Journey to the tourney Saturday recap by Adrian Curry
What a great day of basketball to open up the high school season. Great performances with fantastic finishes and dominating performances. The first game of the day was valley view vs Ursuline academy. This game was very low-scoring and sloppy at times. A lot of turnovers and no real flow in the first half. Valley view was down 9-4 early in the 2nd quarter and then closed the quarter on a 11-3 run which included a half-court shot by Aubrey stupp. The 3rd quarter valley view opened up with strong play and great defense to open up an 8-pt lead at 22-14. Then late in the quarter is when the game changed as the Spartans started to be sloppy on defense and fouling. This allowed Ursuline to get back in the game and be within striking distance at the start of the 4th quarter. The game went back forth and was tied at 26 late when valleyview committed a silly foul leading to free throws which Ursuline converted. Valleyview had their chances late but couldn’t convert and had to foul which Ursuline converted 2 more free throws and won 30-26. I came being impressed with Aubrey stupp who scored 15 points and showed how great of a player she is and that valleyview will be a force to be reckoned with this season in division 2 along with Dayton Carroll. The 2nd game featured maddy westbeld and Kettering fairmont vs roger bacon. Roger bacon scored the first 4 points of the game but after that it was all fairmont as they totally outclassed a good roger bacon team. Fairmont was aggressive defensively but also controlled tempo all game long and you never got the feeling that roger bacon would get back in the game. A bright spot despite the loss was Kylie Sheppard who led roger bacon in scoring with 12 points. Fairmont was led in score by the 19 points from makira Webster and 17 points of maddy westbeld as they beat roger bacon 55-29. The next game featured the young team of Princeton that had talented freshman sole Williams and returned Kyla oldacre and Madison rochelle versus Berlin hiland coming off a state semifinalist appearance a year ago. This has all of the makings of a good one and it was. Princeton early was able to get out in transition and make easy shots and get contributions from sole Williams along with others but a turning point in the first quarter is when Kyla oldacre picked up her 2nd foul and had to sit. This turned the momentum to hilands way as they started to hustle to loose balls and get offensive rebounds which led to 2nd shots inside or outside for jumpers. The 2nd quarter was tight as the lead changed hands multiple until hiland took control midway through the 2nd quarter but Princeton came back and cut the lead to 2 at halftime. The 3rd quarter decided this game as early on the lead went back to Princeton only to see hiland take it back. Then hiland started to get hot led by Brynn mullet and zoey Miller and they started to pull away and Princeton couldn’t get control of the boards and were just being plain outhustled. By the time the quarter ended it was a double digit lead for hiland over Princeton. They had scored 26 points in the quarter. Princeton attempted to come back but was unable to make the plays necessary to do so. Hiland was able to coast to victory and won 64-48. They were led by the 19 points of brynn mullet while Princeton was led by sole Williams with 15 points. Game 4 featured mercy Mcauley versus Solon as you have two good teams going at it. Early on Solon was leading and getting good shots and was controlling tempo. However mercy Mcauley started to make shots and turn over Solon and took complete control of the game. They really got out in transition and made easy layups. Solon just wasn’t able to stop Mercy mcauley as they jumped out to a huge lead. Give Solon credit as they played hard in the 4th quarter and didn’t give up. Mercy mcauley won the game 68-43 over Solon. Game 5 was a dandy as Newark played against centerville. These two teams have high expectations for the season as they both made the regional round year ago and in the case of centerville made the elite 8 before losing to eventual state champs mount notre dame. The game was sloppy early on with turnovers but also had a great tempo to it as both teams were feeling each other out. Centerville took an early lead only to see Newark come back and starting hitting shots and playing great defense getting turnovers leading to easy baskets. At the end of the 1st quarter they led by 4. The 2nd quarter they were able to stretch the lead to 8 at one point before centerville came back and made it a 2-point game at halftime. The 3rd quarter saw centerville get close down by 4 only to see Newark make plays and led by 12 at the end of 3. Keeping them in it was Amy Velasco who was hot from the field while cotie McMahon struggled for most of the day coming off a sprained ankle. Centerville cut the lead to 8 but Newark had an answer for every run centerville had. However centerville kept coming with great defense and timely shots from Amy velasco and her teammates. They led was down to 6 at one point by Newark closed the game out at the line and won 71-63. What a performance by Amy velasco whoever guarded her she still made shots and kept centerville in the game. She led all scorers with 27 points while Emma shumate led Newark with 17 points. A solid win for Newark to open up the season. Game 6 was a contrast in styles as Wayne played Jillian Hayes and Loveland. This was not a pretty game in the first half as there was no flow to it with so many fouls being called. You felt like Wayne should have been up by a lot but were up 1 at the half thanks to Loveland being in the bonus and taking advantage of their opportunities from the line. A 3rd quarter run by Wayne where their athleticism took over really decided this game as they went on a 13-2 run led by Bree hall who was getting wherever she wanted on the floor and attacked the basket at will. Also her teammates chipped with Alyssa hall making some clutch 3’s and getting everyone involved. By the 4th quarter the game was no longer in doubt and once Jillian Hayes fouled out for Loveland they really didn’t have a consistent scorer that can buckets for them. Was really impressed with that athleticism of Wayne and how Bree hall played. She led all scorers with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Jenna batsch led Loveland with 13 points as Wayne beat Loveland 56-38. The game of the evening was preseason #1 in the nation new hope academy out of Maryland versus mount notre dame #1 in Ohio and the defending state champs. This game was hyped up to me and then some. New hope scores the first 7 points of the game as they were able to set the tone early and mount notre dame couldn’t make any shots early. They didn’t get their first basket until almost 3 minutes into the game. They were struggling dealing with the size as well as getting beat in transition. By the end of the first quarter they were down by 9. They started fighting back and getting back into the game but new hope had an answer and by halftime had stretched the lead out to 12. mnd had chances at the foul line but didn’t take advantage of them during the first half.The only scoring had come from the kk, Laila and makira cook. The 2nd half started as more of the same as new hope had their biggest lead of 13 at one point in the 3rd. Slowly mount notre dame started to chip away as kk bransford and makira cook started to take over the game hitting jumpers and being very aggressive going to the basket. At the end of the 3rd quarter the lead was down to 6. The start of the 4th quarter saw the lead cut to 4 until back to back turnovers by mnd push the led back up to 8. Then with 5 minutes left in the game there was a collision which Laila to leave the game with an injury in which she did not return. This put the pressure on kk, makira and others to step up and boy did they ever. Down by 9, they went on a run that help to tie at 54. They had the last possession with a chance to win in regulation but the shot missed. So the game went to Overtime where new hope took the early advantage and had a 3-point lead but a 3-pointer by makira cook tied it up. After 2 free throws by new hope mnd went down and had multiple chances to tie until finally shot by kk went in to tie it again. On the ensuing possession they called an illegal screen so mnd has a chance to win it miss the first attempt but got the offensive rebound and put it back in. New hope had to rush it inbounds and heave a miracle shot. There was contact and the ref called a foul but the refs huddled together and determined it was after time had expired. So mnd had a comeback for the ages as they were down double digits and one of their best players were able to upset new hope. The final game of the day was a rematch between Hamilton heights and Lakota west. Hamilton heights took control early and establish their presence inside with kamilla Cardozo and were able to get easy layups off turnovers from Lakota west. They scored the first seven points of the game. They were able to get some great outside shooting from some of the role players and by halftime we’re up by double digits. The 2nd half Lakota west starting chipping away slowly with some great shooting by chance gray and her other teammates and starting getting some defensive stops. At the end of the 3rd quarter it was only a 9-point game. There was a questionable delay of game technical after a made Hamilton heights basket that gave 2 shots and then possession to Lakota west. They didn’t take advantage of it but were able to get a turnover and it led to a 12-2 run that tied at 54. A key turnover by Lakota west led to an easy layup by treasure hunt that gave them the lead for good and they ended winning 63-54. A good game by both teams and will hope Lakota west down the line as they compete in the ultra competitive southwest district. A great day of games with another day on tap.