A near-perfect performance was needed by Middletown Christian School’s boys basketball team in its search for an upset victory Friday night.
And the Eagles didn’t come close.
Fort Loramie dominated pretty much right from the start in a Division IV district championship game at the University of Dayton Arena and ended the Eagles’ season with a 68-33 triumph.
“Things just didn’t go our way today. We probably should’ve come in more ready,” said MCS senior Dre Shores, who had 7 points and three rebounds. “I wish we would’ve gone farther, but Fort Loramie is a good team and they’re probably going to go far. I appreciate playing them for my last game.”
LAKOTA WEST-MASON GIRLS BASKETBALL
Fellow senior Jarod Hamlin paced the Eagles with 11 points, eight boards, four blocks and three assists. Hamlin, Shores and classmate Koen Yee were all part of Middletown Christian’s first-ever district squad in 2016.
“Only having three guys that have been here before, I think some guys had a lot of shock at the beginning of the game,” Hamlin said. “From there, we just didn’t really get into the flow of the game. And that was a physical team that’s going to run what they want and how they want to run it.”
The Eagles never led and took nearly four minutes to get on the board. They were down 21-7 after one quarter, then gave up the first 10 points of the second period.
MCS, having surged to the district event after a four-win regular season, finished 6-19.
“First of all, I praise God for the tournament run we had,” first-year Middletown Christian coach Jason Crider said. “I was proud of the guys. I didn’t think we backed down. We knew that we’d probably have to play the best game of our lives and shoot better than we’ve shot and them be a little off for us to hang around in the fourth quarter. It just didn’t happen.
“I think we shocked some people, but we knew we were better than four wins, so we came into the tournament with some confidence. A lot of tears were shed in there by the players. That shows a lot of heart and how much they wanted it, which is great. Hopefully that just throws up a hunger for next season and beyond.”
Loramie (24-2), a Shelby County Athletic League tri-champion, shot 51 percent from the floor and nearly doubled the Eagles on the boards in winning its second straight district title.
The Redskins are big, quick and skilled, and their in-your-face defensive performance led to 32.5-percent shooting and 22 turnovers by MCS.
“We turned the ball over 15 times, so I don’t know if it was the best we could’ve played, but it was good enough tonight,” Loramie coach Corey Britton said. “At this point in the year, that’s all that matters. We don’t have to be perfect. We’ve just got to be better than the team standing across from us, and we were tonight.
“I think anytime you can come down here and play on this stage, it’s a great opportunity for everybody. We were able to get all 15 guys in tonight and get some youngsters some opportunities to be on this floor. It sets goals for years down the road.”
Tyler Siegel, a 6-foot-7 senior, used the paint as his personal playground and piled up 18 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three blocks in 16 minutes of action.
Dillon Braun tossed in 12 points for the Redskins. They totaled 22 assists (five by Evan Berning) and 17 steals (five by Nick Brandewie).
Loramie will play Russia in a regional semifinal at 8 p.m. on Tuesday at Fairmont’s Trent Arena.
The Eagles will lose six seniors: Hamlin, Shores, Yee, Jonah Crawford, Trent Rosenbeck and Marquez Fuller.
“I’m pretty happy that I was part of history here,” said Shores, who plans to play football at the next level. He hasn’t committed yet, saying that Thomas More, Wilmington and Taylor are his top three choices.
Hamlin said he’ll be moving on to play college baseball at Ohio Christian.
“I think getting here twice is great for the seniors who did it, but it’s also good for the other guys,” Hamlin said. “Hopefully they can get back here again and keep the program going strong.”
Crider said there’s no question his players need to go hard on skill development and weight training in the offseason. He believes his offensive system will look much better next year.
“I said all season, ‘Let’s not worry about our wins. It’s about putting in this system for the future,’ ” Crider said. “If we hadn’t done that, we could’ve gone .500, but the program would’ve taken a step back next year. I asked the seniors to bear with me this season and take our bumps and put in our sets. By doing that, I thought we could make a run in the tournament and get another sectional title before they got out of here, and we did.
“I’m excited about next year. I think Year 2 of this offense is going to generate a lot more than four wins. I think we’ll make some noise in the league and hopefully get here again and be cutting the net. Hopefully this is the start of something special.”
Middletown Christian 7-6-11-9—33
Fort Loramie 21-16-15-16—68
MIDDLETOWN CHRISTIAN (6-19): Dre Shores 3 1 7, C.J. Money 1 0 3, Koen Yee 1 0 2, Jarod Hamlin 4 3 11, Alan Holtrey 1 0 2, Jeremy Lindenschmidt 1 0 2, Jonah Crawford 2 0 6. Totals: 13-4-33
FORT LORAMIE (24-2): Nick Brandewie 1 0 2, Evan Berning 1 2 4, Dillon Braun 4 2 12, Austin Siegel 1 0 2, Tyler Siegel 8 2 18, Cody Barhorst 2 0 6, Eli Rosengarten 3 0 8, Carter Mescher 2 0 4, Nathan Raterman 1 0 2, Jake Raterman 1 2 5, Nolan Berning 2 0 5. Totals: 26-8-68
3-pointers: M 3 (Crawford 2, Money), F 8 (Barhorst 2, Braun 2, Rosengarten 2, J. Raterman, N. Berning)
About the Author