|The Fairfield Indians seven man rotation|
Saturday was a day full of hoops at the University of Dayton arena as all four Southwest Ohio Division I District Titles were decided, setting up the Regional Semi-Final matchups next week at Xavier. The first session of two games might have been lopsided, but the second section provided two thrilling contests that came down to the final possession…….
Fairfield 59 Troy 45: The Indians built a double-digit lead by outscoring the Trojans big in both the first and third quarters with their pressure defense and total domination on the boards. Fairfield started the game off hot as they raced out to a seven point lead behind the hot shooting of senior guard Kyle Smith who scored all 8 of his points in the first period. In the second half it was senior wing Jeff Woods, who scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half, and senior post Brandon Murphy who controlled the paint with 15 points and 14 rebounds (including two thunderous dunks to keep the momentum in the Indians favor) that led the way to victory. Fairfield captured their first district title in over 25 years as the massive Indians student section stormed the floor to celebrate with their team as the buzzer sounded. Fairfield’s rotation of 6 seniors and 1 sophomore has now added a new trophy to the school collection while earning a trip to the Regional Semi-Finals next week. In the loss Troy was led by the 17 points of senior wing Cody May.
|The Middletown Middies|
Middletown 68 Princeton 59: The Middies advanced to the Regionals behind a huge run to finish the first quarter and start the second quarter; defeating the Princeton Vikings for the third time in as many tries this season. Trailing 11-7 Middletown got back to back dunks from Jalin Marshall followed by Vincent Edwards at the buzzer to tie the game going into the second quarter. Middletown then caught fire behind the tough shot-making of Geovonie McKnight and the distributing of Vince Edwards, who found Zach Edwards for back to back three’s to extend the run, as the Middies took a commanding 31-17 lead midway through the second quarter. A spark from senior guard Deion Isham kept the Vikings alive as they were able to get to the half only down by ten, at 33-23. The third quarter played out evenly and was highlighted by the 9 points of Deion Isham on some acrobatic takes to the rim; after the third Middletown led 49-40. Behind the rebounding of Vincent Edwards, made free throws from the team, and the aggressive penetration of Jalin marshall the Middies were able to re-establish a big lead early in the fourth as they pushed the margin all the way up to 58-43 with just 4:34 to play. The last four minutes turned sloppy but Middletown hung on to the margin to preserve a nine point win and a spot in the Regional Semi-Finals. Marshall led Middletown with 21 points in District Title win, Vincent Edwards went for 13 points and 9 rebounds, while sophomore center Chance Sorrell and senior guard Geovonie McKnight each added 11 points. Senior guard Deion Isham finished with 24 points for Princeton.
|The Withrow Tigers|
Withrow 50 Springboro 48: The Panthers controlled the game for the entirety of three quarters, holding a 36-33 lead headed into the final period. Springboro who had led by as many as late in the first half was beginning to struggle with the Tigers pressure however. With 6:39 to play senior guard Kendall Beamon gave Withrow their first lead of the night at 39-38. Springboro counted suit however by feeding the ball into their highly recruited junior center Maverick Morgan who, along with Jake Pfahl led the Panthers with 18 points (Morgan also added on 9 rebounds and 3 blocks). Springboro continued to lead until a three-point play by junior guard Tim Coleman of Withrow tied the game back at 46-46 with just under two minutes to play. The Tigers immediately got a steal and sophomore guard Tyonte Robertson laid the ball in to give Withrow the lead back at 48-46 with 1:30 to play. The ball ended up in Withrow’s hands with a minute to play before eventually calling timeout to set up a play with 15 seconds left. They got the ball back to Coleman and he attacked the rim and was able to floater the ball over the 6’11 Morgan with 1.2 seconds left to give Withrow the final lead at 50-48. Springboro’s final attempt from Morgan from 17 feet fell short and the Tigers celebrated their second consecutive D1 District Title, and trip to the Regionals. Senior Tyler Jordan led Withrow in scoring with 12 points while Coleman added 10, and Damon Gooch and Devin Williams each chipped in 7 points. Sophomore guard Tyonte Robertson also played well for Withrow contributing 4 points, 4 assists, and 3 steals off the bench.
|The Moeller Crusaders|
Moeller 55 Beavercreek 52: A slow offensive start and poor shooting plagued the Crusaders through three quarters as they opened the final period trailing the inspired Beavers 36-33. From there the contest became possibly the most entertaining of the day, Moeller took the lead back just one minute into the fourth as Tony Sabato’s stick-back seconds later caused Beavercreek to call timeout suddenly trailing by four. The lead see-sawed back and forth over the next few minutes until with forty six seconds left and Moeller leading by four the Beavers secured two steals but were unable to convert either offensive opportunity. Moeller senior center Tony Sabato was then fouled and after he made both shots sophomore Airius Moore of BC knocked down a triple to bring the deficit to 53-50 with 30 seconds left. After getting the ball back on a jump ball with 20 seconds left and only trailing by two the Beavers dribbled most of the clock out before Kyle Rader was fouled with 4.4 seconds remaining. Rader made one of two and Moeller got the ball to senior sharpshooting guard Ben Galemmo who made the final two free throws with 2.6 seconds to make it 55-52. Airius Moore had a half court heave to tie the game at the buzzer but it fell short and Moeller won another District Title (their 7th title in their 9th appearance in the last 10 years), setting up a return to the Regional’s. Moeller couldn’t have won without the second half play of junior PG Keith Watkins who’s toughness on both ends got the job done. Watkins finished with 13 points on an array of physical drives to the rim and was complemented by fellow junior Josh Davenport who scored a game high 15 points. Moeller found a lot of success late by extending the defense and finding Davenport, as well as Alex Voss (8 points) and Tony Sabato (9 points) for layups. Ben Galemmo added 8 points as well for Moeller and along with Watkins led the Crusaders with 3 steals. In the loss the Beavers were led by the 14 points of Rader and the 10 points of smooth junior wing Jalen Camper.