Alter was left wondering what happened against Aiken after leading by 18 at halftime. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Alter can’t hold 18-point halftime lead, falls to Cin. Aiken

It was the opener of a D-II tripleheader. Aiken (20-6) will play Trotwood-Madison (23-2) in a D-II regional semifinal at 5:30 p.m. next Thursday at Fairmont’s Trent Arena. Trotwood advanced by overcoming upset-minded Thurgood Marshall 106-84 in the second game.

It was a stunning second-half meltdown by Alter (16-10), which rebooted itself late in the regular season and carried an eight-game win streak into the game. Alter pulled its own blitz of top-seeded and Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North rival Chaminade Julienne in the second round, 61-35.

D’Arris Dean led Aiken with 32 points and Jakada Stone, scoreless in the first half, added 19 points.

Brady Uhl led Alter with 16 points, but was limited to three after the break. Dominic Ruffolo had six assists for the Knights.