Trotwood passes on overmatched Thurgood

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Trotwood-Madison defeated visiting Thurgood Marshall 89-42 in a boys high school basketball game on Wed., Dec. 28, 2016.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The beat-downs have been numerous and the points outlandish, but there’s another factor that’s mixed in Trotwood-Madison’s winning formula.

“We have a lot of talent and firepower, so we know to work the ball around,” said senior leader Torrey Patton following a decisive 89-42 boys high school basketball knockout of visiting Thurgood Marshall on Wednesday night. “Everybody can get theirs.”

That’s just what the unbeaten Rams (6-0) did before a sellout crowd. Loaded with many key players from last season’s 23-2 team, Trotwood has been nothing less than spectacular in the early going this season. If you’re going to get minutes on this high-scoring team, best to give the ball up.

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That’s how six Rams scored in double figures against over-matched Thurgood. Another senior, Amir Foster, led the unrelenting attack with 14 points. Amari Davis and Patton each added 13. Myles Belyeu controlled the middle with 11 points and Hezikiah Shawn and Justin Stephens were good for 10 each.

Trotwood’s Myles Belyeu (with ball) backs down Thurgood defender Amir Farid. Trotwood-Madison defeated visiting Thurgood 89-42 in a boy high school basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Caption
Trotwood’s Myles Belyeu (with ball) backs down Thurgood defender Amir Farid. Trotwood-Madison defeated visiting Thurgood 89-42 in a boy high school basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

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That’s the norm for the Rams, who feature four double-digit scorers in their starting lineup. It also adds up to a big reason why Trotwood is the area’s best Division II program going and should be ranked among Ohio’s best when the Associated Press state polls make their debut early next month.

“It’s a good group of guys and we’re having a lot of fun with them,” Trotwood coach Rocky Rockhold said. “One of the things we talk about is share the ball. Make each other better. We talk about it every timeout and every halftime. Just make each other better and hold each other accountable when we’re not going well.”

Trotwood is averaging more than 90 points. Its closest game was a 23-point blowout at Fairmont in its previous game.

The Rams’ schedule will rev up next month. Realigned in the Greater Western Ohio Conference American South, Trotwood will host state power Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary and is matched against Prolific Prep (Calif.) in Flyin’ to the Hoop. Dunbar will visit on Feb. 4 and there’s also a regular-season ending showdown at Springfield.

Youthful Thurgood (3-5) is in its first season under head coach Shawn McCullough, also a former Thurgood assistant under then-coach Darnell Hoskins.

“We’re young,” said McCullough, who guided Stivers to a D-III regional between his two Thurgood stints. “We’ve got some older guys but our younger guys are really good.

“(Trotwood is) really good and talented from the top to the bottom. Rocky has a lot of talent and he’s doing some really, really great things. I think the world of him and he does a great job with those kids.”

Daaron Milliner led Thurgood with 10 points.

Hoskins, now at Middletown, Pete Pullen (Dunbar) and Joe Staley (Chaminde Julienne) were among the sold-out crowd. What they witnessed was impressive.

“We know how to share the ball with each other,” Foster said. “There’s no selfish teammates.”