HUBER HEIGHTS — Wayne ended the regular season 22-0 by defeating Centerville 61-47 in a Greater Western Ohio Conference Central Division matchup Friday night.
It was a night to celebrate as both the boys and girls (21-1, 10-0) basketball teams won the Greater Western Ohio Conference Central Division Title and were presented trophies by GWOC commissioner Eric Spahr. With the Kool & The Gang hit song “Celebration” thumpin in the background both teams cut down the nets, posed for pictures and took turns holding the coveted GWOC championship trophies. It was a great way to celebrate senior night in front of a cheering home crowd.
“It feels good,” said Coach Travis Trice on finishing the season undefeated. “I was pretty excited about getting it done, we said before the game started the only thing that mattered was getting to 22-0 and 10-0 in the conference and we did that so we are excited about it.”
“It feels amazing,” said senior guard Roderick Caldwell. “No one ever thought it would be like this, I never thought in my life we could be undefeated in high school, this is just amazing.”
“It’s a great feeling,” said Davaughn Alexander. “I’ve never been on a team that was undefeated. I feel confident in our team as long as we stay together, I feel we can go all the way and win it.”
“At the beginning of the season people doubted us,” said Kenny Couch. “We had it in our hearts that we can go all the way. We couldn’t make it this far without coach Trice or the other coaches, we push each other every day to get better and we are going to take it all the way to the championship.”
“Feels amazing,” said Chazz George. “I’m almost speechless, I can’t believe it, I knew we would be good, but not 22-0. I am glad I’m with these guys and ready to go for a state title.”
“It’s unbelievable,” said senior Scott Lute. “We expected to be good, but not 22-0 good. This exceeds all expectations we had.”
Wayne used a balanced attack with L’Christian Smith leading the way with 17 points, Trey Landers added 12 points while Chazz George and Roderick Caldwell chipped in 10 points each to contribute to the win and continue the two-season winning streak at 30 consecutive games.
The Warriors jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead as George took an alley-oop pass off the glass from Caldwell and slammed it in for two points to light up the crowd. Caldwell got another assist by connecting with Smith for an easy layup. Back to back 3-pointers by Caldwell and Smith carried the Warriors to a 14-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Wayne extended their lead to 10 points at the 2:36 mark in the second quarter as Smith scored off an offensive rebound. Centerville came back with a 3-pointer by Sam Lash and a basket from Jevon Henderson to cut the lead to five points with 1:51 remaining in the second quarter. But Wayne responded with a Smith tip-in and a Landers running 3-pointer from just beyond half court as time ran out to take a 31-21 lead at the half.
Wayne pulled out to their biggest lead of 16 points as Landers scored on a pretty spin move and bucket to take a 37-21 advantage in the third quarter. Centerville closed the gap to ten points as Lash scored, but again Wayne responded with a Landers one handed dunk and then scored off an offensive rebound to go up 49-35 at the end of the third quarter.
Centerville continued to get closer as Keegan Saben connected on a 3-pointer followed by a couple of free throws to cut the lead to eleven points. Just when it looked like Centerville might be making a move Wayne went on a 7-0 run that was fueled by two Smith baskets and a steal and dunk by George that forced Centerville to take a time out with 4:00 remaining in the game. Centerville would not recover as Wayne (the defending State Champs) pushed ahead for the win. Wayne improved to 22-0 overall and 10-0 in the conference while Centerville dropped to 12-10 (6-4). Leading scorers for Centerville were Sam Lash with 12 points and Keegan Saben added 9 points.
“We are definitely ready to make a run,” said Coach Trice. “We have to get rested and we have things we need to work on and get better at. I know we will be ready but we are going to take some time to enjoy this.”
“We feel confident,” said senior Demond Parker concerning another championship run. “We still have to take it one game at a time, we have to keep our confidence, I think we will be fine.”
“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Trey Landers concerning the undefeated season. “But we are not done yet.”
Top seeded Wayne will play West Carollton in a Dayton sectional opener Saturday, Feb.20, 5 p.m. at Trotwood-Madison.
CVL 05 21 35 47 – 47
WAY 14 31 49 61 – 61
Centerville: Kevin Meiners 5, Donnie Shelton 2, Daniel Buchenroth 6, Adam Velasco 2, Patrick Smith 4, Keegan Saben 9, Sam Lash 12, Kyle Fedewa 5, Jevon Henderson 2. Totals: 14-4-47.
Wayne: L’Christian Smith 17, Chandler Fointno 2, Trey Landers 12, Chazz George 10, Roderick Caldwell 10, Kenny Couch 6, Demond Parker 4. Totals: 21-10-61.
3-point goals: Centerville 5 (Lash 2, Saben 2, Meiners); Wayne 3 (Smith, Landers, Caldwell).
Records: Centerville 12-10 (6-4), Wayne 22-0 (10-0)
JV Score: Centerville 36 Wayne 51
Reach Steve Granatavia email at email@example.com