Month: March 2020

Carl Blanton commits to Eastern Arizona

Trotwood-Madison senior guard Carl Blanton

Dayton, Ohio — As first reported on the Miami Valley Hoop Vault Instagram and Twitter pages, Trotwood-Madison guard Carl Blanton Jr. will continue his athletic career at Eastern Arizona College. Blanton was a two-time state champion while at Trotwood, as he won a basketball state title in the winter of 2019 and won a football state championship the next fall.

Blanton was still deciding between basketball and football for his college decision but ultimately chose basketball. Blanton and the Rams were not able to finish off their 2020 tournament run due to the COVID-19 pandemic as their Regional Semifinal matchup against Thurgood Marshall was canceled the day that it was scheduled to be played.

Eastern Arizona is located in Thatcher, Arizona and their mascot is the Gila Monsters which is a type of lizard that lives in the area. The Monsters are a member of the NJCAA and were a game away from the Junior College National Championship before falling in the semi-final.

Blanton should make an early impact at Eastern Arizona as he was the GWOC player of the year and one of the most dominant players in recent history in the Dayton area. He helped the Rams win two state titles in both basketball and football and will make the same type of contributions at the next level.

Anna defeats Nat. Trail in District Final

Anna senior forward Kamren Steward
National Trail senior forward Zach Woodall
National Trail junior guard Cameron Harrison

Vandalia, Ohio — The SCAL champion Anna Rockets came into Vandalia Butler High School on Saturday morning as they tried to become the third SCAL school to win a district title this season. They had to play National Trail who won the CCC this season as they’ve been led by junior guard Cameron Harrison.

The first quarter was very balanced as neither team got out to that big of an advantage. National Trail distributed their scores pretty evenly, while Anna mainly relied on Bart Bixler and Kamren Steward. Cameron Harrison nailed a contested jumper at the horn to give the Blazers a 21-18 lead.

Kamren Steward immediately tied the game with a deep three. Zach Woodall dominated the paint, scoring layup after layup. Riley Huelskamp eventually tied the game for Anna with an and-one. A layup from each Bixler and Huelskamp would put Anna up 32-27 before Zach Woodall got a late layup to bring National Trail back. They trailed 32-29 at the half.

National Trail’s Colton Toms had a monster block as he swatted Bart Bixler. Zach Woodall then took the ball coast to coast to bring the Blazers within four. Kamren Steward help Anna go on a run to go up ten, but Zach Woodall and Cameron Harrison led National Trail back. A Coleton Everman buzzer beater brought National Trail back within five. The score heading into the fourth quarter was 50-45, Anna led.

Isaac Lininger hit a corner three to put Anna up 12. Kamren Steward then put the game away with a pair of layups to keep the Rockets up 12. Harrison and Woodall continued to hit shots but it was just too little too late as the Anna Rockets would go on to win yet another district title.

Anna was led by Kamren Steward who had 19 points, he was helped by Isaac Lininger and Riley Huelskamp who put up 16 and 15 each. National Trail was led by Zach Woodall was had 22 and Cameron Harrison who put up 16.

This win will move Anna to the regional semifinal against Stivers. The Rockets will then play the winner of CHCA and Deer Park if they can knock off Stivers in back to back seasons. This loss ends National Trail’s historic season as the CCC champions fall in the district final.

Jackson Center survives close District Final win

Jackson Center junior forward Aidan Reichert
Cedarville senior guard Colby Cross
Cedarville junior guard Trent Koenig

Vandalia, Ohio — On Friday evening at Vandalia Butler High School, another Division IV District Final took place between the Jackson Center Tigers and the Cedarville Indians. Both teams came into the game having very good regular season performances, both coming in with records of 20-5. Jackson Center, led by Junior, and Shelby County Athletic League’s player of the year in Aidan Reichert were looking to try and advance against another solid opponent in Cedarville led by Senior, Colby Cross who had averaged 17.2 points in the regular season.

The first quarter got off to a fast start as Aidan Reichert and Colby Cross both traded some buckets back and forth, but ultimately at the end of the first quarter Jackson Center held a narrow 15-9 lead. Aidan Reichert led the Tigers with 5 points at the end of the quarter while Colby Cross had 4 of his teams points.

Moving on to the second quarter with the Tigers leading by seven, Colby Cross hit a three pointer with 6:13 remaining in the half to cut the deficit to four, followed by a turnover in the backcourt leading to a Trent Koning fast break layup to cut the deficit to two points. The Tigers though were determined to not let this game slip away as Christopher Elchert hit his one of his two three-pointers in the game with 4:45 remaining in the first half to put his team up six. The Tigers went in to the half with a lead over the Indians by the score of 22-18. It was again Aidan Reichert and Colby Cross leading the way for each of their respective teams with nine points each heading into the second half.

The third quarter proved to be all Tigers as they opened up a big lead as Aidan Reichert scored eight of his teams nine points in the third quarter. Defensively the Tigers appeared determined to not let Colby Cross take control of the game as they held him scoreless in the third quarter as they opened up a 31-22 lead heading to the final quarter.

As the Indians opened up the fourth quarter it was clear the game plan was to clear the lane and let Colby Cross try and take control. Eight seconds into the quarter, Cross had a drive to the basket and got fouled on an and-one layup which cut the deficit to six with 7:52 left in the quarter. It was more of the same for much of the quarter as the Indians defensive intensity picked up quite a bit. With 3:45 remaining in the game Colby Cross hit a three pointer to commence and 8-0 run to open the quarter, with all eight points scored by Cross. With the Tigers leading by two points at 33-30 the Indians fouled Reichert with 13.2 remaining and he missed the front end of the one-and-one. The Indians came drove down court and called a timeout with 6.8 seconds remaining, and out of the timeout Trent Koning inbounded the ball right over Isaiah Ramey’s head leading to a turnover. With 5.4 seconds left the Indians sent Clay Akers to the line again missing the front end of a one-and-one. After a couple Tigers fouls, Cedarville had one final attempt with 0.4 seconds remaining in the game. The Indians inbounded the ball at half court to none other than Colby Cross who heaved a desperation three that missed wide left of the basket giving the Jackson Center Tigers a 33-30 victory.

Aidan Reichert and Colby Cross each finished with a team high 17 points for each of their respective teams. The victory sends Jackson Center on to the Sweet-16 with a matchup on Tuesday evening at UD Arena against the Cincinnati Christian Cougars.

Gutsy win moves Springboro to District Finals

Springboro senior forward Noah Moser
Stebbins senior guard Kelby Cox
Stebbins senior guard Jalen Tolbert
Springboro senior forward Landon Palmer
Stebbins junior guard Jakob Reed

Trotwood, Ohio — In a matchup of the underdogs, Springboro and Stebbins battled it out to try and face Moeller at the Cintas Center. Stebbins was fresh off a win against Sidney while Springboro had upset Miamisburg the game before that. Both of these teams wanted to continue their magical tournament runs as they will both lose a majority of their offensive production next season.

Stebbins got the momentum early, as Jakob Reed converted on an and-one on the first play of the game. Landon Palmer got a tip-in, Willieon Yates hit a jumper and then Kahleel Trent got a layup and suddenly ‘Boro led 6-3. Jalen Tolbert hit a jumper for the Indians but Trent responded with a deep three. Kelby Cox drove baseline to get a contact layup to go and then he hit a three. Springboro senior Noah Moser would hit an off-balance jumper at the horn to give the Panthers an 11-10 lead at the end of the first.

Stebbins got three straight unanswered baskets to start the second quarter as they led 16-11. Matt Yim got a wide-open layup off the assist from Sam Feldman. It appeared Feldman traveled before the pass so many Stebbins fans were unhappy with that call. Feldman would barely miss the buzzer-beater to end the first half as Stebbins led as halftime 20-18.

Kelby Cox started off hot in the third quarter as he made a nice spin move to get the layup and then took the defender baseline and converted at the rim. This gave Stebbins a 24-18 lead. Kahleel Trent would hit yet another three to cut the deficit to one. Jakob Reed made a fancy spin move which led to another Stebbins score. Landon Palmer continued to go to work this half as he got his second bucket under the hoop and then hit a corner three to cut the lead to 30-28. Sam Feldman made a layup plus a foul to bring the Panthers within one before Kelby Cox would nail a corner three for Stebbins. Jakob Reed and Jalen Tolbert each scored again as Stebbins led 41-35 going into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter was an absolute dog fight as Jalen Tolbert and Noah Moser went at each other. Both players hitting big shot after big shot. Springboro eventually took back the lead after Sam Feldman bulldozed the defender and made the shot and the refs ruled it a blocking foul. Feldman free-throw was no good but Moser got the rebound and kicked it out to Willieon Yates, who drilled the three to put Springboro up 49-45. After another Sam Feldman field goal, Nate Keller decided to extend his range as he knocked down the three to cut it to a one-possession game. Willieon Yates got a steal and made a nice bounce pass to Moser, who scored in transition to make it a five-point ‘Boro lead. Moser would hit another jumper and then Kelby Cox, got a nice second-chance basket to make the score 55-50.

Up by five with one minute left, Sam Feldman missed the front-end of a one and one, and Jakob Reed took it coast-to-coast to bring the Indians within three. Then up 57-54 with 28.5 seconds left, Kahleel Trent was at the line. He made the first free-throw but was too strong on the second. Nate Keller eventually found Kelby Cox in the corner who drilled the smothered shot to cut the lead to 58-57. With 10 seconds left, Springboro threw a hail mary like pass with the backup quarterback Feldman. This went out of bounds and gave Stebbins the ball under their basket down by one. Keller gave it inside to Jalen Tolbert who was fouled hard by Landon Palmer. This gave Tolbert two free-throws with the game on the line. Since the foul was on the floor, it was a one-and-one. Tolbert’s first shot was too strong. Kahleel Trent rebounded and was quickly fouled. He would make both of his free-throws to make it a 60-57 game. Stebbins point guard and quarterback Nate Keller threw a baseball like pass down the court. It was intercepted by Kahleel Trent but Trent caught the ball out of bounds. This gave Stebbins the ball at half court with less than a second to go. Tolbert inbounded it to Bradyn Pennington and his quick release three to tie was too strong. Springboro held on and won 60-57 to set up a date with Moeller for the district title.

Springboro was led by Noah Moser who had 15, Landon Palmer with 13 and Kahleel Trent with 11. Kelby Cox led Stebbins with 19 as he only averaged 6.8 points per game on the season. Jalen Tolbert added on 14 and Jakob Reed had 11.

This loss ends Stebbins’ incredible tournament run and Springboro will advance to the District Final game against Moeller at the Cintas Center next Sunday at 3.

Scrappy play moves Stebbins past Sidney

Stebbins senior guard Jalen Tolbert
Stebbins junior guard Jakob Reed
Sidney senior guard Darren Taborn

Centerville, Ohio — The #9 Stebbins Indians squared off against the #3 Sidney Yellow Jackets in the second round of the tournament. The Indians were looking for revenge as Sidney had beaten them twice before in the regular season. Jalen Tolbert dropped 28 points in Stebbins’ last game against Franklin while Sidney comes in a little tired after narrowly defeating Fairmont by one.

Sidney star Darren Taborn got a quick basket off of the tip and then Stebbins standout Jakob Reed responded with a nice layup of his own. Stebbins has won games all year because of their hustle and drive and they used that today as Nate Keller dove on the floor for a loose ball which led to a Tolbert basket. Then Ryan Hickey got a second-chance layup to fall. Kelby Cox drilled a three and then Daniel Bowman got an and-one. Then Jalen Tolbert, despite being three inches shorter than Dominick Durr, ripped the ball away from him and got the wide-open layup to put Stebbins up 18-8. Avante Martin would hit a jumper for Sidney but the Indians still led 18-10 at the end of the first quarter.

Jakob Reed got an and-one and then Jalen Tolbert got a pair of layups to put the Indians up 25-13. Stebbins’ Luke Keilbaso got a pair of baskets before Reed and Taborn would trade buckets back and forth. Then Sidney senior Trey Werntz got back-to-back baskets to bring Sidney within six. Camden Vordemark hit a three at the buzzer to make it just a 34-29 lead for Stebbins at the half.

Jalen Tolbert dove on the floor for a loose ball which led to a Nate Keller layup. Jakob Reed’s transition basket led to a Sidney timeout and put Stebbins up 40-29. Jalen Tolbert then hit an and-one and Stebbins was suddenly up 45-34. Then Tolbert got a steal and went coast to coast and got another and-one. Stebbins then led 50-34. The Indians led 53-38 going into the fourth.

Sidney started to make a run. Werntz hit a three and then Taborn got a pair of layups. Both teams traded buckets until Avante Martin got a steal and score to bring Sidney back within six. Then Nate Keller threw a full-court pass to Bradyn Pennington who converted on an and-one. After Sidney tried to make a late comeback, Jakob Reed hit the dagger layup to put Stebbins up by eight. Stebbins then dribbled out the clock and secured the program-changing upset. 71-62 was the final score in this game as Reed and Tolbert embraced at half-court.

Tolbert led Stebbins with 20 and Jakob Reed had 16 points. Ryan Hickey added on 10 points for the Indians while Darren Taborn led Sidney with 17.

Stebbins will move on to the District semi-final at Trotwood-Madison High School against Springboro who just upset Miamisburg. This game will decide who will play Moeller at Xavier University. This District semi-final game will be on Saturday at 7:30.

Adam Duvall leads late comeback for ‘Creek

Beavercreek sophomore forward Adam Duvall
West Carrollton junior guard Stanley Shrivers
West Carrollton freshman forward Sam Walker
Beavercreek senior guard Yousef Saleh

Vandalia, Ohio — Anthony Parker who is in his second season at West Carrollton and former Middletown assistant Steve Pittman who is in his first season at Beavercreek squared off in a sectional semi-final matchup at Butler high school. Both coaches have turned around their programs in a short period of time as Beavercreek went 8-15 a year ago and is currently 14-9. West Carrollton went 1-22 two years ago and is now 17-6 and playing for a trip to the sectional final.

Junior guard Stanley Shrivers stole the ball from Yousef Saleh and went coast to coast to put the Pirates up early. Sam Walker then fought for an offensive board which he got and laid the ball in to put West Carrollton up 4-1. Yousef Saleh would respond for the Beavers getting a contact layup to go. Walker would get another bucket and then he setup Shrivers with an easy layup after getting another offensive rebound. Adam Duvall hit a three for Beavercreek to cut the deficit to 8-6. Shrivers would get a pair of transition layups and then West Carrollton senior Austin Jones would get a pair of buckets to put the Pirates up 18-9 at the end of the first.

Zahir Hopkins hit a three for the Pirates to open the second, but Beavercreek forward Adam Duvall responded with a three of his own. Shrivers then hit a contested three to extend the lead to 10. Then he dished a full-court pass to Austin Jones who finished a layup at the other end. Kalen McKinney finally got on the board for West Carrollton and then Shrivers finished a pair of contested layups. Mali Harris-Strayhorn would respond with an and-one for Beavercreek. The Beavers seemed to have some new momentum after 6’7″ big Gabe Phillips flushed home a dunk and then Adam Duvall hit a three to cut the deficit to single digits. Mali Harris-Strayhorn then hit a corner three to make it just a 36-31 halftime lead for West Carrollton.

Both teams traded scores to open the second half, Stanely Shrivers made a nice step-back move which left him open to drain the three. Sam Walker would hit another shot to put them up 11. Kalen McKinney then follow his missed shot and got the putback to put the Pirates up 51-38. Mali Harris-Strayhorn hit a three and then Sam Walker continued to work on the offensive glass getting the put-back to go as West Carrollton led 53-43 at the end of the third.

Beavercreek came into the fourth quarter not wanting their season to end. Duvall hit a three to start and Yousef Saleh got the transition layup to go to make it a 7 point game. Duvall then drove down the middle of the paint and made a layup with some contact but not enough to draw a foul. Then Saleh drove baseline and kicked it out to Duvall who drilled the corner three to make it just a 2 point game. Sam Walker got a layup on the other end but Duvall came down and hit a huge three to make it just a 1 point game. Then Duvall caused a West Carrollton turnover as Shrivers went diving into the stands to try and save the ball. Yousef Saleh would give the Beavers their first lead of the game as his up-and-under layup fell and Beavercreek took a 60-59 lead. Shrivers would get the lead right back for West Carrollton but he would go down as he dealt with cramps the entire second half. Down 1 and with the ball, West Carrollton senior Austin Jones dished it inside to Aigbokhai Kadari and the 6’7″ big man got a clutch and-one. His free-throw would be too strong so Beavercreek had the ball down 1. Yousef Saleh was fouled dribbling down the sideline but he missed the front-end of the one and one. Beavercreek was forced to foul Stanley Shrivers who would go to the line up 1 with 13.4 seconds left. Shrivers missed it and Mali Harris-Strayhorn rebounded it. He kicked it over to Saleh who dribbled down the court with his season and high school career on the line. His lost his handle on it and it went out-of-bounds. The officials ruled it was tipped so it stayed with Beavercreek. Saleh was the inbounder with 3.1 seconds left and the ball under their own hoop. He inbounded it to the clutch sophomore Adam Duvall who was then fouled hard by Shrivers. His first free-throw was good. His second free-throw rattled around before finding the bottom of the net with 1.2 seconds to go as Duvall got the go-ahead score. Shrivers’ full-court shot was off and the Beavers survived 63-62.

Adam Duvall finished with 25 points as his clutch plays down the stretch won them that game. Yousef Saleh had 14 points for Beavercreek as well. Stanley Shrivers had 24 points for West Carrollton and this game will be a tough one to swallow for the Pirates as their incredible season comes to an end. This is just the beginning though for Anthony Parker as he returns a good young core next season.

Beavercreek will move on to the sectional final against Springfield, who defeated Xenia the game before. That will be at Butler on Friday at 7 pm.