It’s Centerville vs. Springfield in a D-I regional semi rematch

Centerville and Springfield split their regular-season boys high school basketball series. That resulted in a tie for the final Greater Western Ohio Conference National East title, both teams at 10-2.

The stakes are even grander in Wednesday’s Division I regional semifinals. Centerville (21-5) will play Springfield (17-9) at 8 p.m. at Xavier University’s Cintas Center. Unbeaten and defending D-I state champion Cincinnati Moeller (25-0) of the Greater Catholic League South is paired against Greater Miami Conference champion Lakota East (20-5) in the 6:15 p.m. opener.

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The semifinal winners advance to the D-I regional final at 7 p.m. Saturday with a trip to next week’s state final four at stake.

Springfield defeated host Centerville 64-60 in their first mid-December matchup. Centerville returned that favor by landing a 60-44 knockout at Springfield six weeks later.

That was part of an impressive 17-game win streak Centerville has mounted. The Elks haven’t lost since falling 54-33 at Moeller in early January. Moeller also handled visiting Springfield 74-42 in late January.

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“Any time you play a conference opponent three times in one year, you know it’s going to be a heck of a basketball game,” Springfield coach Isaiah Carson said. “We won on each other’s floors — that’s not normal either. This is bragging rights. With the regional on the line, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Springfield has recovered after the mid-season loss of two seniors. Michael Brown-Stephens (Minnesota) and Isaiah Gibson (Kentucky) both earned football scholarships and graduated early.

Led by senior Ra’Heim Moss (18.0 points), Springfield has won four straight tourney games after losing 94-87 to visiting Trotwood-Madison in a regular-season finale shootout. Springfield held Cincinnati Elder scoreless in the first period and won 55-35 in a district final at UD Arena last Saturday.

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Centerville senior Ryan Marchal matched his season high of 22 points in a 49-43 district final defeat of Mason also at UD on Saturday.

“If he doesn’t need to score, he finds those guys who are scoring,” Centerville coach Brook Cupps said. “His toughness is something we’ve relied on for a while.”

In the other D-I district finals, Moeller unhinged Cincinnati Winton Woods 57-15 and East ended Fairmont’s tourney run, 50-36.

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»» GIRLS TOURNEY: Centerville falls in regional final

The GWOC will realign next season after 10 of the current 20 members leave for the new Miami Valley League.

• The other three boys regionals are anchored at Fairmont’s Trent Arena. The D-III regional semis also are Wednesday. Versailles (15-10) plays Cincinnati Purcell Marian (22-4) in the 5:30 p.m. opener and Stivers (20-4) gets Anna (24-2) at 8 p.m.

Also on Wednesday, red-hot Coldwater (17-9) will play Willard (21-3) in a D-III regional semi at Bowling Green State University’s Stroh Center at 8 p.m.

The D-II regional semifinals are Thursday.

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»» RELATED: Girls, boys hoop results/pairings

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

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»» RELATED: All-Southwestern District teams

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