The chants of O-H-I-O started in the third quarter as the team of former Ohio State Buckeyes, Carmen’s Crew, started to pull away from the Dayton Flyers team, the Red Scare, in the third round of The Basketball Tournament.
The Flyer fans at Capital University didn’t let the chant go for long Sunday. They started a “Let’s go Flyers” chant. For a couple minutes during a timeout, there were dueling chants. UD fans won the battle.
On the court, it was a different story. Carmen’s Crew beat Red Scare 85-71, winning $15,000 as Columbus Regional champions and advancing to the quarterfinals Aug. 1 in Chicago, where they will be one of eight teams playing for the grand prize of $2 million.
Despite the loss, the the first Dayton alumni team in The Tournament enjoyed the experience and gave their fans a good excuse to escape the heat and watch basketball in July. Among those fans Sunday was Dayton Flyers coach Anthony Grant, who sat next to two of his players, Ryan Mikesell and Jordy Tshimanga.
“It was good to play with my teammates again,” said Red Scare guard Kevin Dillard, the most veteran player in the group. “I haven’t seen them in a while. All the Flyer Faithful that came out, it was a pleasure to play in front of them. They spoiled me in college.”
Darrell Davis led the Red Scare with 18 points. He had 16 points in the first half on 6-of-8 shooting but made 1 of 7 shots in the second half. Kendall Pollard and Vee Sanford each scored 15 points.
William Buford led Carmen’s Crew with 23 points. David Lighty had 18. Aaron Craft had 10 points and got a little payback by scoring the game-ending basket on a layup five years after missing a game-winning shot against the Dayton in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
The Red Scare got off to a strong start, leading 17-9 after six minutes, but they trailed 42-40 at halftime and gave up a 9-1 run to start the third quarter. They never recovered.
Dayton’s team had seven players. Ohio State’s team used 10 players, and nine played double-digit minutes.
“I know for me personally, three games in three days is tough,” said Red Scare forward Devin Oliver, who had 49 points in the first two rounds and nine points on 3-of-12 shooting Sunday. “We’ve got seven guys, and that turnaround, especially playing a team like Carmen’s Crew — a very physical team, an aggressive team — it wasn’t easy. I’m a little upset with myself because I played really well the first two games and didn’t play as well today. A lot of other guys played well today. I tried to help, but I just didn’t have my legs underneath me, which is unfortunate because this was the big one. You live and learn. I think we’ll have a bigger team next year and a deeper lineup.”
Former Dayton walk-ons Jeremiah Bonsu and Joey Gruden, who put the team together, pledged to do it again next year and hope to get the first-round games moved to UD Arena, which is adding air conditioning in the final phase of the three-year renovation project.
“We’ve already got texts before we even played, ‘Are you guys ready for next year?’” said Gruden, who’s entering his second season as a graduate assistant at Louisville. “Rumor has it they want to move it to Dayton maybe. That’d be cool if we could get it in Dayton.”
Bonsu, entering his first season as a graduate assistant at Arkansas,has already heard from several former Flyers about next season.
“A couple guys have said they want to play,” he said. “One current player said, ‘I’m about to graduate. I’m in.’”
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