It’s “all aboard” time with the Wayne boys basketball team.
“Last year we didn’t have our best year,” standout senior guard Darius Quisenberry proclaimed. “This year we’re showing the Wayne Train is back on. If you’re going to hop on, enjoy this ride to state.”
That’s yet to been seen. What isn’t in doubt is a 60-46 defeat of Centerville in Friday night’s Division I sectional final at Butler. That launches Wayne (23-1) into a high school basketball D-I district final against the Oak Hills/St. Xavier winner on Saturday, March 10.
It was the third time these Greater Western Ohio Conference National East rivals had played. Wayne swept the regular-season games, but Centerville appeared game to pull off another postseason upset like it has done so often the last several seasons.
It looked as if more of that was brewing with the Elks holding a slight halftime lead. Then the Wayne Train unloaded.
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Wayne’s backcourt of Quisenberry (21 points and 10 free throws) and Deshon Parker (10 points) were difference-makers. And when they weren’t finishing, L’Christian “Blue” Smith (15 points) was. Good thing for the Warriors, because Centerville senior Javon Henderson (18 points) was having his way inside.
“These are the best guards in the state,” assured Smith with a nod to Quisenberry, a Youngstown State University signee and Parker (James Madison). “They really stepped it up.”
Wayne was No. 1 in the state for much of the season until falling late at Springfield. The Wildcats will join the Warriors in the district finals.
“We needed some stuff to go our way and it just didn’t,” Centerville (13-11) coach Brook Cupps said. “When they needed to, their guys really stepped up.”
Springfield 63, Sidney 62: Leonard Taylor made two free throws with 30 seconds left and the Wildcats won their fourth straight sectional final at Centerville on Friday.
Sidney led 60-55 but managed only one basket with 37 seconds left to take a 62-61 lead. The Yellow Jackets (18-7) missed a shot at the buzzer. Raheim Moss led Springfield with 18 points and Michael Wallace had 13.
Springfield (20-4) will play Cincinnati Elder (14-11) in one of four D-I district finals at UD Arena on Saturday, March 10. Elder advanced by beating Winton Woods, 56-51.
Carroll 38, Spg. Shawnee 33: Trailing by six points midway through the final quarter, Matt Cogan hit a pair of 3-pointers to pull the Patriots even as the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North rep won a boys D-II sectional final at Springfield. Carroll’s Eli Ramsey had 17 points.
Carroll (16-9) will take a five-game win streak into a D-II district final against the Aiken/Hughes winner on Thursday at UD Arena. Shawnee (16-9) had a four-game win streak snapped.
Bellbrook 65, Cin. Roger Bacon 42: Brooklynn Hall scored 20 points and Cassidy Hofacker and Bekah Vine each added 13 as the Eagles won a girls D-II district final at Mason. Bellbrook (16-9) advances to a regional semi against Franklin (19-6) on Tuesday at Springfield.
Franklin 53, Carroll 51, triple OT: A 3-pointer by the Wildcats with 1.3 seconds left in the third overtime was the difference in the last of three girls D-II district finals at Mason. That sets up a third game between Southwestern Buckeye League rivals Bellbrook and Franklin. The Eagles won both regular-season games by blowouts. Carroll finishes 16-10.
Tippecanoe 51, Goshen 36: Iowa State signee Maddie Frederick had 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists as the Arrows rolled in a D-II district final opener at Mason. It was the fourth straight district title for the Red Devils. Tipp (24-2) will play Carroll Bloom-Carroll in the other regional semi on Tuesday. Bloom-Carroll is out of the Westerville district.
Emmanuel Christian 61, Tri-Village 48: Junior Adonis Davis had 16 points, freshman Jason Channels 15 and Fred Shropshire 14 as the Lions won their first boys D-IV sectional title at Troy. Emmanuel (10-14) will play Russia (15-8) in a D-IV district final at UD Arena on Friday.