Mississinawa Valley and Versailles girls basketball district champs; high school basketball roundup


By Drew Terhall


DARKE COUNTY — Here are the scores and stats from the high school basketball playoff games from March 2.

Girls Basketball Division IV: 5. Mississinawa Valley 51 vs 1. Legacy Christian 46

TROY — For the first time in program history, the Lady Blackhawks basketball team are district champions. Head coach Michael Paige said while the team didn’t start out well, they kept going after it and earned this win.

“They were still a little wore out from Wednesday. But, we played hard. Legacy is a good team. They were 21-3, they played a lot of good teams,” Paige said. “It was going to be a tough game for us just trying to get past that mental hurdle. But they kept going and they got it.”

The game was tied 18-18 at halftime. The defenses made life difficult for the opposing offenses. Legacy Christian couldn’t hit outside shots while Mississinawa Valley had some turnover issues.

During this tournament run, Paige has the team focused on establishing their defense early as he is confident the offense will put up points like they have in the regular season.

That approach has proven to be successful so far. In the second half, senior MacKenzea Townsend scored six straight points to get the offense going. From that point, the Lady Blackhawks started to get into a rhythm.

Paige said once they were able to get the ball inside to Townsend, they felt like they had some control over the game. He leaned on his seniors to get the team going in the second half when their shots were falling.

“When it’s not going to fall, those are the moments we need Kenzea and Brenna, our two seniors, and then Brooklynn coming off the bench to step up and give us a post presence down low. They were able to do today. They were a big part of our win today,” Paige said.

Legacy Christian didn’t go away and hung around. Paige said they didn’t have complete control over the tempo and the Lady Knights were able to play up to the tempo.

Mississinawa Valley did make some mistakes down the stretch, but their positive attitude never changed. Townsend said everyone on the team is committed to keeping the morale high by just giving a high five.

“We follow the high five rule. You mess up, you get a high five. You make a good play, you get a high five. Everything starts with the high five. High five gets you going,” Townsend said. “We all always give high fives, we are always hyping each other up, no matter if we make a mistake. We say we get it back next time, you’re good, relax.”

The team kept up the intensity and closed it out in the fourth quarter. In front of their home crowd, the Lady Blackhawks raised the District Championship trophy and earned a spot in regionals.

Paige said the home crowds have helped give them energy and momentum when they can’t create it themselves. To ensure the students can get to the games, some of the parents have donated tickets to bring the student section along for the ride.

Senior Brenna Price said it has been great to see the community come out and support them during this tournament run.

“It’s amazing. It definitely helps just knowing that whenever we might be down, they’re always rooting for us and never giving up on us,” Price said.

Townsend led the team with 17 points and had a double-double with 10 rebounds. Junior Taylee Woodbury had 15 points.

Mississinawa Valley will take on two seed Marion Local on March 7 at Butler High School for a 6 p.m. tip off in the Regional Semifinals.

A full game recap can be found on our website, dailyadvocate.com.

Boys Basketball Division IV: 8. Franklin Monroe 31 vs 10. Jackson Center 38

PIQUA — In the OHSAA Division IV Boys Basketball District Semifinals, the Jets fall to the Tigers in a defensive, slow paced game. Head coach Tory Myers said he is proud of his kids for not only fighting until the end, but for changing the culture around the program this season.

“Complete credit to our kids. I wouldn’t want to lose in the tournament with any other kids. I really wouldn’t. These kids have been fantastic. Their commitment to change the standard back in September when we first got together has been extraordinary. The shooting is something a lot of people will talk about. But, at the end of the day that’s not what we’re discussing in the locker room,” Myers said.

Jackson Center led 21-14 after they held Franklin Monroe to three points in the second quarter. Junior EB Fall made a three to start the second quarter and give the Jets a 14-11 lead. From that point on, the Tigers went on a 10-0 run.

Franklin Monroe came out of halftime and went on a 9-2 run to tie the game at 23-23 with about 2:30 left in the quarter. Junior Eric Brenner made two field goals and the team got to the free throw line six times.

Before the quarter ended, Jackson Center went on a 6-0 run to lead 29-23 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Jets struggled at times to finish shots on offense. Myers said the physicality of the Jackson Center defense did affect their offense. He also said they were able to get good looks around the rim, but just couldn’t finish.

They were coming off a hot shooting performance in their win over Fort Loramie. Myers said that’s what makes the tournament great, each game is different and you never know what’s going to happen in each game.

Franklin Monroe was up against the clock in the fourth quarter. Jackson Center plays at a slow pace and will drain the clock on each offensive possession. They are content with passing it around and killing time.

The Jets would need to foul or get a turnover if they wanted to preserve time. At times, the defense came through and got a turnover. But some of those turnovers didn’t convert to points when they needed them to.

Myers said he respects this style of play from Jackson Center as they have been doing it for years. But, he also said games like these makes him wish there was a shot clock in basketball, something he has been pushing for years.

He is not faulting Jackson Center for their play, Myers wants to have some sort of rule in place to bring the fans an exciting game.

“You need the game to be what the fans are here to see. They want to see basketball. They don’t want to see people stall and hold it. Have we done that in the past? Yes. You play to the rules of the game,” Myers said. “They’re just hard to beat when they get a lead and there’s four minutes to play. There’s not a lot you can do about it, unless you start fouling.”

Fall and sophomore Lucas Brenner both led the team with nine points. The Jets finish the season with an 18-6 record and a 9-2 WOAC record.

The team will lose seniors Dalton Winterrowd and Gage Wackler, who left the game late with an injury.

Myers said both seniors have set the tone each day. They have set the standard of everyone buying in to working hard each day and for committing to making a culture change in the program.

“What is it that we expect and we want to create change in this program, they did it. Not just from a record stand point, but with the characteristics of the people in our program, how they behave. They bought into the mission right from the jump,” Myers said. “You cannot be a champion unless you behave like one before you become one. They really bought into that from the get go.”

Myers also said he has no doubts both players will be successful in life with how they have embraced this challenge this season.

A full game recap can be found on our website, dailyadvocate.com.

Around the county:

Girls Basketball Division III: 5. Versailles 38 vs 2. Norwood 31

The Lady Tigers are District Champions with the win over Norwood at Springfield in the OHSAA Division III Girls Basketball Southwest District Championship game. Versailles outscored Norwood 11-3 in the fourth quarter to secure their spot in regionals. Sophomore Katey Litten led with 13 points. Senior Allison Schwartz and junior Taylor Wagner both had seven points. Versailles will take on three seed Kettering Archbiship Alter in the Regional Semifianls on March 6 at 8 p.m. at Springfield High School. The Lady Tigers lost to Alter 59-49 at home on Jan. 20 in the regular season.

Boys Basketball Division III: 11. Versailles 43 vs 2. Indian Lake 42

Sophomore Drake Ahrens scored a last second bucket to send the Tigers to Districts. Versailles was down 28-19 at halftime and were down 34-30 entering the fourth quarter. This is Versailles second win over Indian Lake as they did defeat them 69-59 on Feb. 13 at home. Seniors AJ Griesdorn and Carson Heitkamp, along with Ahrens, each scored 11 points. Junior Jace Watren had 10 points. Versailles will take on two seed Cincinnati Gamble Montessori on March 6 at 5:30 p.m. at UD Arena in the OHSAA Division III Boys Basketball Southwest District Championship.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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