New Miami’s junior high “A” boys basketball team didn’t lose a game this season, finishing 18-0. SUBMITTED PHOTO

A perfect season for New Miami junior high boys hoops

There’s talent in the pipeline, as evidenced by the Vikings’ junior high “A” team going 18-0 during the 2016-17 campaign

Under the direction of Ralph Lunsford, New Miami captured the Miami Valley Conference regular-season and tournament championships.

The Vikings finished the year with a win over Cincinnati Christian in the MVC tournament title game. It was New Miami’s third victory over the Cougars.

Lunsford said his squad played a fast-paced game highlighted by defensive pressure. The Vikings averaged 17 steals per contest.

“We didn’t have much height, so sitting in a halfcourt offense and making several passes just did not fit our style,” Lunsford said. “We pressed, created turnovers and either drove for layups or drove and kicked for an open look. We were able to do this because of the intensity level and the amount of effort we put forth on the defensive end of the floor.”

Lunsford said strong fan support played a role in New Miami’s success.

Team members were Jordan Robinette, Trey Robinette, D.J. Duncan, Brandon Ciavarella, Dylan Spivey, Andrew Gray, Donovan Howard, Andrew Rapier, Zach Baker, John Gregory and Timmy Philpot.

“These young men had a tremendous work ethic and passion for basketball,” Lunsford said. “We were able to introduce a little bit of discipline and emphasize a total team concept, and these student-athletes took that and ran with it. The unselfishness that was displayed by the entire team was almost unbelievable. Games that we leaned on players that developed a hot hand was looked upon as a positive, not jealousy. In the realm of sports today, you do not see that much, let alone on the junior high level.

“It was so much fun to be a part of and watch our student-athletes grow and develop in the classroom and on the court. I am very proud of how we conducted ourselves as players and as young men. The future is as bright as it has been in a long time at New Miami.”

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