It’s not often the Trotwood-Madison boys basketball team has to reset its confidence meter. That’s what happened following a beatdown loss at Flyin’ to the Hoop.
“We knew we had to bounce back,” assured senior shooting star Amari Davis. “Like Coach Rock said, the past couple years we always lost in Flyin’ and then we make our run.”
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Trailing by 11 after one quarter and by one at halftime, Trotwood wore out host Sidney in a frenetic fourth quarter for an impressive 90-69 win in a matchup of the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s best boys high school basketball teams on Friday night.
Playing before a sold-out and amped up crowd, Trotwood successfully rebounded from a crushing 15-point loss to Pickerington Central at Flyin’ earlier in the week. The Rams, christened No. 1 in the Division II state poll the day of the Pick Central loss, improved to 11-2 overall and 8-0 in the GWOC South crossover game.
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It was the second loss in three games for Sidney (11-3), which had mounted a nine-game win streak until being upset at Fairborn the week before. The Yellow Jackets also fell into a tie with Butler for the GWOC American North lead (8-2).
Davis, who signed with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, was unrelenting with a game-high 36 points, topped only by his season-high 43 at Wayne on Dec. 28. Rams junior Carl Blanton added 18 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter. Junior Keontae Huguely added 14 points and senior Justin Stephens 10.
Junior guard Darren Taborn led Sidney with 23 points and senior Ratez Roberts added 14. Yellow Jackets senior Andre Gordon, No. 4 in GWOC scoring, was limited to 10 points.
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It was on Blanton, a 6-foot-2 junior who’s drawing interest from Dayton, Wright State and Miami, to check Gordon. When his back gave out – “He’s struggling with old-man disease; he gets back cramps,” said Rams coach Rocky Rockhold – Sammy Anderson inherited the stopper role. In fairness, all the Rams defensively leaned on Gordon, an outstanding guard who signed with Virginia Tech.
“People lose,” Gordon said. “Golden State loses. The Lakers lose. We’re going to lose here and there, but we’ll bounce back. That’s the biggest thing about us.”
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Sidney raced to a 28-17 first-period lead and whipped a vocal crowd into a frenzy. Unfazed, Trotwood pressed its way back into it by halftime, then took off in the final quarter after leading by two with about six minutes left.
“You could see they were kind of gassed,” Rockhold said. “You could feel the momentum in our favor. I was looking for something like this defensively. We know we can score. It’s just a matter of can we get some stops?”
The defending state runner-up and a three-time final four qualifier since 2014, Trotwood is sure to earn a No. 1 seed in the upcoming D-II sectional.
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Sidney is still in contention for a No. 1 seed in D-I. Sidney already has beaten Butler (14-2). Springfield (10-4) dodged host Springboro 34-32 on Friday. Sidney and Springfield will not play in the regular season.
It was only the fifth home game for Sidney, which will play six games in nine days starting Monday.
“We have a stretch coming up where we have a lot of home games and we’ve got to take advantage of that,” Sidney coach John Willoughby said. “You win games you’ve not very happy with because you don’t compete up to (your ability), but we competed. We were there. We had our chances.”
Oakwood 65, Brookville 55: Darren Rubin hit all 15 free throws and scored a career-high 35 points as the host Lumberjacks pulled off a huge Southwestern Buckeye League upset. Oakwood is 7-7 overall and 6-3 in conference play. Brookville (12-2, 6-2) maintained its SWBL Southwestern lead. Jacob Gudorf totaled 23 points with 12 rebounds for Brookville.
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Chaminade Julienne 58, Badin 54: Trailing by 10 in the fourth quarter, visiting CJ took the lead with 31 seconds to play. Milton Gage had 11 of his 14 points in the final quarter and Jack Nauseef added 15 to lead CJ's comeback. The Eagles (15-1, 8-0), ranked No. 2 in the state (D-II) behind Trotwood, clinched an outright Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North title, their 12th.
Xenia 86, Troy 61: Samari Curtis scored 29 points, Jate Bradley 18 and Zack Gaither 11 to pace Xenia. Shaeden Olden put up 19 points and Chris Demeo 16 for Troy.
Butler 58, Beavercreek 55 OT: Tyler Montague had a steal and layup with 10 seconds to play in overtime to help Butler pull out the victory.
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Centerville 70, Northmont 49: Mo Njie had 16 points, Jason Sneed 13 and Centerville put up 32 points in the final quarter to pull away.
Fairmont 76, Miamisburg 55: Ryan Hall had 18 points and Jesse Reliford and Kaleb Hall added 14 apiece for Fairmont, which hit 10 three-pointers in the first half. Brett Hensley paced Miamisburg with 15 points.
Belmont 65, Dunbar 55: Kendall Moore scored 25 points and Shawn Phillips and Latrell Estes added 13 apiece for Belmont.
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Franklin Monroe 71, Bradford 44: Ethan Conley poured in 36 points and Franklin Monroe coach Troy Myers tallied his 100th victory.
Legacy Christian 70, Jefferson 44: Roman Newsome and Erik Uszysnki each bucketed 17 points and Legacy set a school record with its 14th consecutive victory.
West Carrollton 59, Tippecanoe 56: Darius Berry and Kalen McKinney tallied 12 points apiece and pace West Carrollton. Ben Knostman had 21 points and Nolan Mader 13 for Tipp.