Myles Belyeu and Amari Davis of Trotwood-Madison were key in a 79-60 defeat of Columbus South in a boys high school basketball D-II regional semifinal at Trent Arena on Thu., March 15, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Trotwood-Madison responds to regional semifinal challenge by South

“We always say, when adversity hits, just run through it,” junior Amari Davis said following a deceptive 79-60 eventual blowout of South in a boys high school basketball Division II regional semifinal at Fairmont’s Trent Arena on Wednesday night. “We were down but we kept fighting and stayed together and got through it.”

»RELATED: Trotwood responds to South’s challenge

The victory sends Trotwood (24-3) into a regional final at 3 p.m. Saturday against Cincinnati Hughes (24-3). Hughes advanced by defeating Cincinnati Metro Conference rival Woodward 68-46 in the second game of Thursday’s semifinal doubleheader.

»RELATED: Wayne “finds a way”

Trotwood will take a 17-game win streak against Hughes. The Rams haven’t lost since falling to Georgia public-school power McEachem in Flyin’ to the Hoop way back on Jan. 13. The regional champion joins the D-II state final four at Columbus next week.

South (22-5), coming out of the Columbus City League and Central District, seemed destined to pull a massive upset. The Bulldogs were beating the Rams in all facets and had a 14-0 run in the second quarter to prove it.

»RELATED: Rams, coach reunited in regional

South raced to a double-digit lead as halftime neared. The pro-Trotwood crowd repeatedly beckoned the Rams to switch gears and they finally did in the second half.

Jovaughn Chapman of Trotwood takes on a South defender. Trotowod-Madison defeated Columbus South 79-60 in a boys high school basketball d-II regional semifinal at Fairmont’s Trent Arena in Kettering on Thur., March 15, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

As usual, Davis and senior Myles Belyeu were key in reigniting the Rams’ tourney mojo. Davis went for a game-high 30 points and Davis added 20. Both made drives to the basket their staples. That’s why both were first team All-Southwest District.

»RELATED: Springfield coach, “we’ll be back”

“When you’ve got a kid like Amari Davis on the floor good things are going to happen,” said coach Rocky Rockhold, who rejoined the Rams after serving a two-game suspension for getting two technicals in a sectional win.

“We isolate them as much as we can and try to get the ball in their hands. That’s what I love about this team. They know where to go with it and they know when it’s their turn and they do a great job of getting it to them.”

Justin Stephens continues to be an inside factor for Trotwood and added nine points. Malachi Matthews was good for eight more.

»RELATED: Boys regional pairings/results

South wilted under Trotwood’s 45-24 second-half surge. Jeremiah Green led the Bulldogs with 13 points.

“When you let a guy get 30 points and it’s all layups, that’s bad defense,” said South coach Ramon Spears, who’s led the Bulldogs into two regionals the past four seasons. “You can’t win a tourney game like that.”

Cin. Hughes 68, Cin. Woodward 46: Giovanni Santiago scored 15 first-quarter points, including three 3-pointers, and led Hughes with 25 points. Dwayne Rosado added 21 points.

»RELATED: Girls state final four pairings/results

Demontez Cooper led Woodward (17-10) with 18 points. Terry Durham, who wrecked Dunbar in a district final, had 14 points and misfired on 10 of 16 free throws.

Trotwood and Hughes didn’t play in the regular season but were matched in a preseason scrimmage.

»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton

• Two regional titles will be decided on Friday. Wayne (25-1) plays Moeller (24-3) in a D-I final at Xavier University’s Cintas Center at 7:30 p.m. At Trent, it’s Marion Local (22-4) against Fort Loramie (25-2) in D-IV. Those winners also advance to state final fours.

»FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton

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