as the Warriors used a big 4th quarter to defeat Princeton 65-58.

Youngstown State commit Darius Quisenberry makes move against Princeton in the D-1 Regional Semifinals

Blue Smith, the superstar Forward,  hit 2 huge 3's en route to taking the lead and not looking back after trailing heading into the 4th quarter.
Wayne now faces Moeller in the Regional Finals at 7:30 tonight, with the winner heading to Columbus and as the favorite for a State title.

Trotwood Star Amari Davis goes up for 2 against Columbus South in the Regional Semifinals. 


Trotwood rolls past Columbus South in 2nd half as Belyeu, Davis explode
Myles Belyeu knew that it was now or never as the Rams were in a tight matchup with South. With another chance at a State Berth right around the corner, Belyeu and the Rams would not squander the opportunity.

So Belyeu took over, and the Rams followed suit with a resounding 79-60 win to move to the Regional Final.
 Amari Davis led the Rams in scoring, and once the dynamic 1-2 punch got going? There was no stopping Trotwood.

All-Ohio Top 10 Senior G-F Myles Belyeu slams one home on Columbus South as the Rams won 79-60. 

The Rams were down 2 at half when they
 came our firing in the 2nd half to seal the deal.
The Rams will play on Saturday at 3pm for a chance at another State Berth at Trent Arena.

Regional Final Matchups (Friday)

 Moeller  vs  Wayne
When most people asked the question, who are the best teams at the beginning of the year?
These 2 teams came up in their respective cities.
Now they will face each other for a State Berth as Moeller will host Wayne - of sorts -  at the Cintas Center tonight.

While Wayne boasts height, nobody has the height of the Moeller lineup, which averages around 6'4.

Moeller looks to prove they are the best in Ohio

However, Wayne has 3 bonafide D-1 contributors right now, and that's just only the seniors in Blue Smith, Darius Quisenberry and Deshon Parker.

This game will be a battle of wits as both teams will look to dictate the tempo.

While Moeller should have the home crowd, Wayne has been battle tested, traveling all over the country to face the top teams.

When it comes to Moeller, they haven't lost to a team in Ohio.

 Can James Madison commit Deshon Parker lead the Warriors to a State Berth?

Wayne, the #1 team in the OHSAA poll, lost once, to Springfield, which Moeller beat twice.
 Moeller also has its own superstar in Jeremiah Davenport, who is headed to Wright State next year, along with some other very good players as well.

Can Wayne continue to navigate through its biggest test of the season?
And probably the hardest they will face?

Or will the Crusaders send the Warriors home packing?
The Cintas Center will be rocking tonight (7:30).

Should be a ESPN classic.

Follow us on the journey!
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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

District Recap: Trotwood, Wayne cruise; Springfield holds off Elder; Dunbar, C-J, Fairmont fall; Stars of District; Regional Matchups; Kicks of the Week

Here's a recap of the District Championship Games that was held across the Miami Valley;
The top headlines:

Wayne Star Forward L'Christian "Blue" Smith drops 1 of his game high 23 pts in a District win over Cincinnati Oak Hills

(1) Trotwood stops C-J 78-60

The Rams jumped out to an early lead en route to another District win.

All-State G-F Amari Davis slams it home on C-J in District win at UD Arena as Rams defeated Eagles 78-60.

 The Rams was never really tested by the Eagles, who couldn't really get the deficit under single digits. The Rams now face Columbus South who are 22-4 and have a very good team coming into Trent Arena Thursday.

(2) Wayne stars show out in win vs Oak Hills
The Wayne train got rolling early due to star football player and big man L'Christian "Blue" Smith, and then Darius Quisenberry continued the push as Wayne jumped out to a 30 - 11 halftime lead in a stifling defensive showing to defeat Oak Hills 68-54.
Smith led all scorers with 23 & 9 along with Quisenberry 19 led the way.
Wayne will face Steve Wright led Princeton Wednesday night (8pm).

(3) Moller shows mettle in 2nd half against Fairmont
While Fairmont played Moeller to a tilt in the first half,  the second half the Cincy power showed why they are a favorite to get back to the state with a dominating performance and a 65-50 win over Fairmont.
 The game was 23-20 at half when Moeller came out in the third and dictated the tempo and got on track offensively.
Moeller will face Springfield on Wednesday night.

(4) Springfield claws to District Title behind Wallace
Springfield G Mike Wallace came through in the clutch for the cats as he has often does, despite not getting the headlines.

 Wallace hit a couple of key baskets and got a couple of key steals to clinch the game against Cincinnati Elder. Elder had two opportunities to pull even or take the lead, however they were not able to capitalize sending the Cats back to the Regionals for the third time in 4 years.

Coach Carson knows that this could be as good as time as any for the Cats to make it happen, but they will have to exercise their demons as Moeller defeated them in Springfield earlier in the season. Can they find it within themselves to seek revenge and get a huge victory in the Regionals?

(5) Dunbar falls to Woodward

The Dunbar Wolverines crazy season came to a surprising end on Saturday as Woodward knocked off the Wolverines 68 - 60.
  Dunbar had defeated Woodward early in the season on Woodward's home court, in convincing fashion (84-73) nonetheless.

   However in this District Final game at Hamilton HS, Woodward came out firing, got a huge double-double performance from one of its key players, and had the lead for most of the game as Dunbar played catch-up for most of the night.

The season ends for the Wolverines, in one of the wilder seasons in recent history for the organization. Despite the great coaching done by the staff, the heat is on because of the fight earlier in the season, as the Lawsuit against OHSAA begins to heat up.

Top Players (District)

Amari Davis - G-F - (Trotwood)  Davis dropped 22 on the Eagles on 9-10 shooting as Chaminade had no answer for the All-State Swingman. Junior stock is rapidly rising to Top 10 All Ohio Status.

Mike Wallace garners our #KicksOfTheWeek with this dope look; feeling this or nah?

Mike Wallace G - (Springfield)  Wallace led the cats with 13 but it was his key plays down the stretch (3 steals) which guided Springfield back to the regional for the third time in 4 years. Stock is also rising.

L'Christian "Blue" Smith  F-C - (Wayne) "Blue"  dominated from the start, dropping two 3s to start the onslaught and leading the Warriors (23pts, 9reb) offensively.
 Smith also showed he's fully capable of being a top Division 1 Prospect on the hoop circuit as well.
 2 sport star at Ohio State?

Myles Belyeu - G-F (Trotwood)
Belyeu was rock solid once again accounting for a double double (16pts, 10 rebs)  to knock off CJ. Belyeu has been ultra consistent this season.

Darius Quiesnberry  G - (Wayne) Quisenberry put on a show against Oak Hills, showing why he was the gwoc player of the year. He scored 19 in the game and imposed his will throughout.
The Youngstown State commit has been clutch for the Wayne Train all season.

Trevon Ellis  G - (Stivers)
Ellis showed out for the Tigers with 19pts and 7 boards and kept Stivers in the contest, almost leading to a win over the top team in D-3 (Deer Park). Ellis should be ready for Player of the year type season next year. Standing at 6'3 with the ability to play both guard spots makes a intriguing D-1 prospect.

Nick Deifel - Oak Hills
Deifel got hot in 2nd half, dropping 21 total Ina losing effort

Zach Harp - Elder
Harp kept the Panthers within winning distance the entire 2nd half, scoring 20 points on 6-14 shooting

Darweshi Hunter - Princeton
Hunter willed his squad to a victory with a 25 point, 7 reb, 3 steal game which he went 14-14 from the line, as they defeated Lakota East 53-51. Hunter played the star role after All-Ohio F Darius Bazeley had to sit out game due to fight earlier in the tournament.

Tonight's Regional Semifinal Games 
@Cintas Center 

Springfield   vs Moeller  (6:15 pm)
Will Springfield be able to exact revenge on a Moeller team who handily beat them at their own home earlier in the season? Or will Moeller show why they are the favorites to win the Region?

Wayne   vs  Princeton  (8pm)
Can the Wayne Train take advantage of Princeton not having their best player in Darius Bazeley on the floor tonight?
 We know they'll be ready, guided by former Colonel White Cougar Steven Wright, but can they handle the top team in  the OHSAA D1 rankings in the state?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

"Stall Ball" works as Dunbar Survives; Stivers falls in final minute; Rams set to take on C-J tonight

Early in the 3rd Quarter the Middletown Fenwick hoop squad seemingly was about to take control of their District Championship Game against the Dunbar Wolverines.

 However Dunbar flipped the tables on Fenwick, giving them a dose of their own medicine with the "Stall Ball" technique and winning one of the lowest scoring games in modern history, as the Wolverines defeated Fenwick 27-26 to win the division 2 District championship at UD Arena.

Fenwick held a slim early lead but Dunbar erased that and the game was nip and tuck, going into halftime at 18-all tie.

Dunbar then was able to garner a 2-point lead (24-22) in which the Wolverines then decided to do the "Stall Ball" technique for over 9 minutes.
 It wasn't until 3 minutes left in the 4th quarter did Fenwick come out the zone. The stall tactics didn't start until midway through the 3rd quarter.

Dunbar held a 27-24 lead but Fenwick was fouled on a 3-pointer with a few seconds left;
 after cooly swishing the first 2 free throws, Fenwick big man C.J. Napier missed the 3rd after a Dunbar Timeout, and the Wolverines would hold on for the 1-point victory.

 The Wolverines would rejoice, and there was one word that has resonated inside the Wolverines organization.

Survive and advance.

In a game which Fenwick had the master game plan, Coach Taylor and the Dunbar staff outwitted the Middletown team.

And won at their own game plan to boot.

In the midst of one of the controversial weeks in Dunbar history, the Wolverines was able to rise up to.the occasion, knocking off the #2 seed in the process.

In one of the most controversial games in OHSAA history.

Dunbar will now face Cincy Woodward in the Regional Semifinals.

Stivers falls in final minute to Top team in State
The Stivers Tigers played Deer Park to the tilt on Wednesday night at UD Arena; to the point where it almost looked like the Tigers would pull off the huge upset of the number 1 ranked team in the state.

 However Deer Park was able to hit some key free throws late in the game and a couple of key plays defensively helped them pull out the 72-63 victory and their first-ever District championship (D-3).

 The Tigers were led by freshman sensation Allen Lattimore (12) and sophomore stud Trayvon Ellis (19pts, 7 reb, 3dimes).

 Deer Park was led by Guard Mark Wise, who dropped 24 pts in the win.

 24 TOs, and 1-11 from 3 hurt the Tigers chances, but salute the Tigers coaches and the staff on a great showing this season in the Tourney.

Trotwood, C-J, set to battle for District championsip

The Trotwood Rams and the C-J Eagles are set to battle for the D-2 District Championship tonight at UD Arena.
The Rams  continue to boast one of the best offenses in Ohio, led by Myles Belyeu and Amari Davis.

The dynamic duo has led the Rams back into major contention for a OHSAA State berth.

Chaminade also has some very good players and can score offensively, but will need to be on their top game in order to compete tonight against the Rams.
If the Eagles can match up defensively and are able to slow down Davis and Belyeu it could be a bigger tighter game than anticipated.