Author: Matt Bollmann

Tom House leads Centerville as Elks advance to State Championship

Dayton, Ohio — The Centerville Elks appeared in their first ever state final four in school history on Saturday evening as they faced an undefeated Mentor Cardinals team who came in at 25-0 on the season. Mentor, led by Senior and Youngstown State commit Luke Chicone can score in bunches as they scored more than 90 points 13 times this season. No doubt a tough matchup for the Elks in their first ever final four appearance, Tom House and Gabe Cupps stepped up big time in their chance to lead the team to the state championship game.

Tom House came out firing, opening up the game with a quick three point shot to give the Elks an early 3-0 lead which turned quickly to an 11-2 early lead for the Elks against a tough Cardinals offense. Gabe Cupps hit a driving floater as time expired in the first quarter to extend their lead to 15-7 at the end of the quarter. House scored an early 7 points as Cupps added 6 in the quarter.

The Elks defense came to play as they tightened up their defense on Mentor in the second quarter holding the Cardinals scoreless for a majority of the quarter. The Cardinals defense tightened up as well in the second only allowing two points in the first 6:30 of the quarter.

Mentor finally was able to remove the lid off the basket as Kyle Culler hit a corner three with 1:44 remaining in the half, cutting into the ten point lead to bring the Cardinals to within seven at 17-10. That opened up the scoring for both sides as the Elks went on a quick 5-0 run before Cael Gray hit a three at the buzzer to pull Mentor back within seven to close the half at 22-15.

The Elks came out of the break and went on a quick 8-0 run to open the second half to open their lead up to 15 within the first four minutes of the third quarter. The Cardinals offense again was quiet to open up the second half as they went nearly four minutes without a bucket until Steven Key hit a three to pull the Cardinals to within 12. Gabe Cupps picked up his fourth foul with 9.5 seconds remaining in the third, but the Elks remained strong both offensively and defensively throughout the quarter as they held a 36-24 lead going to the final quarter.

Gabe Cupps sat on the bench the majority of the fourth quarter, but in the end did not need much production from Cupps down the stretch as Tom House continued to lead the Elks offensively. The Cardinals full court press gave the Elks some problems a few times as it forced their offense to speed up, but every time the Cardinals would make a run, the Elks seemed to have an answer.

The Elks were up 54-39 when the Cardinals went on a quick 6-0 run forcing a few turnovers with the press on the defensive end of the ball and pulled to within nine points at 54-45. In the end, Tom House was too much as he finished with a double-double, finishing with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Cupps added 11 points as the Elks advance to the D1 state championship on Sunday evening at 8:30pm.

Miamisburg Defense Leads to 11th Win

Bellbrook, Ohio — The Miamisburg Vikings (11-2) of the GWOC traveled to Bellbrook High School Tuesday evening to take on the Golden Eagles (5-7) of the SWBL. Miamisburg came into action Tuesday evening averaging 53.2 ppg as a team and allowing only 44.5 a game. Tuesday evening was no different, as their defense rose to the occasion against Bellbrook.

Alex Ball, leading scorer for Miamisburg, opened up the evening with a hot start. Hitting two three-pointers early on in the game, Miamisburg opened up to a 12-2 lead, leading Bellbrook to call an early timeout to stop the momentum of the Vikings. Miamisburg continued their hot start shooting the ball, as they opened up to a commanding 20-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, and that was really all they would need. Ball finished the quarter with 8 points, going two-for-two from deep. Evan Logan, the 6’4″ Senior, added 4 points of his own in the first.

Miamisburg’s defense came out even stronger in the second quarter, only allowing 4 total points in the second quarter. Jackson McGohan, 2023 forward, added 4 points in the second quarter, two of which were on a huge steal and fast break dunk. Ball added 4 points of his own, and led all scorers at the half with 12 points. The Vikings would go into the half with a 23 point lead by the score of 34-11.

Coming out of halftime, Bellbrook stepped up their intensity and pressure on defense only allowing 9 third quarter points, but still only scoring 7 points of their own in the quarter as they would head to the final quarter down by the score of 43-18.

Heading to the fourth quarter, Bellbrook continued their strong defense, outscoring Miamisburg in the final quarter by the score of 14-8. The Golden Eagles outscored the Vikings 21-17 in the second half, but it was far too little, too late. The Vikings improved to 11-2 on the season with a big 19 point win, 51-32.

Key Players:

Alex Ball/5’11” Guard/2021: Alex Ball finished the game with a game high 18 points. His ability to spot up from deep or attack the basket off the dribble and create space, create shots, and create plays for his teammates was the key all evening for the Vikings offense.

Evan Logan/6’4″ Forward/2021: Evan Logan finished the evening with 8 points, but was a key factor both offensively and defensively for Miamisburg. His size in the middle on defense was too much all evening for the Golden Eagles to contend with, and his movement without the ball created some good looks and easy layups all evening.

Jackson McGohan/6’3″ Forward/2023: Jackson McGohan, when he was in the game was a force defensively. In the first half he had a nice block coming from behind the defender, blocking it off Bellbrook and causing a turnover. In the second quarter, he jumped the passing lane and was able to cause a steal leading to a fast break dunk, for two of his 6 points on the evening.

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.