Monday, March 9, 2015

Wayne smashes Tecumseh by 50; Dunbar squeaks out win vs Alter; Stivers, Ponitz, Xenia fall; Luke Kennard shows why he's going to Duke

With the Hoop Tourney sectionals pitting the best against the best in the city, its usually one of the biggest and most hyped times in the Dayton area. Last weekend was no different as we recap the biggest storylines and games this weekend - and how they played out.

Dunbar defeats Alter in final seconds
 In the game of the day, a rivalry that is as big as it gets in the Miami Valley, the game was equally as close as no team was able to muster a double digit lead the entire game. Dunbar held a lead - albeit slight - for most of the game, but could not deliver a knock out punch, which kept the game tight - and low scoring - which fell right into the Knights hands.
After Dunbar held a 4-point lead with 2 minutes to go, they seemingly were rattled, missing 3 one and ones and a 2-shot free throw to keep Alter afloat. After a made basket to tie the game with 35 seconds, Coach Pullen called timeout to call the final play.
After running the time down, A.J. Harris kicked it to Dorianne Dawson who slid by a defender, drove baseline, and shot a double pump 10-footer that banked cleanly off the glass and swished into the basket, with little time left.
Alter actually had 1.5 left on the clock, and got a Christian Laettner like look, but the shot was short, and a huge sigh of relief and jubilation occurred for the Wolverines, who will battle the Cincy sectional winner this week in the District Finals. After the game the coaching staff knew they had stolen one from Alter.
Coach Pullen was quoted as saying, "Win and advance," which is all that matters.
March Madness is upon us, no doubt.

Wayne smacks Tecumseh
The Warriors had no problem taking out the Indians as they won by almost 50, dispelling any rumors about a upset. The Warriors were dominant from the start and UD signee Xeyrius Williams and D'Mitrik Trice led the squad.

Northridge defeats Stivers
The Polar Bears continued to show why there no fluke in defeating Stivers to win the Sectionals. Stivers, who were thought to be the team to beat in the division, were stunned by the Bears D who froze out the Tigers offense in holding them to 38 points total for the game. Northridge will move on to District Final as they enjoy their most successful season yet (20-2).

Kennard, Franklin shows out vs  Ponitz
After three straight years of being eliminated by city league schools, this game would be the tell tale game of Luke Kennard's legacy. Can he beat a City League champion in a game that matters? Last season I watched as Kennard was hounded into a average game against a tough Thurgood team. It was a one-man show and Thurgood was too talented to let that happen.
With a sold out crowd in attendance - a first for a high school game - since LeBron James high school game, this would be the, "Defining moment" of his career.
Luke Kennard drops 42 in Sectional Final
This time Franklin would not get behind as they dropped 5  3-balls in the first quarter (4 by Matt Thompson), and they were off to the races. Ponitz, playing in its first Sectional final ever, seemed a little uneasy in the first, and the Wildcats took full advantage jumping out to a 10-point lead in the first. Every time Ponitz would make a move, Franklin would respond.
And then there was Kennard.
Despite double teamed half of the game, the Duke signee still managed to score 42 - and hit ALL 23 of his free throws.
Ponitz couldn't seem to get away from the deficit, and the 11- point halftime lead grew exponentially after Franklin withstood Ponitz's hot shooting in early 3rd quarter, then got Ponitz in foul trouble, reaching the bonus midway in 3rd, which sent Kennard to the line. All night. He made all the right decisions, never looked rattled, and battled through a super physical game, (being poked in the eye, pushed, shoved, etc.). And he led his troops in the thickest of physical altercations, showing that he will not be punked.

Even ESPN TV analyst and former Centerville Elk Kirk Herbstreit was at the game, tweeting about how incredible the Kennard following is.
Like I said before, the only other High School hooper to EVER sell out UD Arena in our era?
LeBron James.
Next game is Friday Night at UD Arena.
How far can the "Luke Kennard" show go?

March Madness is in full effect here in Dayton.

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