Quantaijah Huffman wasn’t certain she’d be a good fit with the Trotwood-Madison High School girls basketball team. She was one of several promising athletes who transferred out of Dunbar following a series of coaching changes there.
Besides, her first name was often mangled by her new classmates (sub Quan for the first syllable in the movie “Fantasia”).
“We call her “Q” because I can’t pronounce her first name,” admitted Rams coach Henry Benton.
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Already a sophomore guard of note, “Q” further solidified her role with the Rams by playing a big part in Trotwood’s season-defining 37-35 win at Tippecanoe on Thursday night.
Huffman hit a go-ahead shot and Korryn Millerton added a free throw – all in the final 10 seconds – in the Greater Western Ohio Conference crossover showdown.
It was a matchup of the area’s best Division II programs and likely will determine the No. 2 seed in the upcoming sectional draw behind top-ranked Carroll. Streaking Trotwood (12-2, 10-0 GWOC South) won its ninth straight game. Tipp (11-5, 9-1 GWOC North) is on a 4-4 midseason slide after a 7-1 start.
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Huffman led the Rams with 15 points. She also was tasked with stopping Tipp’s leading scorer Ashleigh Mader, who was scoreless in the first half and had just four points.
That’s the kind of all-around game that has quickly won over Huffman’s teammates.
“At first, I was iffy about it,” Huffman said about the transfer. “I had to adapt to a new environment and team. I’ve created a bond with the team, a lot faster than I thought it would happen.”
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Tipp junior Kendall Clodfelter’s 3-pointer tied it at 32-all with 3:00 left. She also hit a free throw with 4.4 seconds left to cut Trotwood’s lead to 36-35. But she missed the second free throw, Millerton hit a three throw after being fouled on the rebound and Tipp’s half-court heave missed at the buzzer.
Clodfelter led Tipp with 15 points.
It was the first time Trotwood had beaten Tipp since the Red Devils joined the GWOC in the 2016-17 season.
Huffman (11.1 points) is second to senior Sha’Mya Leigh (15.1) in scoring for the Rams.
“She’s finally feeling comfortable in the system,” Benton said of Huffman. “We did what we had to do and made the stops we had to make and made the shots we had to make.”
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It was the first time Trotwood had beaten Tipp since the Red Devils joined the GWOC in the 2016-17 season. Tipp leads surprising Piqua and Troy by two games and will play both prior to the tourney.
“It’s a great learning experience for us,” Tipp coach Andy Holderman said. “The athleticism coming in from their end of it is something we have a hard time simulating. Hopefully, we can learn from the mistakes we made.”
In other Thursday games:
Oakwood 67, Monroe 57: Lauren Hapgood led the way with 28 points and Margie Conrath added 15 as Oakwood pulled ahead in the final quarter.
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Waynesville 75, Carlisle 23: Marcella Sizer became Waynesville's career leader in rebounds for the unbeaten and visiting Spartans. She scored 20 points to go with 12 rebounds. Rachel Murray had 21 points and Carli Brown 12. Waynesville, which opened the game on a 22-2 run, improved to 15-0 overall and 10-0 in league play.
Arcanum 83, Mississinawa Valley 34: Kayla O'Daniel scored 26 points and Taylor Gray collected her 10th double-double with 13 points and 18 boards. Mattie Hiestand had 10 points for Mississinawa.
Fort Loramie 66, Jackson Center 10: Ten players put up points for Fort Loramie, led by Marissa Meiring at 14. Loramie improved to 16-1 and 10-0 in the Shelby County Athletic League.
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Franklin Monroe 60, Bradford 26: Corina Conley had 27 points and Chloe Peters chipped in 10 for Franklin Monroe. Austy Miller paced Bradford with 17 points.
Miami East 59, Bethel 24: Morgan Haney had 30 points, Camryn Miller added 11 and Whitley Gross nine rebounds to lead Miami East.
• The following are five great girls games on Saturday:
CBC Kenton Trail: Tecumseh (11-3, 5-0) at Kenton Ridge (12-3, 3-2), 7:30 p.m.
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GWOC National East: Wayne (10-4, 6-2) at Fairmont (11-5, 6-2), 7:30 p.m.
Non-league: Anna (13-2) at Minster (15-1), 2:30 p.m.
Non-league: Fort Loramie (16-1, 10-0) at Miami East (12-3, 8-1), 2:30 p.m.
OHC South: Greenon (9-5, 8-3) at Cedarville (10-5, 6-4), 2:30 p.m.