It’s a given that Dunbar and Trotwood-Madison bring out the best in each other in boys high school basketball. The non-conference series is full of NBA alums, megastars and state title teams.
For these programs and their loyal fans, it’s hard not to target that showdown date.
“It’s a statement game,” assured Trotwood senior Myles Belyeu after teaming with Amari Davis in igniting an 80-64 sold-out win at Dunbar on Saturday afternoon. “When we come together we get on it and had the crowd rocking. We just did what we’re supposed to do.”
An uncommitted senior, Belyeu went for a game-high 28 points. Davis, a junior added 22 points. That added up to streaking Trotwood’s (16-3) ninth straight win. The Rams also overwhelmed winless West Carrollton 114-48 on Friday, the seventh time Trotwood has gone for triple digits.
Dunbar (12-4) had its 10-game win streak snapped after dodging City League rival Ponitz 74-72 on Friday.
Both these Division II teams could be headed to a rematch in the postseason. The defending D-II state runner-up, Trotwood will be a No. 1 seed in the Springfield sectional. Dunbar and Fenwick of the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North should be in contention for the No. 1 seed in the Dayton sectional.
“We’re going to see them again, no doubt,” assured first-year Dunbar coach Chuck Taylor.
Dunbar hung with Trotwood early, then the Rams asserted themselves to make it a second-half blowout. Dunbar had no answer for Belyeu and Davis, who dunked often on breakaways and were a constant presence around the basket.
“We’re going to ride them as far as we can ride them and put the ball in their hands almost every possession,” Trotwood coach Rocky Rockhold said. “We like our chances with those kids.”
Emerging sophomore Carl Blanton added 13 points for the Rams.
Jonathan Allen, Dunbar’s 6-foot-8 big-time junior football recruit, led the Wolverines with 18 points. Tavion Thomas, another high-profile football recruit, added 16 points, Michael Elmore 11 and DaShaun Huffman 10.
“We knew what their MO is: pressure, turn the ball over and score,” Taylor said. “For a minute were we handling the pressure and getting easy buckets, but you have to do that the whole game. I’m proud of these guys. We’re silencing the nay-sayers.”
Trotwood has swept Dunbar in the regular season and knocked the Wolverines out of the state playoffs each of the last two seasons.
Trotwood has just three regular-season games remaining, including a finale against visiting Springfield on Feb. 16. Dunbar is at Thurgood Marshall on Tuesday.
• Centerville didn’t have long to celebrate a 50-48 upset of Springfield on Friday. The Elks were defeated 46-42 at D-I state-ranked Toledo St. John’s also on Saturday afternoon. Ryan Marchal led Centerville (11-7) with 12 points. He hit the game-winning layup in the final seconds to stun Springfield.
Springfield has been grounded on a 2-3 run since opening the season 13-0. Moeller, ranked No. 4 in the state and also the D-I defending state runner-up, defeated host Springfield 56-39 on Saturday night. Wayne has been No. 1 in the D-I state poll the last three weeks and Springfield climbed last week.
Springfield (15-3) hosts Wayne (18-0) in a regular-season rematch on Friday. The Warriors handed the Wildcats their first loss, 65-62 in overtime less than two weeks ago.
• The girls basketball sectional seed meets for coaches were on Sunday. As expected, Tippecanoe (18-2) and Trotwood (16-2) were seeded 1-2 in the D-II sectional at Tecumseh. Tipp defeated host Trotwood 60-45 two weeks ago.
Versailles, the state’s top-ranked D-III team, also was seeded No. 1 in the Covington sectional.
Cross County Conference rivals Tri-Village (16-3) and Franklin Monroe (18-2) were seeded 1-2 in the D-IV sectional at Brookville. Tri-Village defeated Franklin Monroe 35-29 in the first week of the season.
Shelby County League rivals Fort Loramie (15-4) and Russia (15-5) were seeded 1-2 in the D-IV sectional at Sidney. Loramie defeated Russia 29-23 on Jan. 6 and a regular-season rematch is Thursday at Russia.
Area girls tournament play begins on Thursday, Feb. 15. Sectional winners advance to one-game district finals at Princeton (D-I), Mason (D-II), Springfield (D-III) and Troy (D-IV) on March 2-3.
None of the other girls division brackets were available. The boys basketball season is one week behind the girls and will have their coaches’ seed meetings next Sunday.