Dunbar figured it would get Chaminade Julienne’s most inspired shot. And sure enough, that’s exactly what the Eagles delivered…
“We knew any time you play a (CJ coach) Joe Staley-type team, you’re going to be in that kind of dogfight,” Wolverines coach Pete Pullen said after Dunbar overtook CJ in the closing minutes 76-69 in one of three boys high school basketball Division II sectional finals at UD Arena on Saturday night. “We knew somebody was going to step up. Hopefully, it wasn’t going to be too late.”
BOYS SCHEDULE: District finals, regionals
In the other games, Carroll’s unlikely postseason run was extended following a 45-43 dodging of Ponitz and Trotwood-Madison blitzed Valley View 83-40 in the opener.
All three winners advance to Wednesday’s D-II district finals also at UD. Trotwood is paired against Urbana, which advanced by defeating Springfield Shawnee also on Saturday. Carroll (12-12) will play Cincinnati Taft, which defeated Hughes 71-64. Dunbar (22-3) gets Wyoming, which defeated Woodward.
GIRLS SCHEDULE: Regionals
All of Wednesday’s start times will be announced by the Southwest District on Sunday.
Dunbar Junior Devon Baker stepped up when needed most, canning three 3-pointers and 8 of 11 free throws for a game-high 29 points.
Trailing by nine points early in the fourth quarter, Baker’s final three put Dunbar ahead for good with 2:37 left. CJ senior Christian Montague converted a 3-point play to pull the Eagles within two, but Baker answered with another bucket and more free throws to boost the second-seeded Wolverines.
Dunbar also won at CJ in the regular season, 73-60.
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Chris Jackson added 17 points for Dunbar, Storm Cook 12 and Caleb McConnell 11. Montague tallied 16 first-half points and led CJ with 27. Milton Gage hit 9 of 12 shots and added 23 points for the Eagles (14-11) and P’Hariz Watkins added 14 points.
“We just dug ourselves too big a hole,” Pullen said. “Even though we made a lot of mental mistakes at the end we played well mentally.”
Carroll 45, Ponitz 43: Stafford Stevens hit 11 of 14 free throws and busted loose for a game-high 27 points in leading the surging Patriots, which previously upset Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North Division rival Alter. His two free throws with 23 seconds left put Carroll ahead one and he added another with 5.4 remaining to clinch the sectional title.
“We have so much faith right now,” Stevens said. “Coach (Tim Cogan) has been talking to us that Carroll basketball is changing. It’s a lot different now. We want to go on a run. We talked about it right before we went into the tournament. We were hyped and have the faith going.”
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Carroll will be playing in its third district championship in four seasons since Cogan has been in place. The Patriots had played for just one district title in program history until then. De’edgar Cooks led Ponitz (16-8) with 11 points. Eric Sealey Jr. added 16 rebounds for the Golden Panthers.
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Trotwood-Madison 83, Valley View 40: The top-seeded Rams were firing on all cylinders in the opening mismatch. Sophomore Amari Davis had 20 points to lead Trotwood, which has won 10 consecutive games. Myles Belyeu added 17 points and Torrey Patton 14. Valley View (16-8) was led by Tyler Whiteman’s 15 points.
Northmont 63, Springboro 50: Christian Wilson scored 18 points to lead streaking Northmont in a D-I sectional final at Centerville also on Saturday night. Vinson Walker added 12 points for the Thunderbolts and Rodney Richardson and Maurice Beavers added 10 apiece. Northmont (20-4) will play Cincinnati LaSalle (22-3) in a D-I district final at 7 p.m. Saturday at UD Arena. The T-Bolts have mounted a seven-game win streak.
Springboro (13-12) was led by Nick Pluta’s 12 points. Alec Holtrey added 10. Northmont also defeated Springboro in the regular season, 78-58.