There is no mystery to the success of the Trotwood-Madison High School boys basketball team. Taking the quick “make-able” shot and pressing “from the parking lot” has been good to the Rams.
“We don’t have a whole lot of secrets,” Trotwood coach rocky Rockhold said this week. “We like to turn our kids loose and we’ve got some fantastic players who play our style very well. We’ve made a living on pushing the ball and taking the best make-able shot we have.”
That long-running formula has enabled Trotwood to do the improbable this season:
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• The Rams have hit triple digits in nine regular-season games and are averaging nearly 91 points.
• Blowout wins are the norm, especially in the postseason. In six playoff wins, the Rams’ closest call was its last, an 84-74 KO of Cincinnati Hughes in a regional final.
• Trotwood hasn’t lost in its last 18 games, dating way back to Flyin’ to the Hoop.
• Most impressive, Trotwood (25-3) punched its second straight ticket to the Division II state semifinals by taking out Hughes. The Rams are paired against Byesville Meadowbrook (22-6) at 10:45 a.m. on Friday at Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center.
Defending D-II state champ Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (19-8) plays Lexington (23-5) in the other 2 p.m. semi. The semifinal winners will square off at 5:15 p.m. Saturday to determine the state champion.
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The Rams are experienced, deep on the bench and eager to win an elusive state title. That’s what Trotwood was favored to do last season, but fell to Akron SVSM on a last-second shot. This marks Trotwood’s fourth final four, all since 2006.
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In contrast, this is Meadowbrook’s first final four. Coming out of the Athens region, the Colts’ tourney journey has been detailed in the Cambridge Daily Jeffersonian. Tucked in the highlands of eastern Ohio, that’s as far from Rams Nation as it gets.
“We’re underdogs,” conceded Meadowbrook coach Louis Tolzda, “but our kids are battlers. Our defense has been unbelievable and we know exactly what we need to do to have a shot at the end of the game.”
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• Spectrum (Channels 99, 311 and 1311) will televise all 12 boys games live. It also will stream each game live at MySpectrumSports.com.
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