Sidney made the trip down I-75 on Thursday evening for a Miami Valley League showdown with Xenia. Xenia was looking to rebound after a close 1-point loss to Piqua. Sidney was trying to continue their start after beating Tecumseh just a few days earlier.
Right off the bat, it was clear Sidney had plenty of consistency from beyond the arc. A’zon Steele (Jr) got rolling early with a few jumpers and slashes to the rim. Jayden Daniel (Jr) knocked down 2 early 3’s as well as the Yellow Jackets jumped out of the gate. Xenia struggled from the floor. While they were getting some shots in the paint, there were more misses than makes. Even with the struggles, Sidney took an early 16-8 lead in the 1st.
Sidney continued to feed off of Daniel’s shooting, but began to find a rhythm as well from Julius Spradling (Jr), who found a groove both off of turnovers and in the halfcourt. Xenia’s Alijah Winters (Sr) consistently found success offensively with explosiveness on the drive and some floaters in the paint. Even with Winters’ scoring, the Buccs struggled with turnovers and allowed Sidney to get out on the fast break far too many times. Going into the half, Sidney extended the lead 33-18.
Sidney exploded out of the 2nd half on a 9-2 run behind hot shooting from Steele and Spradling, forcing the Buccs to burn a timeout. Out of the timeout, Xenia began bringing more ball pressure which visibly gave the Yellow Jackets some problems. The Buccs were able to run even the rest of the quarter but offensively the flow and missed shots continued to be the theme. Sidney ended the quarter up 52-30.
Xenia found some fire in the 4th quarter and came out on all cylinders behind Winters. The Buccs were able to get the deficit down to 17 points, but Sidney would find a way to respond, typically with a forced turnover. The Yellow Jackets would end the game with a 69-47 win. Steele, Spradling, and Daniel combined for 55 points. Winters finished with 17 points for Xenia.
Sidney will go to Stebbins next Tuesday in their next game. Xenia will take on Coopersville (MI) on Saturday morning at the Nutter Center.
Trotwood-Madison picked up an early season road win over Chaminade-Julienne, beating the Eagles in their home gym 61-41.
The Rams got out to a fast start jumping ahead 9-2 with their up-and-down style of offense. C-J responded with small run of their own and got 6-foot-9 Jamiel Atkins (Jr) in foul trouble with 2 fouls in the 1st quarter. Trotwood would respond with another short run at the end of the quarter and take a 15-10 lead.
Trotwood’s pressure defense, anchored by Cari Reaves (So) and Delamarr Blanton (Jr) forced several turnovers by the Eagles. The Rams especially locked in on Cal Weatherspoon (Sr), who had scored 22 points just a few days prior. C-J couldn’t get shots to fall in the paint and missed several free throws when they did get to the line. The offensive struggles allowed Trotwood to continue to add to the lead and they were up 30-18 at the half.
C-J tried to get more perimeter shots in the 3rd quarter as they had struggled from the floor and against the size Trotwood brought. Shots continued to not fall, and Trotwood responded with some transition buckets off of turnover. The Eagles’ TJ Donnelly (Sr) was able to get a few buckets to keep the Eagles in it, but a Blanton 3 at the buzzer gave Trotwood the quarter advantage and extended their lead 42-27.
The final quarter Trotwood turned up their offense even more and gave Blanton the green light to go get buckets. Blanton would end with 21 points and was scoring in a variety of ways. The Eagles were plagued with turnovers and missed shots from the floor. Cal Weatherspoon led the Eagles with 9 points to pace the Eagles in the loss.
25-4 (Greater Western Ohio Conference)
Lost in the State Semifinals 57-53 to Pickerington Central
Who is Back: Jonathan Powell (Sr)- Xavier Commit- 1st Team All District, Baboucarr Njie (Sr), Ethan Greenburg (Jr), Eli Greenburg (Jr)
Who is Gone: Gabe Cupps (SW District POY), Collin O’Conner (2nd Team All District), Emmanuel Deng, Dulguun Gankhuyag
Burning Question: How do you replace a senior class that went to 3 State tournaments?
Outlook: Elks have a lot of firepower still and are the team to beat in the Southwest District. Powell makes a case for Mr. Basketball
21-5 (GCL South)
Lost in Regional Semifinals 54-47 to Centerville
Who is Back: Tyler Johnson (Sr)- Thomas More commit, Cam Williams (Jr)
Who is Gone: Carson Browne- All District, Sam Whitmer
Burning Question: How do the Panthers compare with the rest of the competitive GCL South?
Outlook: Elder is one of the better coached programs and always play their best basketball come March. Combination of size and composure makes them dangerous
23-5 (Greater Miami Conference)
Lost in Regional Finals 64-53 to Centerville
Who is Back: Kameron Sanders (Jr), Gabe Clemmons (Jr), Cashawn Ingram (Jr)
Who is Gone: Deshawne Crim (1st Team All District), Ray Coney (2nd Team All District), Aamir Rogers
Burning Question: Can the juniors continue the dominance Fairfield has had the past 2 years?
Outlook: Indians are losing 3 starters and plenty of scoring. Sanders and Clemmons have attracted D1 college interest and should keep Fairfield in the running.
18-6 (Eastern Cincinnati Conference)
Lost in Sectionals 73-66 to Western Hills
Who is Back: Talan Noyes (Sr), Tommy Clark (Jr), Myles Baker (Jr), Tyler Owens (So)- transfer from Covington Catholic (KY)
Who is Gone: Michael Mussari
Burning Question: Will the Knights get through the perennial powers in SW Ohio?
Outlook: Kings returns a lot of great guards and especially saw growth in Clark and Baker. Knights will challenge in the ECC
11-13 (Greater Miami Conference)
Lost in District Semifinals to Moeller 51-50
Who is Gone: Trey Perry (Jr), Tyler Bachman (Sr), Derek Jackson (Sr)
Who is Back: Jack Kronauge, Julian Mitchell, Lebron Bennie-Powell, Kayden Meadows
Burning Question: Will East rebound from a down year last season?
Outlook: The Thunderhawks have one of the best PGs in SW Ohio and a tradition that they will bounce back after a tough regular season in 2023.
18-8 (GCL South)
Lost in District Finals 57-36 to Princeton
Who is Back: AJ McBride (Sr)- Niagara Commit, Kingston Land (Jr), Eric Mahaffey (Sr)- Akron Commit, Kyle Havens (Sr), Brady Franz (Jr)- transfer from Texas, Roman Mason (Jr), Alex Kazanecki (Jr)
Who is Gone: Donovan Mukes, Nick Williams, Jason Henning, Grant Smethwick
Burning Question: Can Moe say healthy and will McBride be back in time?
Outlook: Moeller is a very well coached program and if healthy, have a plethora of talent at their disposal. Should make a case to challenge for a District title again.
19-8 (Greater Miami Conference)
Lost in Regional Semifinals 51-45 to Fairfield
Who is Back: Dorian Williams (Sr)- Vanderbilt football Commit, Cliff Cass (Jr), Kieran Granville-Britten (Jr)- transfer from Taft, Brendan Braddix (Sr), Amir Phillips (Fr)
Who is Gone: Riley Woods, Keven Adorno, Jaiden Arnold- transfer to Aiken
Burning Question: Can the Vikings replace the guard play departing and repeat last season’s success?
Outlook: Princeton has the pieces to have success, but they are going to need Cass and Williams to really step up. Will look to some younger players to fill in the gaps and will not have Granville-Britten due to injury.
13-12 (GCL South)
Lost in District Semifinals 58-40 to Fairfield
Who is Back: Donovan Waleskowski (Jr)- 2nd Team All District, Jacob Wassler (Jr)
Who is Gone: Kyle Conner, Luke Eckert
Burning Question: Can the Bombers get back to their roots and find success in GCL play?
Outlook: Ryan Fleming joins the Bombers from Summit Country Day and will bring the same physicality and tenacity to compete in the GCL South. Bombers have enough to compete for a District title.
17-7 (Greater Miami Conference)
Lost in District Semifinals 47-45 to Elder
Who is Back: Raleigh Burgess (Sr)- Purdue commit, 2nd Team All District, Tariq Kimbrough (Jr), Sam Imade (Jr)
Who is Gone: Charlie Hall, Bryce Darbyshire, Austin Southerland, Des Bolden
Burning Question: Now with Burgess back healthy, can the Aves replace the rest of the experience graduated?
Outlook: There is a lot of talent gone and will be hard to replace. Burgess was having a monster year before getting injured and him healthy is enough to keep Sycamore in the running.
21-5 (Greater Western Ohio Conference)
Lost in District Finals 76-51 to Fairfield
Who is Back: Juan Cranford Jr (Sr), Boots Perkins (Jr), Josiah Marshall (Sr), Josiah Howard-Morrison (Sr)
Who is Gone: Lawrent Rice (1st Team All District)
Burning Question: How will the Warriors look replacing one of the greatest players in their program?
Outlook: The Warriors return a great core of upperclassmen to replace Rice and should again be one of the best teams in the GWOC and in SW Ohio
9-14 (Eastern Cincinnati Conference)
Lost in Sectionals 74-50 to Fairfield
Who is Back: Tyler McKinley (Sr)- Cincinnati commit- (transfer from Link Academy, MO), Sean Harmon Jr (Sr)-transfer from Walnut Hills, Jaylen Mercer (Fr)
Who is Gone: Jermaine Matthews, Javion Bostic
Burning Question: How far can McKinley get the Warriors in his return to Ohio?
Outlook: Transfers change the dynamic of this team and the addition of a Top 100 player in the country (McKinley) makes this team a great chance to win the ECC and compete for a District title.
20-8 (GCL Coed)
Lost in Regional Finals 64-59 to Chaminade-Julienne
Who is Back: Gavin Leen (Sr), RJ Greer (Jr)- transfer from Springboro, Charlie Uhl (Jr), Brady Connor (Jr), Matthew Lunne (Jr)
Who is Gone: Anthony Ruffolo (1st Team All District) AJ Leen (2nd Team All District), Gavin Geisel
Burning Question: Is Greer the missing piece to get the Knights back to Dayton?
Outlook: Alter is one of the biggest teams in the area with several players 6-foot-6 or taller. Losing 2 All-District guards is tough, but the Knights are still one of the better teams in the area and can challenge for a league and District title.
26-3 (GCL Coed)
Lost in State Semifinals 56-54 to Lutheran West
Who is Back: Devin Rakestraw (Sr), Cal Weatherspoon (Sr), David Cartwright (Jr)
Who is Gone: George Washington III (District Player of the Year), Evan Dickey, Jackson Washington
Burning Question: Can the Eagles replace the amount of scoring lost?
Outlook: C-J will still be a tough team and can challenge for a District title, but the race for the GCL will come down to them and Alter
20-7 (1st in Dayton City League)
Lost in Regional Semifinals 58-50 to Alter
Who is Back: Eric Brewer (Sr), Baron White (Jr)- transfer from Northridge, Jekel Hill (Jr)
Who is Gone: Antaune Allen (1st Team All District), Antone Allen, BJ Hatcher- transfer to Northmont
Burning Question: How does Dunbar replace the Allen twins and their scholarship PG?
Outlook: The Wolverines lost a lot of talent to graduation and transfer from a season ago. But Brewer and White will be leaders and Dunbar should again be the team to beat in the DCL
Lost in Sectionals 58-54 to Northmont
Who is Back: Tim Carpenter (Sr)- Indiana (football) commit, Delamarr Blanton (Sr)- transfer from Middletown, Donovan Hardy (Sr)- transfer from West Carrollton, Jamiel Atkins (Jr), Cari Reaves (So)- transfer from Meadowdale, Darius Dennis (Fr)
Who is Gone: Mykel Morton
Burning Question: How well will the new players mesh together?
Outlook: There are a lot of new faces in Trotwood. If chemistry is built, and Carpenter ends up playing, this team can win a District title now that the Rams are moving down to Division II.
19-5 (Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference-Red)
Lost in District Finals 72-59 to Dunbar
Who is Back: Ru Mills (Sr)- 1st Team All District, Donte Ferrell (Sr), Jeremiah Hughes (Sr)
Who is Gone: Kanye Moreland- 3rd Team All District
Burning Question: Can Bulldogs be the best team in Cincinnati?
Outlook: Woodward has seniors and plenty of athleticism across the board. Mills can be one of the best scorers in the District and the Bulldogs will be the favorites in the CMAC.
23-3 (Cincinnati Hills League)
Lost in District Finals 65-35 to Chaminade-Julienne
Who is Back: Kellan Wiley (So), Carlyle Billingsley (So)
Who is Gone: Lance Grayson (2nd Team All District), Will Svendsen, Louie Trenkamp
Burning Question: Can the Cowboys repeat their undefeated league record in 2024?
Outlook: This group will again be one of the best teams in SW Ohio and although they are a young team, can compete for another District title run.
17-7 (Miami Valley Conference-Scarlet)
Lost in District Semifinals 75-53 to Woodward
Who is Back: Luke Sanders (Jr)- 2nd Team All District
Who is Gone: Wes Roberts (1st Team All District)
Burning Question: Can Sanders get the Eagles back to a District title?
Outlook: CHCA moves back down to Division III after a season in Division II and have one of the best scorers in SW Ohio on their team. The Eagles will be a tough out and could challenge for a District title.
19-6 (Western Ohio Athletic Conference)
Lost in District Semifinals 53-49 to Tri-Village
Who is Back: Kole Huffman (Sr), Luke Miller (Jr)
Who is Gone: Conner Hawk (3rd Team All District), Owen Stevenson
Burning Question: Can the Greyhounds replicate their previous success with the loss of Hawk?
Outlook: Dixie made a major step last year and bring back some pieces from that team going into the new season. Losing Hawk will be tough, but the core back makes Dixie a sleeper to monitor.
13-12 (Central Buckeye Conference-Mad River)
Lost in District Semifinals 60-51 to Miami East
Who is Back: Caiden Nicol (Sr)- 1st Team All District, Camdon Tuttle (Sr)
Who is Gone:
Burning Question: Can Lakers contend with Miami East or Preble Shawnee at the top of the District?
Outlook: Indian Lake has a history of competing come postseason. This group has made the District title twice as underclassmen and can get back to Districts.
24-3 (Three Rivers Conference)
Lost in Regional Semifinals 50-40 to Preble Shawnee
Who is Back: Wes Enis (Sr)- Lincoln Memorial commit- 1st Team All District, Jacob Roeth (Sr)- 1st Team All District
Who is Gone:
Burning Question: Will East get through Preble Shawnee come tournament time?
Outlook: The Vikings have one of the best guard combos in the state and are a winning team. Expect another District title and the Vikings make an argument to make it to Dayton come March.
23-4 (Western Ohio Athletic Conference)
Lost in Regional Finals 59-46 to Harvest Prep
Who is Back: Mason Shrout (Sr)- IPFW commit- District Player of the Year, Logan Hawley (Sr), Brayden Robinette (Sr)
Who is Gone: Isaac Blankenship
Burning Question: Are the Arrows in the same conversation with the state contenders?
Outlook: Arrows should again win the WOAC behind Shrout and an improved Hawley. If they can get past Miami East, easily a District contender and can make it to Dayton.
14-8 (Miami Valley Conference-Gray)
Lost in District Finals 42-27 to Preble Shawnee
Who is Back: Isaiah Richardson (Sr), Terrance Yarbrough (Jr)
Who is Gone: Jaden Sims
Burning Question: Can Hornets repeat their postseason success?
Outlook: Likely one of the best teams out of D3 in Cincy. Another District run is certainly possible.
Summit Country Day
18-7 (Miami Valley Conference-Scarlet)
Lost in District Semifinals 38-34 (OT) to Mariemont
Who is Back: Cayleb Walters (Jr)- 1st Team All District, Chris Davis (Sr), Jalen Dandridge (Sr)
Who is Gone: Pat McHugh
Burning Question: Do the Knights have the experience to win a District title?
Outlook: Former standout Kevin Johnson Jr takes over for the Knights and inherits a team returning a lot of talent from last year. Walters could be a breakout candidate.
21-6 (Western Ohio Athletic Conference)
Lost in Regional Semifinals 54-45 to Harvest Prep
Who is Back: Tanner Printz (Sr), Trey Sagester (So)
Who is Gone: Wilson Suggs (1st Team All District), Justin Finkbine (2nd Team All District), Dalton DeLong
Burning Question: Can the Patriots continue their dominant program losing 3 starters?
Outlook: The Patriots are always a well coached program and have one of the better athletes in Printz. If Sagester can shoot the ball consistently, they can contend again for a District title.
15-10 (Shelby County Athletic League)
Lost in District Semifinals 53-38 to Russia
Who is Back: Jordan Herzog (Sr)
Who is Gone: Carter Pleiman (1st Team All District)
Burning Question: Can the Trojans still compete with the rest of the SCAL?
Outlook: Herzog’s return gives the Trojans confidence in competing even with the loss of a fantastic player in Pleiman. Botkins should still be a team to monitor.
26-2 (Shelby County Athletic League)
Lost in Regional Finals 27-25 to Russia
Who is Back: Reed Platfoot (So)
Who is Gone: Jace Mullenhour (1st Team All District), Nolan Fark (2nd Team All District), Camdyn Reese
Burning Question: Will the Tigers continue to be a contender in SW Ohio?
Outlook: The Tigers lose a lot of production and will have a new coach as Aaron Klopfenstein takes over as the new coach. If Platfoot plays the way he did this Spring/Summer, the Tigers will have a breakout candidate for the next few years.
25-4 (Shelby County Athletic League)
Lost in State Semifinals 66-51 to Richmond Heights
Who is Back: Hayden Quinter (Sr)- 1st Team All District, Braylon Cordonnier (Jr)- Marshall (baseball) commit- 2nd Team All District
Who is Gone:
Burning Question: Will the Raiders return to Dayton after the magical run last year?
Outlook: Russia is the favorite in the SCAL and will again be the favorites out of SW Ohio with the return of Cordonnier and Quinter.
23-4 (Three Rivers Conference)
Lost in Regional Semifinals 41-33 to Russia
Who is Back: Parker Penrod (Sr)- Ohio Christian commit- 1st Team All District, Frank Rupnik (Sr)
Who is Gone: NONE
Burning Question: Can the Eagles score well enough to get past the slow paced SCAL teams?
Outlook: Penrod leading the backcourt and Rupnik in the post gives Troy Christian a good inside-out combo to separate themselves in the District.