After two ugly losses to the Wayne Warriors during the regular season, the varsity boys basketball team traveled to Trotwood-Madison High School on Friday night with a little added motivation. The boys did not want to get swept by the Warriors this year and were also looking to extend their season to the District Finals next weekend. The boys did what they set out to do and did it in authoritative fashion.
From the opening tip, everyone in attendance could tell this was a different Centerville team then the one who played Wayne the first two times. The Elks scored the first five points of the game before Wayne answered with 4 straight to cut the lead to one, 5-4. Over the next five minutes, the Elks outscored the Warriors, 9-0, forcing Wayne to call their first timeout of the game trailing by ten, 14-4, with 2:23 left in the first quarter. The Warriors rebounded and scored the final three points of the quarter to cut the Elks lead to seven, 14-7, after eight minutes of play. Determined to continue their strong start to the game in the second quarter, the Elks put on a dazzling display of offense and defense and stunned the Warriors with a 21-0 quarter. As the two teams headed to their respective locker rooms, the Elks had an insurmountable 28-point lead, 35-7. The Warriors scored the first five points of the third quarter before the Elks continued their steady play. A 15-14 win for the quarter gave the boys a 29-point lead, 50-21, as the game headed to the final eight minutes. Several times in the fourth quarter, the Elks threatened to institute the running clock rule by going ahead by 35 or more, but could not get that elusive point. They wound up winning the quarter, 24-21, to walk away with an impressive, 74-42, win that sends them on to the District Finals.
Leading the way for the Elks were freshman Gabe Cupps with 20, sophomore Rich Rolf with 13, senior Mo Njie with 11 and junior Jayson Hayes with 9.
Now 14-11 on the year and seemingly peaking at the right time, the boys now face Lakota West in the District Finals on Sunday, March 8 at the Cintas Center at Xavier University. Tip-off is set for 6:00 PM.