Boys basketball: Trotwood-Madison opens delayed season with win

Trotwood-Madison's Anthony McComb drives on Thurgood Marshall's Markece Young during Saturday's season opener for both teams at Marshall. McComb scored a game-high 20 against his old team in a 102-56 victory. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED
Trotwood-Madison's Anthony McComb drives on Thurgood Marshall's Markece Young during Saturday's season opener for both teams at Marshall. McComb scored a game-high 20 against his old team in a 102-56 victory. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED

Like every high school gym this season, there were face coverings, limited spectators and socially-distanced team areas Saturday afternoon at Thurgood Marshall. But for the first time during this Covid-interrupted season there was a basketball game in Dayton.

Trotwood-Madison made the short drive to also play its first game. The Rams, Cougars and the rest of the Dayton Public Schools teams have been practicing off and on since the first of November, waiting for their districts to lift the lid on the season.

“We’re really excited to be able to play and stop scrimmaging ourselves and practice, practice, practice,” Trotwood coach Rocky Rockhold said. “You need that live action to see where you’re at.”

Trotwood’s talent was evident despite some rust on its shooting and defensive rotations in a 102-56 victory over a young and rebuilding Marshall team under first-year head coach Antheny Petty.

Basketball wasn’t the only thing back. Trotwood senior Anthony McComb was back in the Marshall gym where he played the past three years. He scored a game-high 20 points.

“It’s been rough waiting, but I’m just blessed we were able to play,” McComb said. “It was so much fun today.”

McComb has played with some of his new teammates during the summer AAU season. So the biggest learning curve for him is Trotwood’s relentless full-court fast pace on offense and defense.

“He forced some stuff because he’s just unsure right now,” Rockhold said. “Once he gets comfortable he’s going to be OK. I think he was pressing a little bit today too coming back to his old school.”

Trotwood will play a 15-game schedule and has a new look this year with McComb and returning players filling new roles. McComb and senior point guard Carter Mims will be counted on to score and lead.

“Anthony’s a guy that’s going to have to play well for us to do well,” Rockhold said. “He’s coming along and learning that the pace that we play is just different than what he’s used to. It doesn’t mean that they played a bad pace. They played the way they like to play, and ours is different.”

Mims scored 12 points, freshman starter Timothy Carpenter scored 15 and Tymier Blanton, Sellers Little and Courtney Blake scored 11 apiece.

“We’ve got some things to work on, but we played good for the most part,” Mims said. “We’ve just got to fix up some defense and get back in the gym.”

Petty, who had success coaching at Edwin Joel Brown Middle School, took over the Cougars this year after Shawn McCullough left to become head coach at Springfield. When McCullough left so did the Cougars’ three best players. In addition to McComb at Trotwood, Prophet Johnson is playing at Wayne and Mekhi Elmore is at Cincinnati Taft.

“It was a good to get the game in and a great way to start the season against a great opponent and see where your program is at,” Petty said.

Only two Cougars returned from last year’s successful team. Petty started a senior, three juniors and 6-foot-6 freshman Markece Young. Juniors Ronald Smith IV and Greg Pooler scored 15 and 13 points, respectively, to lead the Cougars.

“I’m impressed with some things that we did out there tonight,” Petty said. “It wasn’t all bad. We’re a young team and we’re going to make some mistakes. That’s something that we have to deal with.”

The Cougars are scheduled to play 12 games and will host Dunbar on Tuesday.

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