Dayton, OH — Former Springfield guard and current Spire Academy player Ra’Heim Moss has committed to the University of Toledo to play basketball. Moss decided to attend Spire Academy and play on the postgrad team there this winter. Moss averaged 18 points a game last season at Springfield. The Wildcats were eliminated in the regional semi-final against Centerville. Moss had offers lined up from Cincinnati to play football and basketball and offers from Kentucky, Bowling Green, Ohio, Toledo and Eastern Kentucky also to play football. In the end, he chose basketball and decided he would attend Spire for a season to try and attract more colleges. In the end, he chose Toledo as his home for college and he will enroll there next fall. Moss’ Spire team will have a very highly anticipated matchup versus his former school Springfield at Flyin’ to the Hoop in late January.
Dayton, OH — It was a quiet afternoon as football fans stayed home to watch the playoff games but Belmont and Northridge still had a great game. Northridge came into this game as dropping a tough loss the night before to Meadowdale who came back from behind to seal the victory. Belmont had not played for about eight days entering this contest and four-star big man Shawn Phillips who already has offers from Ohio State and other D-I schools was playing in just his 6th game since returning from a foot injury that kept him out to start the season. Phillips was matched up against Northridge big man Cameron Evans who is avergaing a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds a game. Phillips was locked up most of the first half which opened up opportunities for other players like Belmont guard Randy Latham to succeed. Latham got a steal and score to put the Bisons up 7-4 early. Then Belmont senior Logan Moore and Latham both tacked on some layups to make it a 13-6 advantage before Northridge burned a timeout. Northridge guard Isaiah McCallop hit a three ball to make it a 15-9 game at the end of the first quarter. Northridge junior guard Jamel Crusoe shut down the gym with a massive one handed slam that sent the Polar Bears crazy. Then just a couple plays later Crusoe hit McCallop who nailed the open three off of a fornutate bounce to give Northridge a 19-18 lead. Northridge added on to their lead as Chad Florence hit a cintestetd layup and McCallop hit yet another three pointer to give the Polar Bears 24-19 lead. Randy Latham hit two layups to cut it to just a one point defecit going into halftime. Both teams came out of halftime kind of lathargic but freshman Antaune Allen got the scoring started for Belmont as he banked in a three to give the Bisons back the lead and Belmont never looked back from there. Big man Shawn Phillips turned up in the second half scoring all of his 10 points in clutch time and guard Randy Latham finished with a game high 16 points. For Northridge, they were led by McCallop’s 13, Cameron Evans with 11, and Shawn Shehee with 10. This loss for Northridge was mostly due to the lack of offensive production and turnovers in the second half as they couldnt get things rolling after halftime and Belmont took advantage.
Bellbrook, OH — Turnovers. Turnovers. Turnovers. That’s what killed the Golden Eagles early in the game and what killed them late in the game as well. The young core that leads Bellbrook is sophomore guard Ryan Chew who is one of the most talented sophomore’s in the Dayton area. He is paired with Gabe Pavlak who is exactly what a coach wants in a low post defender and a low post scorer. Badin is led by a trio of seniors that will bring a lot of leadership and experience to this Rams team this season. Guards Josh Hegemann and Andrew Larkin work very well together and they are compliemented nicely by big man Zach Switzer. Larkin had a quiet night against Bellbrook which presented an opportunity for guard Donovan Watkins. Watkins got the scoring started off after picking off a Bellbrook pass and taking it coast to coast for an easy layup. Zach Switzer than made it a 4-0 advantage for the Rams after a putback. The scoring continued for Badin, as guard Josh Hegemann nailed a deep two to made it a 6-1 lead. Gabe Pavlak and Braeden Gedeon both tacked on buckets for the Eagles to cut it to a 6-5 defecit. Donovan Watkins hit a big corner three for the Rams as he extened the lead to 11-5. Pavlak hit a contested layup and then Ryan Chew hit a big three to give the Eagles a 5-0 run and that made it a 11-10 score. The score at the end of one quarter was 13-10 in advatnage of the Rams. Ashton Ault hit a big three to give the Eagles the lead starting the second quarter. Josh Hegemann answered right back with a jumper to make it a 16-15 game. Pavlak turned up the intestity in the second quarter as he was hype after a layup and than a monster chasedown block as he swatted Zach Switzer. He than blocked Hegemann’s jumper and also had a chasedown block of Donovan Wilcox as Wilcox’s transition layup attempt was violently thrown off the backboard. A full court pass to Gabe Pavlak led to an easy wideopen layup at the buzzer to cut the Rams’ lead down to 23-20 at the half. Senior guard Evan Lakins enteretd the game in the third quarter and immeditaley made an impact. His passes in tight windows helped put Bellbrook right back into this game. Then, out of nowhere Ryan Chew caught fire. He started chucking up shots and they began to fall. Bellbrook led 37-32 after Chew’s second three. Before hitting the shot he made a Badin defender fall. Chew’s three at the buzzer was just short as the Eagles led after three 37-35. Down by five, Josh Hegemann put Badin within two points after hitting a massive and-one layup. He then stole the ball from Chew and laid it in to tie the game at 39 a piece. Ryan Chew finished a lob to give Bellbrook back the lead but had to exit the game with cramps. Soon after that big man Gabe Palvak fouled out of the game but Chew did soon return. It was all downhill from there for Bellbrook as Badin’s Josh Hegemann and Andrew Larkin traded buckets to extend Badin’s lead out to five. The apparent dagger was when Josh Hegemann blocked Ryan Chew’s three point attempt with under a minute to go and Zach Switzer was able to save it. The Rams held the ball and were eventually fouled and that was that. Badin holds on to get a big road win over a talented but young Bellbrook team. The intensity and mojo that Gabe Palvak brought was evident after he fouled out of the game as nothing seemed to be the same after that point in the game. Bellbrook will hope to bounce back as they play Eaton on Friday.
Huber Heights, OH — It was a busy night at Wayne high school on Monday night. A lot of former alumni were in the building. Akron senior Xeyrius Williams, Wisconsin senior D’Mitrik Tice, Ashland junior Rodrick Caldwell, Kentucky senior Ahmad Wagner and others were all in attendance. Along with Green Bay freshman and former Trotwood-Madison star Amari Davis. The game itself was very odd. With a little more than two minutes remaining in the first quarter, the scoreboard clock stopped working which led to a 10-minute break where the Wayne athletic staff tried to find a replacement scoreboard. A couple of minutes later, a Ponitz player checked into the game that wasn’t in the book which led to a technical foul assessed to the Panthers. The game itself was exciting in the first quarter. DeVon Perdue could not miss as he hit multiple threes that kept Ponitz competitive in the first half. Malcolm Curry hit a big three at the end of the half to give the Warriors a five-point lead heading into the locker room. DeVon Perdue got the second half started with a putback off of his own missed shot. That cut the Wayne lead to just two, as the score was now 36-34. Dayjaun Anderson continued to turn up the defensive intensity as he swatted Malcolm Curry’s shot attempt. The very next play another player swatted Lawrent Rice this time and it went right into the hands of DeVon Perdue who threw it ahead to Malik Simmons for the easy layup. That cut Wayne’s lead to two points once again. Lawrent Rice than stole the ball and made a nice move to make the defender miss the steal and that led to an easy layup. Malcolm Curry than got an offensive rebound and was fouled on the putback which went in. This and-one started to put Pontiz away as Wayne grabbed the momentum with these two plays. Ponitz freshman Dayjaun Anderson made a three from way downtown which Ponitz within 4 and right back in the game. Jalen Orwig ended the quarter with a steal and transition layup at the buzzer to add on to Wayne’s lead as the score at the end of the 3rd was 45-39 in advantage of the Warriors. Lawrent Rice and Elijah Brown both added on two points to Wayne’s lead as they now led 49-40. Then the nail in the coffin to put Wayne up 51-40 was a nasty Lawrent Rice euro step which sent the defender in the other direction. From there it was pretty back and forth as Wayne maintained a steady lead and ending up winning 64-51. Wayne was led offensively by Lawrent Rice who finished with 15 points, Cam Fancher had 11, and Malcolm Curry had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Panthers were led by DeVon Perdue with 15 points. They also had strong performances from Malik Simmons and Dayjaun Anderson. Wayne’s next game will be at the Lima Holiday Tournament this weekend, while Ponitz has a tough stretch of games upcoming. They play Reynoldsburg, Thomas Worthington, Medina, and Dublin Coffman who are all strong D-I programs that will give the Ponitz Panthers a major test this upcoming week and a half.
Dayton, OH — The City League rivalry between Stivers and Thurgood Marshall was renewed on Friday night. The Tigers and Cougars faced each other last night for the first time since the highly competitive battles of last season. Thurgood Marshall and Stivers shared the City League title last season so both of these games should be exciting games to watch. The game was very back and forth in the first half and both teams traded buckets throughout the first half. Thurgood did hold the advantage heading into halftime though 29-28. Stivers guard Trevon Ellis missed a majority of the first half due to foul trouble. There were some words and pushes being thrown around while both teams exited the court at the end of the first half. No ejections or technical fouls were assessed though as the referees and security did a great job keeping it under control. In the second half, Thurgood came out hot. They led 41-28 as they had 12 unanswered points to begin the quarter. When it seemed like Stivers had nothing left in the tank and was ready to roll over, Dajuan Allen caught fire. He made every shot he took and he brought Stivers right back into the game. Thurgood still held a 54-46 lead at the end of the third after Anthony McComb converted on an and-one. The fourth quarter was an absolute battle. Trevon Ellis, Allen Lattimore, and Dajuan Allen all came out firing on all cylinders for the Tigers and they brought themselves back in the game. With 1:30 left and the game coming down to the wire, Stivers held a 71-69 lead. Guard Doug Spear drove down the lane and made an impressive up-and-under layup to extend the lead to 73-69. Thurgood’s Chanze Amerson answered on the other end with a tough layup to make it a one-possession game. Stivers’ Trevon Ellis missed a layup at the other end with 40 seconds remaining. Anthony McComb quickly pulled down the board and kicked it ahead to Mekhi Elmore who was wide open at the other end of the court. His open layup with 45 seconds remaining tied the game at 73 apiece. Ellis got the ball for Stivers and drove to the hoop before he was fouled. He made the front end of the two free throws but missed the second one. That gave Thurgood Marshall the ball down by one with 30 seconds left. Chanze Amerson’s contested three was too strong but he got his own rebound and then was fouled by Allen Lattimore. This controversial call with 7.9 seconds left gave Amerson a chance to win it at the line. Amerson made the first free-throw to tie the game at 74. The second free throw was just short, Prophet Johnson almost got the offensive rebound but Stivers guard Allen Lattimore ripped it away before losing his handle on the ball at midcourt. That resulted in a jump ball between Lattimore and Chanze Amerson. The possession arrow pointed towards Thurgood Marshall, so the Cougars would get a chance at a final shot. With 2.7 seconds left, Thurgood inbounded the ball to Chanze Amerson whose shot was blocked and regulation was over. After two Doug Spear free-throws, Thurgood’s Mekhi Elmore missed a layup and Stivers’ Allen Lattimore missed a three on the other end, but Stivers got the offensive rebound and then there was another controversial foul call on Thurgood as it appeared to be a clean steal but was ruled a foul. Stivers couldn’t convert at the line, and Thurgood Marshall’s Chanze Amerson was fouled while going up for a layup and he also couldn’t hit either of the two free-throws so it stood at a two-point Stivers lead with 2:45 to go. A Trevon Ellis free-throw and another Doug Spear layup gave Stivers a 5 point lead with under two minutes to go. Chanze Amerson drove down the court two plays in a row to cut it to just a one-point lead with less than a minute to go. Doug Spear was dribbling down the sideline when they called a blocking foul on Thurgood Marshall. He made one of the two free-throws. Thurgood than missed an open layup with 40 seconds remaining and Trevon Ellis’ full-court outlet pass to Doug Spear was then quickly thrown inside to Allen Lattimore who made the open layup to give Stivers the 5 point lead. Amerson quickly chucked up a three, it was no good and the Stivers Tigers have now taken complete control of the Dayton City League. They sit atop the City League standings after this amazing overtime battle with Thurgood Marshall. Both of these teams meet again of February 7th for what should be another game to possibly decide the City League champion.
Troy, OH — A long-standing rivalry that has jumped from conference to conference has been renewed in the MVL on Tuesday night. The Butler Aviators coming in at 2-3 traveled up to Troy to battle the 4-1 Trojans. Troy’s only loss is at the hands of what was a red hot West Carrollton team who has recently lost two straight. Butler’s three losses come to Wayne, Sidney, and Stebbins. All pretty decent teams this year. Both teams lost a lot of talent last season as Butler lost ten seniors who helped them win the GWOC North two years in a row, while Troy lost their leading scorer from last season Caillou Monroe. Butler is a team this season that seems to live-and-die off of the long-range shooting. They struggled in the first half, as they only managed to put up 10 points total throughout two-quarters of basketball. Troy held a 26-10 at halftime after a kind of sloppy first half for the Trojans as well. In the third quarter, Archie, Owens, and Olden all caught fire and put the game away for Troy. They held a 45-19 lead at the end of the third quarter and that was that. Butler did end up outscoring Troy in the fourth quarter 22-18, but at that point, the game was already over. Butler started to press late in the game and it worked well for them as they got a lot of easy buckets off of it. For Butler, they were led by Tyler Montague who finished with 15 points but struggled shooting the ball as he was 0-5 in an uncharacteristic night for him. Cooper Justice had 9 points for the Aviators and Quincy Rackley finished with 8. Troy was led by Tre Archie as he had 19 points in the big win. Jaden Owens and Shaeden Olden backed him up as well as they finished with 15 and 13. Also a nice shooting night for Austin Stanaford who went 3-3 from the field and had 9 points. This was a big win for Troy and a big loss for Butler as the Trojans look to keep the momentum rolling against Sidney on Friday, and Butler looks to bounce back big time in a tough test against West Carrollton.
Fort Recovery, OH — Ohio State commit Kalen Etzler and the defending D-IV state champion Convoy Crestview Knights traveled to Fort Recovery to take on the Indians. Fort Recovery was fresh off of a big two-point win over Parkway in a MAC showdown between two teams fighting for a chance at the MAC title this year. Fort Recovery knew that out-conference foe Crestview would be a major test for them as Etzler has defined himself as one of the best forwards in Northwest Ohio. Fort Recovery was led by senior Grant Knapke who is one of the best returning players in the MAC this season and will be a crucial part of the Indians’ success this season. Another impact player for Fort Recovery was big man Clay Schmitz who played some big minutes Saturday as well. Freshman Gavin Etzler got the scoring started with a three-ball from the corner to get the Knights out to an early advantage. Crestview came out in a 2-3 zone which didn’t seem to affect Fort Recovery at all. Clay Schmitz got the scoring started for the Indians as he backed down the defender and got the easy layup. Then, Grant Knapke went above the Clay Schmitz screen and knocked down the open three as Fort Recovery’s offense seemed to be flowing pretty smoothly in the first quarter. Knapke and Schmitz both added onto Recovery’s lead as Schmitz got an and-one and Knapke drilled another three-ball. Kalen Etzler’s quiet first quarter ended when he drilled a deep three and drove to the rim for a layup to bring Crestview back into the game and make it a 17-17 score at the end of the first quarter. Etzler hit another deep three to begin the second quarter, then he made the play of the night as he blocked a Fort Recovery player’s shot and drove down the length of the court before dunking it over a Recovery defender attempting to take a charge. Clay Schmitz got his own rebound and made a buzzer-beater to round out the first half. The score at halftime was 28-23, Crestview led. The Indians started to trap in the second half as their defense stepped up a notch and got them back in the game as it was a 37-36 score at the end of the third quarter. The fourth quarter made for some exciting action as both teams traded buckets the rest of the way. Etzler made a big three to put Crestview up. Fort Recovery cut it to a two-point lead and then forward Clay Schmitz drove down the lane with 29 seconds left and was fouled. Fort Recovery was in the bonus so Schmitz was sent to the line. He made the first shot but missed the second shot to tie. Etzler rebounded with a one-point lead and 25 seconds left. Then, Gavin Thobe made the play of the game as he stripped Etzler of the ball and made the layup with Etzler chasing from behind. Crestview called a timeout and the Fort Recovery gymnasium erupted as the Indians held the narrow lead with less than 15 seconds to go. The final possession was mayhem as Kalen Etzler handed it off to Gavin Etzler who dumped it off to a guard in the corner. That left for only a second left as he barely got the shot off. It rattled in and out and the Fort Recovery Indians survived at home. Grant Knapke led the Indians in scoring as he finished with 11 points and big man Clay Schmitz finished with 9. This was a big win for Fort Recovery as they’ll return to action on the 21st at Ansonia.
Centerville, OH — It was a battle between two GWOC heavyweights on Friday night. The highly anticipated matchup between freshman Gabe Cupps and Lawrent Rice did not disappoint. Cupps finished with 10 points and Rice with 8. Gabe Cupps grew very popular over the summer after being posted on ESPN, Overtime, Bleacher Report, and other major media outlets after playing Bronny James’s Blue Chips team and playing LeBron himself in a three-point competition. Lawrent Rice already had an offer from Ohio University before ever stepping foot on a varsity basketball court and he has not disappointed this season at all. He’s averaged 9 points over Wayne’s first five games this season. In the first quarter, Wayne guard Malcolm Curry got the game started with a giant swat and that gave Wayne the early momentum. Centerville’s Rich Rolf would get the scoring started with a quick layup to put the Elks up 2-0 early, Big man Mo Njie then electrified the crowd with a massive dunk. Njie currently has offers from Dayton, Providence, Toledo, and Xavier. Centerville and Wayne both double teamed and face guarded the duo of talented freshman, that led for other opportunities for lesser-known players. One of those players for Wayne was Ben Palma who had 9 points on the night and hit a big three in the first quarter to give Wayne the lead. Centerville battled back though, Kebba Njie led the Elks to a 17-12 lead at the end of one. The second quarter was some of the same story, Cam Fancher blocked Rich Rolf twice before Rolf finally found the bottom of the rim and scored. Gabe Cupps then hit a giant three, and the Centerville student section went wild. The Elks continued to connect on threes and Cupps ended the half with an and-one which put Centerville up nine going into the break. Njie took over in the third quarter as he had a dunk and two massive chase-down blocks. The crowd chanted “Mo says no,” after the second block. Fancher and Curry led the Warriors back into the game though as the score at the end of the third was 40-38 in advantage of the Elks. Wayne then tied the game as James Cammon connected on a three to tie the game at 41 apiece. Njie then had a pair of big dunks to give the Elks back the lead, Ben Palma and Damiene Boles stepped up down the stretch as they both got shots to fall to tie the game with 30 seconds left. Then with the game on the line, Centerville gave the ball down low to Njie, who was being closely guarded by Palma. Njie went up for the shot and the refs called a shooting foul on Palma. A foul that many Wayne fans thought was a clean block. Both of his free-throws bounced in-and-out and after the second one with 17 seconds left, Rich Rolf was called for an over-the-back foul as he tried to get the rebound over Damiene Boles Jr. This sent Boles to the line as Wayne was in the double bonus. He would go on to make both free throws to give Wayne a two-point lead. Then, senior Andre Zimmerman drove the length of the court and his shot was rejected by Malcolm Curry. Zimmerman got his own rebound and Brook Cupps took his last timeout. With 7.5 seconds left and down by two, Centerville gave the ball inside to Rich Rolf. His shot was rejected by Brendan Hill. Rolf got his own rebound before the ball was tipped out to Gabe Cupps. Cupps was open for the possible game-tying shot but it rattled in and out and the Wayne Warriors stunned the Centerville Elks in a GWOC heavyweight battle between two really well-coached teams. Mo Njie finished with 17 points for Centerville, while Cupps finished with 10, Rolf with 10, and Kebba Njie with 9. For Wayne, Malcolm Curry and Ben Palma led them in scoring as they both went for 9, Lawrent Rice finished with 8. Wayne returns to action on the 20th, as they will host GWOC rival Springfield and Centerville’s next game will be on the 17th against Fairmont.
Huber Heights, OH — The Fairmont Firebirds fresh off of a big win over Springfield traveled north to take on GWOC rival, the Wayne Warriors. Wayne was still recovering from a couple of close wins against Beavercreek in overtime and Butler. Fairmont jumped out to the early lead as Kaleb Hall and Anthony Johnson both played well in the first quarter. The Firebirds led after one 12-9. They continued to hit big threes in the second quarter as Johnson and Hall led Fairmont to an 8 point lead heading into the locker rooms. Wayne came into the second half with a comeback on their minds. Malcolm Curry hit shot after shot and then big man Ben Palma made his only points of the night as he hit a bigtime three to give the Warriors the lead with 2:24 to play in the third. This shot capped off a massive Wayne run that saw them take back the lead. Curry also added on a layup to give Wayne a three-point lead with 30 seconds left in the third quarter. Danye Lewis’s layup off the glass at the buzzer cut the deficit to one entering the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter was pretty back and forth as Lawrent Rice and Anthony Johnson traded buckets until Danye Lewis got an and-one with 4:17 to go to put the Firebirds up 42-38. Malcolm Curry tied the game back at 42 apiece with a layup with 3:27 to go. Then, just seconds later Curry got a steal and Cam Fancher saved it as he flew out-of-bounds and Curry grabbed the ball and made a layup while also being fouled. This run gave Wayne back the lead and gave them complete momentum of the game. Fairmont would battle back though as Gavin Hellard made a huge layup to tie the game at 46. Lawrent Rice held the ball down to around 10 seconds before he made his move. Anthony Johnson played him tightly and Rice passed it out to Cam Fancher who missed a three, Danye Lewis pulled down the rebound and Fairmont sent the game to overtime. Anthony Johnson and Malcolm Curry both hit mid-range jumpers to tie the game at 48 apiece before Damiene Boles held the ball down to 7 seconds. He drove under the hoop before kicking it out to Curry and than Danye Lewis saved the game again as he packed Curry at the buzzer to send the game to yet another overtime. To begin the second overtime, Curry was fouled and made a pair of free throws. Danye Lewis was also fouled as he had a chance to match Curry but he missed the first shot, before making the second and now the score was 50-49 Wayne still in front. Fairmont had to foul Malcolm Curry as Wayne continued to milk the clock. Curry made both free throws to make it a three-point game. With 30 seconds left, Anthony Johnson dribbled up the court and was fouled on a deep three. He would go on and make the first two shots before missing the third. Wayne dribbled down the court before Fairmont finally fouled Damiene Boles with 22 seconds left. Boles made the first free throw but missed the second and that gave Fairmont a chance down by just two. With just 10 seconds left Danye Lewis drove down the lane and was fouled by Boles (His fifth) and was sent to the line with a chance to tie the game. He missed the first free throw and then intentionally missed the second one. The ball tipped back perfectly and Anthony Johnson was able to get a three-point attempt off but it was no good and Lewis’s tip-in was no good. Kaleb Hall also tip the ball and it went in but he didn’t get the shot off in time as Wayne holds on to stun Fairmont in double overtime. Wayne senior Malcolm Curry had a game-high 23 points, freshman Lawrent Rice had 10 points. For Fairmont, Kaleb Hall and Danye Lewis both had 10 points, and Anthony Johnson finished with a team-high 17. The Wayne train will roll into Centerville high school on Friday and battle the #1 Elks. It will be a 7:30 PM tip and we will be there as well.
Dayton, OH — Nebraska guard and former Xenia star Samari Curtis announced on Friday that he will be leaving the basketball program. So far this season, Curtis has played in 8 games, averaging about 6 minutes and 1 point in each game. He was originally committed to the University of Cincinnati before head coach Mick Cronin left for UCLA. He than decommitted on May 2nd, and had offers from schools like Virginia Tech and others before committing to Nebraska on May 15th. Curtis has not said yet where he will be playing next season, but the former three-star recruit should be a hot player on the transfer market right now. He averaged 30 points a game at Xenia where he became the best to ever play there.