This matchup had very exciting finishes last year. The first matchup in early December, Gabe Cupps‘ jumper at the buzzer rolled in and out as Wayne held on. Then in February, the Warriors held Gabe Cupps scoreless in another close victory for them. But Centerville would get its revenge in the tournament as they blewout Wayne in a game that was over at halftime.
Both teams knew coming into this game that it was going to be a fight until the end. Centerville lost Kebba and Mo Njie from last years team but has a new revamped play style. Wayne acquired Prophet Johnson but didn’t lose any big players from last season’s team that defeated the Elks both times in the regular season.
Prophet Johnson ran the point for Wayne to begin the game and he did a very nice job at it. Multiple buckets and then multiple assists got Wayne out to the early lead. Marshall University football commit Cam Fancher and senior guard Malcolm Curry each hit threes for Wayne as well as Ray Greene.
Tom House and Rich Rolf kept Centerville close as House hit a three and a pair of jumpers and Rolf cleaned up the offensive glass with some putback tip-ins. A Malcolm Curry and-one would give Wayne a 20-13 lead at the end of the 1st quarter.
Trailing by eight, a Gabe Cupps and-one restored some life in this Centerville team. Then a Tom House three cut the deficit to two. Tom House would then give them back the lead with a transition layup. House and Prophet Johnson traded threes and then a Cam Fancher three right before halftime gave Wayne the 36-34 lead at the break.
Prophet Johnson began to find his groove to open up the second half as he hit an opener jumper and then a three to extend Wayne’s lead to seven. Centerville stayed in the game with a big three from Rich Rolf, a jumper from Cupps and then a Jayson Hayes floater. Wayne still led 52-47 heading into the fourth.
After Prophet Johnson’s stepback jumper and then a Malcolm Curry layup, Wayne led by nine. Then Rolf and Johnson started to go at it. After the two traded buckets, Centerville burned a timeout. The next possession, Rich Rolf nailed a three to cut the Warriors’ lead to six. Then after a Tom House layup, Rolf drilled a corner three to make it just a one point game. Centerville then took back the lead after Rolf got a steal and dished it to sophomore Emmanuel Deng for the easy transition layup.
Wayne responded after Lawrent Rice kicked it to an open Malcolm Curry for a three. Rolf would immediately respond as he dribbled past Rice and hit the open corner three to give the Elks the lead again.
Then while up 64-63, Rolf’s shot fake drew the defender to jump and Rolf then hit a stepback three to give Centerville a 67-63 lead. Lawrent Rice’s three on the following possession was blocked and Gabe Cupps dished it to Jayson Hayes on the other side of the court who then called game with a huge three to give the Elks a commanding 70-63 lead with just seconds remaining.
Rich Rolf led Centerville with 25 points with 5 three’s and 11 rebounds. Tom House added on 18 points with 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Prophet Johnson led Wayne with 22 points and Malcolm Curry had 18 for the Warriors. Centerville will host Springboro on Tuesday while Wayne will look to rebound with a Monday matchup against Northmont.