Centerville defeated Mason 49-43 in a boys high school basketball D-I district final at UD Arena on Saturday, March 9, 2019. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Centerville boys “pick up the winning mojo” for the Elks’ girls

The Elks boys had their own Division I district final to chase three hours later on Saturday afternoon. As if it were needed, the team absorbed extra incentive after the Elks girls were eliminated in a D-I regional final.

“We felt we had to pick up the slack,” said Marchal, a difference-making senior guard for the Elks. “We had to pick up the winning mojo for them.”

»» GIRLS TOURNEY: Centerville falls in regional final

»» GIRLS TOURNEY: Carroll state bound after bouncing Franklin

Centerville’s boys did just that, mounting an early double-digit lead and holding off Mason 49-43 in one of four boys D-I district finals at UD.

It was a tough loss for the Elks. Cin. Mount Notre Dame defeated Centerville 70-63 in a girls high school basketball D-I regional final at Fairmont’s Trent Arena on Saturday, March 9, 2019. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Centerville’s girls, the last area D-I team still playing, were knocked off the tourney trail by big-school state power Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame in a regional final at Fairmont’s Trent Arena, 70-63.

Already an established Greater Western Ohio Conference power in most girls and boys sports, it was a rare Elks basketball doubleheader showing this deep into the postseason. The only thing that could have been better for the Elks was for the boys team to be there for the girls.

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“I was checking on Twitter,” Centerville boys coach Brook Cupps said. “I was really hoping we could go and take our guys. Our guys are good friends with them and I have a lot of the girls in class. I’ve got a lot of respect for what (girls coach) Adam (Priefer) does. We wish we could have been there to support them because it would have been a neat experience.”

Elks Kaleb Mitchell (middle left) and Mo Njie take to the air to celebrate. Centerville defeated Mason 49-43 in a boys high school basketball D-I district final at UD Arena on Saturday, March 9, 2019. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Instead, it’s the Centerville boys who will take a 17-game win streak to Xavier University’s Cintas Center at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Centerville (21-5) will play the Springfield/Elder winner in the second game of the D-I regional semifinals. The 6 p.m. opener is defending state champ Moeller (25-0) vs. the Fairmont/Lakota East winner. Moeller flattened Winton Woods 57-15 in Saturday’s opener.

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Marchal ran Centerville’s offense to perfection. He had a game-high 22 points, converted 8 of 10 free throws, hit two 3-pointers, had two assists and two steals.

Centerville senior Ryan Marchal (with ball) had a game-high 22 points. Centerville defeated Mason 49-43 in a boys high school basketball D-I district final at UD Arena on Saturday, March 9, 2019. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

“Ryan was really good, especially scoring, which is something we needed,” Cupps said. “Good point guards do that. They figure out what the game needs and they give you that.”

Jason Sneed added eight points for Centerville. Emerging 6-foot-9 center Mo Njie had just four points, but snared eight rebounds to go with four blocks and a shot-altering defensive presence.

»» BOYS HOOP: Alter can’t hold on to big halftime lead

»» BOYS HOOP: Alter can’t hold on to big halftime lead

Landen Long had 12 points to lead Mason (18-5).

Centerville’s girls pounded MND 70-56 in a road blowout nearly two months ago in the regular season. The Cougars used their superior height advantage for some regional payback.

Centerville freshman Cotie McMahon (wiht ball) drew MND’s defensive attention and still led the Elks wiht 20 points. Cin. Mount Notre Dame defeated Centerville 70-63 in a girls high school basketball D-I regional final at Fairmont’s Trent Arena on Saturday, March 9, 2019. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Centerville (25-3) was led by freshman Cotie McMahon’s 20 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore Amy Velasco added 16 points and senior Alexis Hutchison 13. It was the fifth time Centerville advanced to a D-I regional and like those other appearances, the Elks are still seeking their first state trip.

»» GIRLS HOOP: Centerville rolls into D-I regional final

»» PHOTOS: Centerville vs. Walnut Hills girls basketball

“They used their height advantage against us,” Preifer said. “We didn’t have any answers for that. We battled, we just couldn’t get some shots to fall and some breaks to go our way.”

MND used a decisive height advantage against Centerville. Cin. Mount Notre Dame defeated Centerville 70-63 in a girls high school basketball D-I regional final at Fairmont’s Trent Arena on Saturday, March 9, 2019. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Julia Hoefling, a 6-foot-1 center who signed with Loyola University Chicago, wrecked the Elks by converting 9 of 10 close-range shots for a game-high 23 points.

“Regionals is a big deal,” Cupps said. “It’s hard to get there. You think, oh, yeah, they’ll get there next year. You just never know.”

»» BOYS HOOP: MAC rivals in D-IV district final

»» RELATED: Girls, boys hoop results/pairings

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»» BOYS HOOP: Emotional win for Fairmont

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»» GIRLS HOOP: Centerville rebounds with KO of Lakota West

»» GIRLS HOOP: Carroll, Franklin, Valley View sweep

»» RELATED: All-Southwestern District teams

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»» BOYS HOOP: Fairmont finds new life in postseason

»» BOYS HOOP: Thurgood Marshall advances in D-II 

»» BOYS HOOP: Miamisburg, Centerville advance

»» BOYS HOOP: Three great shots at Mr. Basketball

»» BOYS HOOP: Trotwood-Madison D-II state poll champ

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»» GIRLS HOOP: Final state polls

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