Duncan Hall of Miamisburg wasn’t the same after snaring a rebound against Fairmont nearly a month ago. He kept playing as the Vikings pursued rival Lebanon in the Greater Western Ohio Conference National West boys basketball race, but his shoulder pain increased.
One of three Vikings who average 12 points and a team-high 9.4 rebounds, an MRI the day of senior night confirmed he had torn a labrum in his right shoulder. Not only was he lost for the remainder of the high school basketball season, the 6-foot-6 senior also will be out for his senior year of baseball. That’s significant, because Hall signed to pitch at the University of Louisville.
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Hall vividly recalls those initial why-me nights after the diagnosis. “Oh, shoot; oh, shoot,” he said. “We thought, what’s Louisville going to say? We talked to them and they said get healthy as soon as you can. It was positive from them.”
Hall is now Miamisburg’s tallest and most vocal cheerleader. Top-seeded Centerville and Miamisburg rolled into next week’s Division I sectional semifinals after posting impressive first-round wins on Friday.
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Miamisburg rallied in the second half to dodge upset-minded Lebanon 60-51 in the opener of a doubleheader at Trotwood-Madison. Centerville forced a second-half running clock and overwhelmed Piqua 64-29 in the nightcap.
Both winners advance to Tuesday’s sectional semifinals, also at Trotwood. Miamisburg (17-6) will play Xenia (12-10) and its shooting star, senior and three-time GWOC scoring leader Samari Curtis at 6 p.m.
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Centerville (18-5) will take a 14-game win streak against Northmont (7-15) at 7:30 p.m. Both Xenia and Northmont had first-round byes. The winners of Tuesday’s games will play in a sectional final on Friday, March 1. That game is scheduled to be at Centerville, but will likely remain at Trotwood should the favored Elks advance.
The renowned Dr. Tim Kremchek will repair Hall’s shoulder. Kremchek has been the Cincinnati Reds’ go-to surgeon for nearly three decades.
“The prognosis is good,” Miamisburg coach Tim Fries said. “A lot of prayers and scary stuff going on there.”
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That’s also how it was for Miamisburg as Lebanon asserted itself early, racing to a double-digit lead midway through the second quarter. The Warriors (10-13) also had a depleted lineup after being hit with a flu bug.
“We both crawled into this game not as strong,” said coach Nathan Chivington, in his first season at Lebanon after a 10-year run at Fairborn. “At the end of the season, you want your strongest team. I don’t think either one of us were. They were able to take advantage of some things and we weren’t.”
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Miamisburg hit 10 fourth-quarter free throws in the final 93 seconds, including nine by Corey Hartman, after Lebanon closed within three. Hartman led Miamisburg with 21 points. Drew Barry hit three 3-pointers and added 19 points and Brett Hensley had four 3-pointers and 14 points.
Nick Pierett hit three 3-pointers and led Lebanon with 13 points. Zach Weber added 11 points. It was Miamisburg’s third defeat of GWOC National West rival Lebanon. Miamisburg also beat Lebanon two weeks ago and Northmont in the regular-season finale to clinch its second straight GWOC National West title.
“We didn’t have the fanfare we’ve had in the past,” Fries said. “Very unselfish team. Just digging it out and finding ways to win. We love that. We love tough kids who work hard.”
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Matt Pearce had 15 points to pace Centerville and Kaleb Mitchell 10. This is the second season for a second-half running clock. It’s used only in the girls and boys postseason second half and only when the margin hits 35 points. Mick Karn had eight first-half points to lead Piqua (7-16).
Thurgood Marshall 78, Bellbrook 48: Anthony McComb scored 17 points, Jaylan Spann 13, Tavell Sims 12 and Michael Elmore 11 to lead the Cougars in a D-II sectional opener at Fairmont. Thurgood will play Clinton-Massie in a sectional semi at Fairmont on Tuesday. Massie advanced with a 61-54 overtime defeat of Ross.
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Brookville 57, Greenon 36: Jacob Gudorf had 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in a D-III sectional opener at Northmont. Brookville (20-3) will play Indian Lake (8-14) in a semifinal at Northmont on Tuesday.
Twin Valley South 50, Greeneview 41: Willie Bowman surpassed 1,000 career points for the Panthers in a D-III sectional opener at Northmont. TV South (20-3) will play Versailles (12-10) in Tuesday's doubleheader opener at Northmont.
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