Monday, March 27, 2017

OHSAA Hoop State Recap; Rams fall to St V; Cincy teams falter; LeBron reaches out to Patton

Here's the Recap of what went down, hot topics, and more at the OHSAA State Championship last weekend

What did LBJ say about the 2-Time Ohio Player of the Year in Torrey Patton? 

Rams let one slip away as St V wins at buzzer
The Trotwood Rams felt like they had a good chance to win the State this year, considering they would take on a team who they beat earlier in the season in the Semifinal game.

Taking on Akron St Vincent St Mary, the prestigious HS that LeBron James went to, didn't seem that tough, as the Rams put a 100 spot on them in January (100-61).

However, Coach Dru Joyce is hard to beat twice in a season, delivering the game plan to slow down the Rams, and that's exactly what happened as Akron St. Vincent upset Trotwood 62-60.

 The Rams shot poorly in the 1st half (10-36) and it cost them as they trailed heading into 2nd half.

 Trotwood finally settled into the game in the 3rd quarter, but by that time Akron star F Jayvon Graves had already had 3 monster dunks in the game, and was the star of the 1st half.

Jayvon Graves throws down one of his powerful dunks vs Trotwood in D-2 Semifinal 

 In the 2nd half it was "Patton Time" as Star G Torrey Patton took over the game for the Rams.
Patton scored 15 of his OHSAA D-2 record 34 points in the 1st half to keep Trotwood afloat, then electrified the crowd by dropping 19 in the 2nd half to guide the Rams to the lead.

 St.V had no answer for the 6'4  2-Time Player of the Year, and it became a highlight show in the 2nd half.
Patton would finish with 34, 11 boards, a block and a steal. And his normal 4th quarter clutch play was in effect.

So much so that LeBron himself had to make a couple calls after the game to find out who this Patton kid was.
And to also find out why he hasn't received a offer from a D-1 yet as well.

"We couldn't stop him" James said.
"Who is this Patton kid?"

All-Ohio G Torrey Patton puts up a FT in State Title Game vs Akron SVSM 

 But St V kept fighting, and a 4-point lead (56-52) for the Rams late in the 4th turned into the decisive 10-2 run, (led by Graves), as St V would take advantage of back to back turnovers by the Rams.

After the final basket (a floater by Graves as the time expired), St V, and LBJ knows that they pulled off one of their greatest wins in the Dru Joyce era.

Akron SVSM celebrates upset win over Trotwood Madison in OHSAA State Semifinal game

They stormed the court, sans the coaches, and the players celebrated all the way down to the Trotwood side of the court.

They knew that they had sleighed the best team in D-2, and possibly in all of Ohio.

For Trotwood?
Utter disbelief, and shock. The players were stunned, and the fans, hurt.
Even the press row was shocked as the Rams came into the Final four averaging 90 ppg and being the "It Squad" for the weekend in Columbus.

Sr G Amir Foster shoots one over the backboard in the Semifinal Game vs Akron SVSM

Still a very good season for the Rams.
But it definitely will be a game that will resonate in the minds of the Rams as they know they let one slip away.

Highly touted Junior Myles Belyeu tallied 13 points, 4 rebs, 3 steals for the Rams in the Semifinals

Trotwood had 3 players in double figures as Junior Myles Belyeu dropped 13 and Sophomore sensation Amari Davis added 10.  Amir Foster led the Rams with 5 assists.
Jayvon Graves led St. V with 22 pts, 10 boards and 3 steals.

St. V wins State Title; Cleveland dominates Tourney
Akron St Vincent St Mary's defeated Wauseon 45-30 to take another State Championship. Wauseon, who had only lost once before the game, felt good about their chances.
Akron St Vincent St Mary, OHSAA D-2 Champs 

But Star F Jayvon Graves, (Buffalo) came up big with 25 points, sealing the deal as Tourney MVP, and State Champs to boot.
 Salute the champs, as Coach Dru Joyce won his 7th  State Title.
This one might be one of the sweetest, considering how we won it this season, having to defeat a team in the Semis who hammered them by almost 40 earlier in the season.

LeBron reaches out to Patton;  Akron, Toledo in the mix
LeBron James, sat and watched himself the OHSAA State Semifinal Game from out of town as he and the Cavs were on a road trip.  His St. V squad would take on the team who dismantled them in Dayton in January, so while he wouldn't be able to root on his boys in Columbus, he'd be able to check out the game on TV against the heavily favored Trotwood Rams.
The King wanted to know, "Were they really that good as advertised?
 And did his St. V boys have a real shot?

What he would see made him pick up the phone and call his old coach, as he usually does if he's not in attendance.

But this time, there would be a couple questions about the other team, and a player in particular.

Torrey Patton, to be exact.

LeBron is all about the big stage, and after watching what the 6'4 combo guard did to his Alma Mater, he had to inquire, along with coach Joyce.

"Who is this Patton kid, and where is he going to school?"
When Coach Joyce found out the lack of offers he had before the Tourney, he was befuddled.

"I would definitely recruit him if I was a college coach, but hey what do I know?
We couldn't stop him" Joyce said.

Patton set OHSAA record for most points in a D-2 Title Game (34) 

Then LeBron decided to take things into his own hands.
LBJ reached out, made a couple calls, to congratulate Patton on his record setting performance and to inquire about his future.

Since then, Patton has recieved serious consideration from Akron, Toledo, Niagara, Georgia State, and now Wright State has tried to come back into the mix.

Which shows you the type of guy LBJ is.
Call it the "LeBron Effect".

He recognizes greatness and recognizes talent, and understands that a kid of Pattons' magnitude should not be taken lightly.

James once, was on that big stage and understands how that stage can sometimes make or break your career.

Shoutout to the King on showing love to a kid, he had never met, never even known until now.

The kid lives in Dayton, Ohio.
Trotwood to be exact.
Nowhere near Akron, or "The Land."
LeBron just watched the game, heard the story, and here we are.

Will Patton end up at Akron? Or Toledo?
Yet to be seen.
 Very possible, unless some of the Big Ten teams start to open their eyes and realize how good this Patton kid is.

 Hell, LeBron did.
 After 1 game.
Will Ohio State jump in? Who knows.

But a couple things are for sure.

(1) When LeBron speaks, you listen.

(2) And it's never to late to make a great impression.
Just look at Norris Cole. A late D-1 signee, now he resides in the NBA.

Where will the hottest hoop prospect in Ohio end up?

Cincy Teams Fall
Undefeated Moeller falls in Championship Game 
Cincy Moeller, undefeated all season, fell in the title game, losing 39-38 to Massillion Jackson.

Massillion spoils Moeller perfect season, win D-3 Championship 

Moeller had went undefeated all season, and lost in heartbreaking fashion.
This marks the first time a D-1 team has won a State tile since 1945 without scoring 40 points.
Is it time for a shot clock in High School era?
Something the committee should seriously think about.

Roger Bacon falls in the Championship Game as well, losing to Cleveland Villa St Joseph in the D-3 Title Game 54-52.

OHSAA Key Notes

The Cleveland / Akron schools won all 4 boys divisions.

The first time in 72 years (1945) a D-1 game was won with a final winning score under 40
 (Massillion wins 39-38)

Trotwood G Torrey Patton broke scoring record (34) for a Individual perfromance (D-2)

Akron SVSM F & Buffalo commit Jayvon Graves scored the most points in the tournament this year (47).

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Overlooked Rams feel like time is now; Alter wins 3rd straight;

The Trotwood Madison boys hoop team have a chip on their shoulder, and that chip has been there all season.

The best Starting Five in Ohio?
(L-R) Foster, Patton, Stephens, Davis, Belyeu 

    Feeling  a little bit overlooked when it comes to who's the best in Ohio, the Rams will now have their shot to show that they are one of the top dogs in Ohio, and possibly the Midwest as they take on LeBron James former school in Akron St Vincent St Marys at the Schottenstein Center at Ohio State today in the OHSAA Semifinals (2pm).

  Before the season, people felt the Rams were good, but the  "How good were they?" question loomed all year. We're they "State bound?" or "just good?" as people like to compare and debate. Is Dunbar or Wayne better?  Do they have the right coaching staff? Along with other key questions.

 They had lost in the Regionals to Cincinnati Taft last season, and had shown a little too much youthfulness and inexperience in that game.

 What would happen this year?

Well they went 24-2, finished atop the GWOC, 2nd in the D-2 State poll and had one of the most successful seasons in Ram history.

The only teams they lost to was a Nationally Ranked Prolific Prep squad, led by All-American Gary Trent Jr, and Sidney, who boasts one of the best Sophomores in the country in Andre Gordon.

Other than that?

 They have flattened just about every opponent, save a few.
 While they dropped video game numbers early in the OHSAA tourney, averaging 100+ through the first 4 games, the Regionals is where we would see what the Rams were made truly made of.

 The Regional Semifinal vs Cincinnati Taft was a huge game mentally for the Rams, in which Taft ended their season last year and looked like they might do it again.

The Rams missed FTs, shot poorly, and looked like a team who could be upset.
Taft imposed their will, with their huge defensive presence, played their tempo, mixed defenses and flustered Trotwoods' juggernaut of a offense.

 But this time, the more experienced Rams persevered, the coaching staff made some great moves and the Rams would hold off the feisty Taft squad to win, exorcising their demons in the process.

Then came the heralded rematch with Dunbar.

Dunbar proved to be no match as the State Ranked Wolverines scored first, only to be bombarded with a 17-0 run by the Rams to seal the deal as Trotwood rolled by 30.

Now the Rams will face another opponent it has seen this season, as  legendary Coach Dru Joyce and his powerhouse program St. Vincent St. Marys team will face off.

These two played in the Flyin' To The Hoop, and Trotwood punished Joyce and St Vincent, dropping almost a 40 spot on the heralded program and forcing Joyce to admit that hoops is better right now in Southwest Ohio than up Northeast.

Joyce knows that his team is far different than what happened in Trotwood in Flyin' to the Hoop.

 But Joyce also knows that these Rams are unlike any he has seen this season.

Will be interesting to see what type of game plan Joyce will use in trying to stop the Rams.

 With arsenal everywhere, let's take a look at the Rams key players:

Foster goes up on Taft bigs 

Starters -
 Torrey Patton, Sr. G
Patton has had the season few High School players can dream of. A true leader, the leading scorer and dime dropper for the Rams. A combo guard who directs the highest scoring offense in the OHSAA tournament. 1st Team All-State and 2-Time Player of the Year. Can get you 20, 5 and 5 on a bad day. A stat sheet stuffer, who can do it all. A quiet assassin, who will become a star in college. Great size (6'4), with the inate ability to get where he wants on the court. Should be a showcase for Patton this weekend.
Prospect: Major D-1

Amir Foster, Sr. G
Foster is a stick of dynamite who can explode at any time to change the game. One of the best 1 on 1 defenders in the country.  Can shoot from NBA range, and will dunk on the biggest of them. A Combo Guard, who does all the little things to win. Was the MVP of the Regional Final game vs Dunbar, when he led the team with 24 points. Very composed, does not make bad decisions. A true team player and the most athletic player of the team. Always ready for clutch moments, and comes from great lineage.
Nice D-1 Combo Guard size (6'3) and toughness, as he played on the State final Football team as well.
Prospects:  D-1

Amari Davis, Soph, G -F
 Davis is the player you watch and say, "This guy could be tbe one...."
Davis has one of the top 10 mid range games in the country for his class. His ability to get to the basket, is only rivaled by his ability to score from 18 feet out. A true competitor, has game changing, ESPN ability.
A lefty, has a smooth J, and once he gets into a groove, watch out. The hottest prospect on the Rams squad, Davis has a world of potential. Hard to guard,  doesn't force plays, and can run the point, Davis could be the shining star once it plays out in Columbus. When he gets a breakaway, it's lights, camera, action!
Prospects: Major D-1

Myles Belyeu, Jr , G-F
 Belyeu improved his stock more than anyone on the team this season. With a made-for-football type body, Belyeu worked on his overall game and it has shown immensely as his mid-range, his 3-ball, and his ability to drive went up a notch.
Not to mention his stifling defense, which could be the best in Ohio. Built in the D Wade shooting guard  mold, Belyeu is the engine that gets the Rams going.
His performance in Flyin to the Hoop, along with in other key games has shown he can take it to the top level, and out the Rams on his back if need be. Since he has done it a few times this season. Can play 3 positions. Nice shooting guard size (6'3, 210) with crazy athleticism.
Prospects: Mid Major D-1

 Justin Stephens - Soph, C
 Stephens is the anchor in the middle who holds down the fort while the Rams run and play the aggressive D they like to play.  Stephens has been a huge force defensively and will have to be on top of his game in order for the Rams to cut down the nets. Knows his role, and will take on anyone coming down the paint or posting up. Has good footwork, and is averaging 2 blocked Shots a game in the tournament.  Standing at 6'7 & 240, once Stephens becomes a more focal point of the offense, watch out. But overall, he's had a great season, and has not fouled out of half as many games as last season. The real x-factor to the Rams title chances.
Prospects: D-1

Key subs: Sammy Anderson, Carl Blanton

Blanton & Anderson have provided enough juice off the bench to help the Rams get to this point. Head coach "Rocky" as he is affectionately known, and his  The coaching staff has done a great job of getting his young players more quality munutes, and it payed off in the Taft game when Fab Frosh Blanton, Anderson, and the bench helped secure the win with some key plays and buckets.

Coaching Staff:
Rocky Rockholdt and his staff have done a 2nd to none job this season in handling everything that has come their way. Can they keep it up on the big stage? There is no reason to think they wont.
A great job from start to now.

Bottom Line:
The Rams have some things in their favor heading into State Semifinals; Will they take advantage of the rare opportunity & reach the OHSAA State Final? (Saturday @ 1045).

Maybe a LeBron sighting?
Joyce and St Vincent might need the inspiration.

Alter girls make history, win 3rd in a row led by Braxtin Miller

Led by Superstar Guard Braxtin Miller, the Alter Knights won their 3rd consecutive OHSAA Championship last weekend.

Miller was undoubtedly the catalyst, dropping 23 in the contest as the Knights went back to back to back like very few have done in OHSAA history.

 Miller, a do-it-all PG, will take her talents to Oklahoma State next season.
Ohio State had initially recruited her, but after a series of events, the Buckeyes fell back.

Bad move.

 Miller, will look to go into Oklahoma State as the Starting point guard and could be destined for greatness.

Miller, afterwards, didn't really seemed all that amazed about what she had done, not fully grasping the magnitude of what just happened.
Seemingly more relaxed and content than excited, now she can focus on what her next mission is.
To take the Cowboys back to the NCAA Final Four.
Don't be surprised to see if happen.
 Next year.
We just witnessed one of the most humble greats of Ohio All-Time hoops.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

State Berth on the line as Trotwood Dunbar set for rematch

When the season started, it was widely assumed that Trotwood and Dunbar were two of the most talented teams in Southwest Ohio,  possibly the state.

Who takes the Region? Dunbar or Trotwood?

When they met at Trotwood a while ago, it was a classic, with Trotwood winning by 10. The Rams used its signature defense and streak ability to push out on Dunbar early, and was able to hold off the Wolverines for an epic victory.

Neither team lost again.

And here we are.
Regional Finals.

 Two of the most successful schools in the Miami Valley in the last 15 years.

 After a long season, these two will decide who gets the State Berth from this Region (Trent Arena, 3 p.m.)

In their last game #1 State Ranked Trotwood held off a tough Taft team, and exercised some demons in the big win.
It also was the first real test for the Rams, and despite some missed FTs, they still showed poise in the win.

Can Star F Caleb McConnell help lead Wolverines to State?

 Meanwhile Top 10 Ranked Dunbar ran past Bloom-Carroll 71-37.
The Wolverines know that they must play a precise game, especially on the defense end to grab the W.

Trotwood, feels that, if they play their game, they are the best team in the State.

Dunbar and Trotwood are, quite possibly, the 2 best teams in the State.
Would be a heck of a State Championship game.

But bragging rights in Southwest Ohio and a trip to Columbus is what the winning team will get.

Should be a great matchup, and the
winner should cut the nets down in Columbus.

No matter what, it's been a remarkable season for both teams.

Let the show begin.
March madness.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Weekend Recap: Springfield shows grit, wins in OT; Northmont, Centerville fall; Alter girls reach State

Here's the recap of last weekend District Final 

Leonard Taylor, Danny Davis & Wildcats celebrates OT victory over Oak Hill for District Championship

SPRINGFIELD shows resolve, wins in OT

 In what might be the Game of the OHSAA Tournament so far in Southwest Ohio, the Springfield Wildcats held off Cincy Oak Hills in OT  by the score of 46-42.

  Oak Hills led early, but Star G Danny Davis led the Wildcats to a lead at half (18-15)  as he scored 8 of his game high 16 to pace the Cats.

Sharpshooter Mike McKay pressures Oak Hills in 2nd half

But Oak Hill stormed out the 2nd half and took control of the game, led by the hot shooting of Ryan Batte,  who led them with 15. 

  Late in the 4th the Wildcats clutch players came alive, as Davis, Star big man Leonard Taylor (15 pts, 9 reb, 4 dimes, 5 stls) & sharpshooter Mike McKay  connected on some big 3s to keep the Cats afloat, then to take control of OT.

  Springfield showed some true moxie in the win, and with a ruckus crowd and a little inspiration from above never hurts.

   Head Coach Isiah Carson has a brother who passed a few years ago and was a legend on the court. A while ago Johnny "Showtime" Carson was dominating the court for Springfield, before he signed with the Bearcats, and Isaiah remembers fondly of watching his older bro fall to that Oak Hill team his senior year.

Oak Hill shot 1-6 in the 4th quarter from the FT line.
Divine intervention from big bro maybe?

Wildcats celebrate District Title 

A great moment for Springfield & their hoop program and respected coach?
Most definitely.

But you have to give credit where it's due.

They didn't fold when the chips were down, and showed extreme calm and the "clutch gene" in the midst of the wildness and anxiety that OHSAA Tournament brings.

Salute the Cats, District Champs
On to the Regionals.

CENTERVILLE falls late to Mason

Centerville started out strong, and held a lead over Mason in the 1st half as PG Donnie Shelton was dominant in leading the Elks. Centerville led 23-21 at the half, but couldn't score in double digits in either half as Mason regained momentum and shut down the Elks by a score of 44-38.

Edward Puisis led the Comets with 21 big points  & 2 steals as they head to the Regionals.

 Star G Keegan Saben scored 12 while Shelton led the Elks with 13, 4 dimes, and 5 rebs.

 Centerville shot 2-11 from the field in the decisive 4th quarter, sealing their fate.

NORTHMONT starts  slow, LaSalle advances 

The Bolts got off to a slow start and was unable to recover as they fell to Cincy LaSalle 62-33 Saturday night.

 Northmont shot 6-22 in the 1st half, and LaSalle shot 62% (13-21) en route to a big lead. Northmont went 1-17 overall from 3, which was a killer.

     LaSalle was led by F Tre Crigler, who dropped 17 , while teammates Riley Haubner  (16) & CJ Fleming (15, 7 rebs, 5 ass) to lead a balanced attack.

Alter gets back to 3rd straight State

Alter was able to shut down Carroll for a 3rd time this season last weekend, and as a result the Knights will reach a 3rd consecutive Final Four. 
 The Knights are the 2 -Time defending champions, so to accomplish this feat is second to none. 
 They are led by Senior All-American Candidate Braxtin Miller, who eas Co-MVP of the Region. 

  Miller has committed to Oklahoma State, which is a true loss for Ohio State as they have watched her dominate at the OHSAA Tournament, only to watch her leave the state. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

District Recap: Trotwood rolls; Dunbar finishes Wyoming late; Taft spoils Carroll party; Country Day stops Brookville; State Berth on the Line tonight as Alter, Carroll girls collide

Here's the recap of District Final Games this week

Star G Amir Foster goes up for 3 in win vs Urbana 
Trotwood stymies Urbana  
The Rams used patience, a balanced effort and smothering D to throttle Urbana 86-52.
While the game was close in the 1st, Trotwood turned up the pressure and the result was a 24-5 quarter Urbana could not recover from.
 The Rams had 4 scorers in double figures, and will now move on to the Regional Semis to face the team that put them out of the tourney last season in Taft.

Dunbar McConnell leads Wolves past Wyoming
Dunbar star F Caleb McConnell dropped a couple key buckets late, the Wolverines used a 10-0 spurt to end the game and the Wolverines moved back to the Regional Semis after a 66-56 win.
Wyoming had tied the game after being down 7 going into the 4th (45-38) but rallied to tie it up and had a breakaway to take the lead. After the turnover from Wyoming, Dunbar put the game away and will march on. The Wolverines had 3 players (Cook, Baker, McConnell) in double figures.

Taft D shuts Carroll down to get win  
The Senators came out cold as ice, and Carroll was hitting on all cylinders to take a 19-3 lead in the 1st quarter.
After the 1st quarter, it was all Taft as the Patriots would not score in double digits in the last 3 quarters to fall 52-40. While Taft looked bad, Carroll had the momentum. But Taft continued to battle, and the interior defense took over while the offense started to click.
Taft will face Trotwood in the Regional Semis

Country Day too much for Brookville
Cincy Country Day moved on to the Regionals after a convincing win over Brookville. Country Day was hitting on all cylinders, and Brookville couldn't match the offense.

Star Players of the Week  - Who were the top players in District Finals?

Amari Davis - Trotwood   - Davis dropped another 20 spot on great shooting, and has his flow going.

Caleb McConnell -  Dunbar  - McConnell hit a huge 3 to snap a tie game late and another to send the Wolverines to the next round. He ended with 19 and 7 rebs

Ezyontae Brazzle -  Taft  - Brazzle dropped 19 and kept the Senators afloat until they took over the game

Malek Green   - Taft  - The big man was huge, with a  double double (10 pts, 12 rebs, 2 blks) and provided inside presence for a Taft win

Torrey Patton  - Trotwood  - The smooth PG added another great all around game to the resume (19 pts, 8 assists, 7 rebs, 3 stls) to lead the Rams

Lonnie Grayson  - Wyoming  - Grayson did everything in the game, with 16pts, 6 reb, 4 dimes, 1 blk and 2 steals in the loss

Eli Ramsey  -  Carroll  - The big forward was the most effective player for Carroll with 12 pts and 5 boards, and 2 blocks to add

Levi Boettcher   - Urbana  - Boettcher was rock solid, with a double double (15pts, 11rbs, 3 dimes, 2 blocks) in the loss.

Girls (D-2)
State Semifinal Berth Tonight  on the line Between Carroll and Alter

Two of the best teams in D-2 will go at it tonight with a State Semifinal Berth on the line as Carroll (23-4) will take on Alter (24-2) @ Springfield HS (7pm).

The 2-time Defending State Champs are led by All-American Candidate  Braxtin Miller, who is headed to Oklahoma State. The PG has put the team in another position to reach the State, which is the stuff of legends.
On the other hand, you have a hungry and focused Carroll team, who has steamrolled everyone in their way.
They are led by All-State baller Amanda Schroeder, who is a serious threat all over the court and at 6'0 can post up with the best of em.
Only problem is, she averaged 7 ppg against Alter this season, both losses.
Can the Patriots pull off the upset?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

District Finals Tonight at UD Arena; Weekend Recap: Trotwood cruises; Dunbar rallies; Ponitz falls; Northmont pushes on; Stars of the Weekend

Here the recap on Saturday and Sunday games in Southwest Ohio in the Miami Valley:

Star Player Devon Baker led Wolverines with 29 in win vs.  C-J

Dunbar rallies, outlasts C-J 
 In a emotional roller coaster of a game, Dunbar used a gritty 4th quarter and some clutch play to rally past C-J and win the Sectional.

  Early in the game, Dunbar dictated the flow, and held a lead in the first half. But Eagles star G Christian Montague  got going, and once he did? The entire Eagles offense followed suit as they went on a 26-10 and took a commanding lead (56-49) into the 4th off a half court shot by P'Hariz Watkins.

Dunbar then used the 4th quarter, at full strength, to battle back, then a Chris Jackson bomb gave the Wolverines a lead late in the 4th they would never relinquish.

Star G Devon Baker led the Wolverines with 29 as he clearly was the dominant player on the court.
Up next for Dunbar?
 Cincy Wyoming

C-J P'Hariz Watkins takes on Dunbar Devon Baker in Sectional Final

Trotwood handles business, stops Valley View
 The Rams jumped out on Valley View and never looked back as they shut down the Spartans to single digits in the 1st 2 quarters of the game to roll to a 83-40 win. While the game wasn't flashy, it was all substance for the #1 State Ranked Rams as they won the Sectional Final at UD Arena.

 The Rams were led by Sophomore Star G Amari Davis, (20pts) who has vowed to do work this season at the Arena after his tough ending last season. Also big man Justin Stephens did damage on the defense, with 4 big blocks, and holding down the paint, shutting down the Spartans interior plans.
 The Rams stifling D was the main reason for the lopsided score.
Up next? Urbana for the District Final tonight.

Northmont wins Sectionals, stops Boro'
Northmont continued it's great play with a emphatic win over Sprinboro.
The inside outside duo of Vinson Walker & Christian Wilson was too much for the Boro to handle as the Bolts won 63-50. Wilson had 18 to lead the troops, while Walker dropped a double double (12 pts, 17reb) to help the cause.
 With the win it puts the Bolts in position to win a District title this week.
While they won't be the favorite,  it does show that  
they have came a long way this season, and they are not a fluke. With all the tools to make a state run, can Northmont continue to roll in the District Finals?
Up next: Mason

Carroll squeaks past Ponitz  
Ponitz had a chance late in the game to grab the victory, but a couple tough plays and a Star performance by F Stafford Stevens (25pts, 7 rbs) moved the Patriots over the Panthers 45-43.

    In a game that featured great defense, timely FT  shooting, and a lot of drama, Carroll defeated another City league opponent for a Sectional Title in back to back years.

  While the game was tight late, the Patriots experience and a couple key plays was the difference.
 Carroll didn't make a 3-ptr in the entire game, but they hit 19 FTs, which helped them tremendously; they will take on Taft tonight;
  The Panthers coaching staff was upset about the loss, but knows they had a good first season.

Ponitz big man Eric Sealey Jr. led the Panthers with his gritty play, similar to a Dennis Rodman style presence that Coach Pittman had talked about.

The 6-3 junior F had a season high 16 rebounds; but it was his defense, his intensity and leadership which kept Ponitz in the game in the 1st half when shots weren't falling. Ponitz only scored 14 points in the 1st half.

Taft defeats Hughes  
Cincy Taft delivered a huge w with a gutty performance over top seeded Hughes. Hughes has had a very good season, beating Taft twice;
But Taft showed why they could be a force to be reckoned with as they fought, grabbed a late lead, and was able to hold on for a Sectional Title.
Up next? Carroll

Wyoming stops Woodward in 2 OTs
 Top seeded Cincy Wyoming was able to overcome 2 OTs in order to put down Woodward.
While it looked like Woodward was about to stun Wyomng, they were able to force OT, and outlast Woodward.
Wyoming will now travel to UD Arena to face Dunbar tonight.

Brookville continues to roll 
 Brookville garnered another Sectional title with a easy win last week.
 Can they grab another District title this week?
With a good coaching staff and a couple stars on display, could Brookville reach the Regionals? They will have to defeat #1 seed Summit County Day.

Key Games Tonight
District Finals 

5:30    Trotwood  vs  Urbana    
Can Urbana continue its great run? Or will they be overwhelmed by the highest scoring & scariest team in the OHSAA Tournament?
Trotwood is averaging 104 points a game. Can Urbana match that offensive firepower, or shift the game in their favor?

7:30    Carroll   vs  Cincy  Taft 
Can Carroll continue to play their way, led by Star F Stafford Stevens? Or will talented and well coached Taft win the District Finals again in UD Arena just like last year?
In a game that will feature 2 different styles, who will win the huge matchup?

9:30    Dunbar   vs  Cincy Wyoming 
 Can Dunbar knock off the #1 seed in the bracket?  They will have the home game, but Wyoming is up for the challenge, as they were tested in the last game, a 2 OT thriller over Woodward. Dunbar is playing at a very high level. With both teams having great talent, should be a heck of a game.

Stars of the Sectional Weekend 

Here's the top players from the Sectional  Weekend  

Amari Davis, Trotwood  - Davis dropped 20 to lead Rams to easy W, and added a vicious dunk to match

Keegan Saben, Centerville  - Saben was unstoppable in halting Wayne Train; inside, outside, and at the line for a game high 25 points

Mike McKay,  Springfield  -McKays big basket helped lead the Wildcats over Xenia and a Sectional title

Devon Baker, Dunbar  - Baker clutch play and 29 points help propel the Wolverines

Stafford Stevens, Carroll  - Stevens grinded his way to a tough 27 & 7 and a Sectional win

Christian Wilson, Northmont  - Wilson led the Bolts with 18 in a Sectional win

Vinson Walker, Northmont  - Walker worked hard for 17 monstrous boards to go with 12 points in a huge double double performance to help lead Northmont to a win

Christian  Montague, C-J  In a loss, Montague was spectacular against State Ranked Dunbar,  dropping 27 & 6 reb

Chris Jackson, Dunbar  -The clutch sharpshooter delivered when it counted hitting the go ahead 3, and added 17 & 7 Reb to get Dunbar the Sectional title

Milton Gage, C-J  - Gage was downright nasty as well, pouring in 23 on a variety of moves in a loss

Justin Stephens, Trotwood  - The big man completely dominated the paint against Valley View, with 4 blocks

Eric Sealey Jr, Ponitz - Sealey, who could be the next great rebounder who is unknown, hauled in 16 boards, played shutdown defense, and kept the Panthers in the game

Next Article: Top  20 Players from Flyin to the Hoop

Follow Us on the Journey! 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Friday Recap: Springfield survives in OT; Wayne falls to Elks; Huge Games Today

Heres the recap on the Sectional games from Friday night.

Springfield wakes up in time to squeak past Xenia in OT
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Xenia Bucs had played a nearly flawless game, and seemed headed to a huge upset of the #1 seed.
Until the Springfield Wildcats unleashed a late flurry starting early in the 4th to send it into OT, then outlasted Xenia to win and move on to the District finals by a score of 73-72.
 Led by Leonard Taylor, Danny Davis and Mike McKay, the Wildcats will head to the finals for the first time in 4 years. They will face the winner of the #3 Oak Hills vs #12 Wilmington matchup.

Coach Carson and the Cats fans were very relieved after it looked as if Springfield would be the first #1 seed to go down in the OHSAA Bracket.

Centerville knocks off Wayne
The Centerville Elks used hot shooting, patient offense, and a Senior leader in Keegan Saben to shut down Wayne 74-58 on Friday night.
Wayne hit the first bucket of the game, a 3-pointer, and after that, it seemed like a struggle to get the ball in the hoop, as they shot poorly from the perimeter. While Centerville seemed comfortable in the game plan, the Wayne Train couldn't get on track, aside from Star F L'Christian "Blue" Smith, as Smith hit 3 3-pointers to keep Wayne in the game.
Ultimately, it was too much Saben and the Elks.
Centerville had 4 guys in double figures, led by Sabens 25, and will move on to play either #6 Lakota East or #4 Mason.

Keegan Saben delivers in the clutch for Centerville 

Saben was unstoppable, using screens, the baseline, back door moves and his own dribble moves to get his game off. Sam Lash (14) and G Donnie Shelton (10, 6rbs, 5ass, 4 steals) helped in a overall team effort.

Blue Smith (15) and Deshawn Parker (10) led the Warriors in scoring.

D-1 NORTHMONT    vs  SPRINGBORO     @ Centerville (7:30)
 Can Northmont continue to play lights out like they have this season? Or will Springboro continue to find a way to win when it counts?
  This GWOC matchup could come down to the wire.

#7 VALLEY VIEW    vs  #1 TROTWOOD   (5 pm)
Can Valley View compete with the best team in the State according to the OHSAA Final HS State Poll? While Valley View has had a good season, it will take a monumental effort to pull off the upset today as the Rams look to reach the District Finals. The Rams are averaging a whopping 115 points a game in the tournament.

#10 CARROLL        vs     #6  PONITZ    (6:30) 
In a game featuring a Carroll team who defeated Thurgood last season in this exact round, can they do it again against the higher seed? While Ponitz has been playing well, this Carroll team will be ready for the challenge. Former Flyer and current Ponitz head Coach Steve Pittman has had a very good first year. Can he grab a sectional title?

#5 CHAMINADE-JULIENNE      vs   #2 DUNBAR   (8pm)
In the game of the Day, can C-J and their dynamic backcourt somehow pull off the major upset of the Wolverines? Dunbar's offense has been nothing but high octane as they scored 100 in the last game. Can Chaminade play their game, slow the tempo down and keep the game in the 50's like they want it? Or will one of the Top teams in the State show that they are too much to handle?

CINCY Bracket
#2 HUGHES               vs         #3  TAFT 
Can Cincy Hughes get the big win over Taft?  While TAFT was a shot away from State last season, they will be hard pressed to stop Hughes and their marksmanship. Not to mention HUGHES winning the games this season as well. Can Taft find what it will take to pull off the big W?

#1 WYOMING            vs        #4 WOODWARD
Can WYOMING continue its great season? Or will perennial WOODWARD pull off the minor upset? Woodward has the pieces to do it, but Wyoming has been nearly unstoppable all season.

Friday, March 3, 2017

GWOC on display tonight in Sectional Finals; Rams #1 in final State Poll; Boddie nabs Player of Year in City League

The 2nd weekend of the OHSAA Tournament  will feature some of the best teams, exciting matchups, & rivalries in Southwest Ohio in HS hoops.
Not to mention a few intriguing rematches to boot.

Will "Blue Smith" and the Wayne Train roll over the Elks tonight?

Here's the Marquee Matchups for the Sectional Finals tonight: 

WAYNE   vs.  CENTERVILLE  @Butler HS (7:30)  
Wayne has been playing well lately, as evidenced by the shutdown Performance they had vs Miamisburg.  Centerville has also been playing at a high level, and know this is as good a shot as they will have to beat the Wayne Train in a tourney setting.

Problem is, L'Christian Blue Smith is back, and playing well. Not good for the Elks, who also are dealing with a angry Wayne team who felt like they underachieved a little bit last season, and want to atone for that.

We know that these 2 teams have no love for each other, but mutual respect.  And we also know the game will be close. Add great coaching, and you have the GWOC at its best.

Can the Cats continue to move towards a State Berth?
SPRINGFIELD   vs  XENIA  @ Centerville HS (7:30)
 In this game, Can Xenia and their high powered offense stay on pace with the top dog in the Bracket?
Xenia was able to win late in the first 2 tourney  games, and now find themselves against a extremely confident and talented Wildcats team. The Bucs, led by Samari Curtis, can score in bunches, but the Cats have done it more consistently this season, and the key is the Cats, D, which is downright stifling during stretches in games.

Dayton Public League selected their All-City Players and Player of the Year last week.

Stivers Tigers F Tony Boddie was selected as the Player of the Year, after he led the Tigers to 2nd place in the City League this season.

2017 Dayton City League 1st Team

Trotwood ends up #1 in State in Final Regular Season Poll 
The Trotwood Rams finished the Regular season #1 in the OHSAA State D-2 Basketball Poll.
Trotwood (20-2) had a banner year, only losing to Sidney and Nationally ranked Prolific Prep featuring Nationally Ranked player Gary Trent Jr.

The Rams will play tomorrow at UD Arena.