Brooks Hall’s interest in Monday’s Bellbrook-Beavercreek girls basketball game was significantly greater than anyone else’s.
He had family bonds on both sides.
A Troy High School standout and Ohio Mr. Basketball who starred collegiately at Dayton, Hall had a daughter wearing each jersey.
Sophomore Brooklyn Hall started for Bellbrook. Freshman Alyssa Hall came off the bench for Creek.
“Anxiety,” Hall said. “I joked on Twitter earlier that someone was going to lose and best case scenario was they both played well. I said, ‘Dear Baby Jesus, if a tie is in the cards, I’ll take it.’ ”
Flexing its depth and defense, Beaverceek ran its win streak to 11 with a 43-28 win over the host Eagles in a key non-conference game played before a tournament-type crowd. It was a six-point game with six minutes to go. And physical throughout.
The Beavers, who started the season 1-3, improved to 12-3 overall. They lead the Greater Western Ohio Conference National East Division at 8-0.
Bellbrook dropped to a deceiving 8-7. The Eagles are 6-2 in the Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division and a game behind Valley View in a quest for a third straight league title.
The game marked the fifth straight season the Greene County powers faced off. Creek leads the series 3-2.
“That was intense and it always is over here,” Creek coach Ed Zink said. “They’ve beaten us here the last two times we played and they’ve always been good games. It’s loud.”
Beavercreek has leaned heavily on defense. During their 11-game win streak, the Beavers are allowing 32 points per game. Bellbrook’s 28-point output was the first time it failed to reach 40.
“Defensively, our kids are playing well,” Zink said. “Offensively, we weren’t very good, but defensively we were. That has carried us in a couple games.”
The Beavers don’t feature a player averaging double-digits in scoring. Instead they have four — Carmen Williams (9.4 points), Bailey Draughn (8.7), Cori Dilsavor (8.7) and Lexi Moore (7.3) — on the verge.
“From top to bottom they’re the best team we’ve played,” Bellbrook coach Jason Tincher said. “Scott County (Kentucky) was athletic and deep, but Beavercreek’s basketball IQ and knowledge along with their talent make them unique. You have to beat Beavercreek.”
Bellbrook hovering above .500 is something new. The Eagles have averaged 20 wins the last five seasons. Injuries — specifically the loss of senior and three-year starter Cassidy Bereda, a Tennessee Tech soccer signee — and a brutal schedule have taken a toll.
“We’re in a little bit of uncharted waters and we’re being tested,” Tincher said. “We’re having some long conversations right now about cohesiveness, team and unity. We’re not nearly where we need to be.”
The Eagles own five losses by six points or less, including one-point setbacks to Centerville, Toledo Central Catholic and Valley View. Scott County, the ninth-ranked team in Kentucky, beat the Eagles by 13.
Expect both squads to receive high seeds in the upcoming sectional tournament draws Feb. 4.
Creek will contend with Wayne, Tecumseh, Springboro and Fairmont for the top seed in a loaded Division I sectional split between Butler and Troy.
Bellbrook should be the No. 2 seed behind Valley View in the D-II Lebanon sectional.
“Creek is jelling and winning games on the defensive end,” Hall said. “They are hard to score on and Zink has them playing hard. They’re going to be a tough out.
“But, Bellbrook is scary. Everybody knows they’re much better than their record shows. It’s misleading. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bellbrook surprises some teams and makes a run as well.”
• A capacity crowd is expected when Wayne (12-0) hosts Springfield (12-0) in a showdown of unbeaten GWOC National East boys powers. The contest was one of many that was postponed earlier this month due to a winter storm.
Both teams are tied at 6-0 in the East Division and are having spectacular seasons. Springfield is in the midst of playing five games in seven days. The Wildcats defeated Fairmont and Chaminade Julienne and were at surprising Belmont (8-1) on Tuesday. Wayne will be their fifth straight road game and on Friday Springfield will host Springboro.
Wayne, top ranked for the second straight week in the D-I Associated Press state poll, previously had a streak of seven straight road games, including a classic 90-87 double-overtime win at Trotwood-Madison.
Wayne also is in the midst of a busy schedule, hosting Lebanon (10-4) on Friday. On Saturday, Wayne is paired against Cincinnati Princeton (10-2) in the 4th annual Play-By-Play Classic at Wilmington High School. Princeton is led by senior standout Darius Bazley, a 6-foot-7 forward who initially committed to Ohio State then signed with Syracuse.
Springfield is out of tickets for Wednesday’s game. Wayne athletic director Jay Minton said only a “small amount” of tickets were available Tuesday.
• Fort Loramie (14-0) joined Wayne as No. 1 in this week’s boys D-IV state poll. Other boys area teams among the top 10 were Springfield (No. 6, D-I), Versailles (No. 8, D-III) and in D-IV it was St. Henry (No. 5), Catholic Central and Minster (tied for No. 9).
Area girls teams among the state’s top 10 this week were: Valley View (No. 3), Tippecanoe (No. 5) and Trotwood-Madison (No. 7) in D-II, Versailles (No. 1) and Waynesville (No. 6) in D-III, and Minster (No. 1) and Fort Recovery (No. 7) in D-IV.