It was basketball business as usual at Trotwood-Madison High School on Friday night. For 32 high-flying minutes, all was right in the Rams’ world, even if it otherwise isn’t.
“One of the players when we were coming out said, hey, GWOC, let’s show them,” Trotwood boys coach Rocky Rockhold said. “That’s not me saying that. I know they want to prove a point.”
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Trotwood did just that, humbling Xenia 95-60. Padding an unbeaten start is as good as it gets these days at Trotwood. On Wednesday, school officials were informed Trotwood had been voted out of the Greater Western Ohio Conference by an 8-1 vote, effective after the 2019-20 school year.
That makes every GWOC contest – including this crossover matchup – the Rams play from now until then a farewell statement.
“I feel bad for them,” Xenia coach Kent Anderson said. “To see them left out, I don’t know what to make of it. It’s really weird and kind of scary.”
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It was the second high-scoring blowout by the Rams (3-0), who opened the season with a 133-50 mauling of West Carrollton. Only Centerville has hung with Trotwood, falling 75-65 on Tuesday.
This also was a matchup of two of the area’s best senior guards in Trotwood’s Amari Davis, a rare Rams four-year starter who signed with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and Xenia’s Samari Curtis, who’s headed to Cincinnati. And it somewhat delivered.
Davis had 22 points by halftime and finished with a game-high 33. He scored 29 points in each of Trotwood’s previous wins. Curtis drew much of Trotwood’s defensive attention and did well to lead the Bucs with 20 points.
“They’ve got a great team,” said Curtis, a teammate of Davis and Malachi Mathews on the AAU team All-Ohio Red last summer. “We’ve just got to figure them out the next time we see them.”
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Sammy Anderson added 24 points, Mathews 15 and Carl Blanton and Justin Stephens 10 each for Trotwood, top-ranked in the area’s D-II power poll.
Sophomores Zack Gaiter added 11 points and Dylan Hoosier 10 for Xenia (3-2), which had a two-game win streak snapped and played four of its five games on the road.
Its future conference status might be uncertain, but there’s no doubting Trotwood is headed down a beaten path of boys hoop success. Trotwood is the defending Division II state runner-up and has advanced to the state final four the previous two seasons and three times in the last five years.
If that isn’t impressive enough, the Rams also return six of their top seven players from last season. What’s not to like?
“That’s a heck of a group and they’re just doing what they do,” said Anderson.
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Rockhold said he huddled with the Rams about the GWOC decision. New Trotwood athletic director Frank Russo said the school will pursue other conference options and prepare to transition as an independent.
“You don’t want to act as if it’s not happening,” Rockhold said. “They do feel like they’ve been put off or unwanted. As human beings, no one wants to feel unwanted in in any circumstance. The mood has been good and positive. We know it’s not anything that Trotwood did. It was a decision made outside of Trotwood and we’ll do the best we can to put our guys in the right situation.”
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