Centerville, Ohio — Before this week started, most people believed this game would be decided for a GWOC title. If Centerville won, they would be outright champions, if Beavercreek won they were co-champs. But after Centerville was upset by Fairmont on Tuesday that opened a door for Beavercreek. That door and the hopes of an outright GWOC championship for Beavercreek were shut after a 75 foot shot from Jordan Howard went in and Springfield upset Beavercreek.
Freshman phenom Gabe Cupps got the scoring started as he drilled a mid-range jumper. Beavercreek responded as senior Chris Herbort nailed a corner three. Kebba Njie and Adam Duvall traded basketball and then sophomore sharpshooter Tom House hit a corner three to put Centerville up 11-5. Chris Herbort hit another corner three to cut it to just a 5 point deficit. House and Herbort then traded NBA range threes and Braden Grant got an and-one to make it a 16-13 game at the end of one.
House continued his hot hand in the second quarter pulling from way past the volleyball line and hitting nothing but net. Then Mo Njie playing in his final home game got a turnaround floater to go. House then hit a jumper which put the Elks up 10. Yousef Saleh and Herbort both got layups but Centerville countered it with baskets of their own. Going into the locker rooms at halftime, Centerville led 30-22.
Gabe Cupps got the second half started off with an and-one jumper. Beavercreek senior guard Yousef Saleh wouldn’t let his team lose this easily. He hit a jumper and then nailed a three to cut the lead down to single digits. Herbort and Saleh continued to fight and cut the lead down to 5 at one point but Gabe Cupps stopped the momentum with a three. Centerville sophomore Ryan Keifer had a big third quarter as he got a layup and then got a steal and coast to coast finish to put the Elks up 52-41. Mo Njie finished off the quarter with a massive slam and Centerville led 54-41 and was one quarter away from a GWOC title.
Adam Duvall had a great 4th quarter as hit shot after shot but Gabe Cupps proved to be too deadly as he drilled a deep three and hit a trio of heavily contested layups to put his team up by 20 and put the game out of reach. Beavercreek showed fight at the end though, Duvall continued to hit his shots down the stretch but it was just too little too late. It was fitting that the final bucket scored in this game would be a slam dunk from Mo Njie as he finished off his career at Centerville with a 72-59 victory over Beavercreek and a GWOC American championship.
Gabe Cupps finished with 21 in the victory, some other key contributors for Centerville were Tom House with 15 and Mo Njie with 8. Adam Duvall had 18 points for Beavercreek, Chris Herbort finished with 16, and Yousef Saleh had 14 in the loss.
This game wraps up both teams’ regular seasons as Centerville will play Tecumseh in the first round of the tournament and Beavercreek will play Lebanon.