Centerville defeats Wayne in showdown of area’s top-ranked girls teams

Handling the pressure of a big-time basketball game is fine with Centerville’s Cotie McMahon. As the area’s most sought-after freshman, she’s used to being targeted.

“It’s been a good pressure,” said McMahon after leading unbeaten and top-ranked Centerville to a 66-60 defeat of visiting and No. 2 Wayne on Monday night. “I’m only a freshman so I’ve just got to get used to it.”

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It was the latest statement win for Centerville (7-0), which continues to impressively separate itself from the rest of the area’s best Division I programs. Centerville also swept through all four Greater Western Ohio Conference National East teams in Round 1 of divisional play.

The matchup of the area’s top two D-I power rankings programs drew coaches from the University of Dayton, Xavier, Colgate and elsewhere.

McMahon, a physical 6-foot-1 inside presence, delivered 25 points and 17 rebounds. She hadn’t been effective shooting free throws, but that changed against Wayne when she converted 15.

“She can play,” Wayne coach Travis Trice said. “Just a freshman with her body and athleticism. It was a big game for her and you like to see that out of a big-time player in these kinds of games. Hats off to her.”

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Centerville sophomore Amy Velasco had two 3-pointers in the decisive second half and added 20 points.

Centerville bolted to a 5-0 lead, then trailed throughout until Velasco’s 3-pointer put the Elks up 45-43 late in the third quarter. Wayne (5-2, 2-2) trailed by eight points midway through the fourth quarter and closed within 59-58 on junior Nyla Hampton’s 3-pointer with 1:28 remaining.

McMahon responded by converting five free throws and Velasco added two more to clinch the Elks’ statement win.

“They have been at the top and they have a lot of good players,” McMahon said. “We just decided to go out there and give it to them.”

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Dayton signee Destiny Bohanon led Wayne with 17 points. Olivia Trice, the daughter Travis Trice, added 13 points. She signed with Bowling Green.

“It was a big game for December,” Centerville coach Adam Priefer said. “Both teams are very talented. Our kids did a great job of meeting the challenge. (McMahon) did a very nice job of getting to the rim and getting fouled and scoring some baskets for us. Velasco had a phenomenal floor game, especially in the second half. Those two together made some things happen and all the other players did a nice job, too.”

Centerville is idle until Dec. 26 against Gary West (Ind.) in a holiday tournament at Hammond, Ind. Wayne hosts Belmont on Wednesday.

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Fairmont 60, Mason 41: Madison Bartley connected on 10 of 11 shots and had 26 points and 10 rebounds in a stunning defeat of the visiting Comets. Madeline Westbeld added 12 points and five assists.

Fairmont started the season at 1-3 under new head coach Jeremey Finn and has rallied since. Mason (6-2) had lost only to unbeaten Princeton by one point in Greater Miami Conference play. The Comets advanced to the D-I state final four last season and were a D-I state runner-up in 2016.

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Legacy Christian 49, Greeneview 32: Emma Hess had 24 points and Kathleen Ahner 10 as the visiting Knights (9-1) handed the Rams their first loss.

It was the eighth straight win for Legacy, which has lost only at unbeaten Waynesville and is tied for the Metro Buckeye Conference lead with Troy Christian (4-0). Greeneview (5-1) hosts Cedarville (6-1) in an Ohio Heritage Conference South showdown on Thursday.

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Valley View 71, Talawanda 24: Chloe Smith scored 23 points and 6-1 junior Aubrey Stupp added 17 to surpass 1,000 career points to lead the host Spartans. Valley View (7-2) is at Carroll, currently 6-0, in a great non-league showdown at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

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Northmont 71, Fairborn 50: Thunderbolts senior MaKayla Cooper hit five 3-pointers and totaled 25 points as host Northmont (4-4) snapped a three-game losing streak.

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