By Josh Brown
WEST MILTON — Back on Dec. 15, Milton-Union lost to Madison 48-36 — one of the 11 losses the Bulldogs suffered to begin the 2015-16 season.
After four quarters Friday night, the Bulldogs were closer to winning than they had been all year, taking the Mohawks to overtime.
And in the end, Milton-Union finally had cause to celebrate.
Three Bulldogs were in double figures and the team had its best shooting night of the season, rallying late to claim a 49-45 overtime victory in Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division play at home Friday.
“The kids have been battling and fighting all year,” Milton-Union boys basketball coach Rusty Berner said. “At 0-11, a lot of teams wouldn’t be fighting anymore, but our kids were still fighting like crazy. And they’ve been doing it with defense and toughness.”
The Bulldogs (1-11, 1-6 SWBL Buckeye) trailed by three going into the fourth quarter at 31-28, but they evened up the score at 39-39 to force overtime. Then Milton-Union outscored the Mohawks (9-6, 3-4 SWBL Buckeye) 10-6 to win.
“Down the stretch, I felt like we did a tremendous job of closing out the game,” Berner said. “We just kept getting stops and rebounds. We outrebounded them 39-24, we shot better than 40 percent from the field and better than 50 percent from 3 — which we needed, because we didn’t make our free throws (14 for 25). I was so proud of how the boys stepped up. We did a great job against a very well-coached team.”
Eric Swartz had 13 points and nine rebounds and Tommy Smith had 13 points, hitting three 3s, to lead the Bulldogs. Daniel Albaugh added 10 points and six rebounds and Joey Swafford and Blake Ullery each had four points.
Madison’s Austin Philpot, the second-leading scorer in the SWBL Buckeye, was held to 12 points to lead the Mohawks.
“Joey Swafford and Blake Smith held Philpot to 12 points, no 3s, did a great job on him,” Berner said. “Tommy Smith hit some huge 3s late, Swartz got the job done in the paint — everyone stepped up. I’m proud of all the kids.”
BRANDT — Bethel got out to a hot start Friday night against visiting Cross County Conference rival Covington, jumping out to a 10-point lead after the first quarter and hanging on from there in a 53-45 victory.
Caleb South led all scorers with 24 points for the Bees (12-3, 6-2 CCC), Jacob Evans added 11 points and Nate Rimkus scored seven.
“We got after it early, knocked some shots down,” Bethel coach Brett Kopp said. “We knew they’d come out in a zone, so we hit some shots and crashed the boards.
“When Caleb is active on defense, he’s hard to stop. We missed 11 free throws in the game, too, so him going 8 for 10 from the line was big.”
Covington (7-7, 4-3 CCC) was led by Jordan Maschino’s 22 points and Trevor Miller’s 10.
“We guarded Maschino well,” Kopp said. “We wanted him to have to hit contested shots — and he hit contested shots.”
Covington hosts Ansonia Tuesday, while Bethel hosts Ansonia Friday for its Hall of Fame night.
ME 73, Ansonia 37
ANSONIA — Miami East tuned up for its biggest game of the season with an easy 73-37 victory at Ansonia Friday night — setting up a showdown on Tuesday for Cross County Conference supremacy in Casstown against Tri-Village.
Brandon Mack and Logan West each scored 16 points and Damien Mackesy and Kley Karadak each added 14 for the Vikings (13-1, 7-0 CCC). Mack and Karadak both hit four 3s in the game, West had seven rebounds and three blocked shots, Mackesy added six rebounds and six steals and Karadak had six rebounds. Michael Werling added six points and Ryan Haney had five.
Miami East, the No. 6 team in the state in Division III, hosts Tri-Village — No. 2 in D-IV — Tuesday.
TC 51, DC 45
DAYTON — After leading most of the game Friday at Dayton Christian, Troy Christian found itself behind by one with little more than a minute left.
But Jacob Brown hit a layup with 1:14 to go to give the Eagles (5-10, 5-3 Metro Buckeye Conference) the lead for good, mes Anderson hit an insurance bucket and Troy Christian hit its free throws the rest of the way to hold on for a 51-45 victory Friday, the team’s second straight.
“I was very proud of the kids for handling adversity,” Troy Christian coach Ray Zawadzki said. “For giving up a nine-point lead, being down one late and never giving up fighting. And I was happy for our senior class, too, which went out 8-0 against Dayton Christian in their careers.”
Brown led the Eagles with 12 points and Seth Wynee added 11.
Troy Christian faces Miami Valley Monday.
Newton 73, TCN 64
PLEASANT HILL — Newton had three players in double figures Friday night, leading the Indians to a 73-64 Cross County Conference victory over a scrappy Tri-County North team.
Nick Honeycutt led the Indians (8-5, 4-3 CCC) with 21 points, Brock Jamison added 16 and Brady McBride scored 15 points.
Tipp 42, 2 OT
TIPP CITY — It took two overtimes, but Tippecanoe’s eight-game winning streak came to an end Friday night as Stebbins (6-8, 3-4 Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division) fought back from an early deficit and won 45-42 at Tippecanoe.
Zach Wildermuth hit five 3-pointers and led the Red Devils (10-5, 4-3 CBC Kenton Trail) with 17 points, Jakob Prall had 10 points and three steals and Carter Mann had nine points and 11 rebounds as Tippecanoe led 14-6 after the first quarter but saw its lead trimmed gradually from there until the game went into overtime tied 40-40. The first overtime ended still tied 42-42, then the Indians outscored the Devils 3-0 in the second overtime to win.
Tippecanoe travels to Versailles Tuesday for a makeup game.
Other scores: Upper Scioto Valley 62, Lehman 43
TROY — The Troy bowling teams swept Trotwood in a makeup match Friday at Troy Bowl, with the girls (13-1, 5-1 Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division) winning 2,219-1,088 and the boys (6-8, 4-2 GWOC North) winning 2,230-1,317.
Jenna Stone led the girls, rolling 205-269—474, Rachel Darrow rolled 214-210—424, A’leigha Smith added a 211 game, Kirsten McMullen a 175, Cassidy McMullen a 159, Alyssa Shilt a 147, Sierra Brown a 146 and Jennica Funderburg a 126.
Brian Joins rolled 170-204—374 for the boys, Landon Flory rolled 166-194—360, Aaron Stone added a 245, A.J. Kendall a 211, Jason Shiltz a 193, Hayden Jackson a 186, Logan Jones a 184 and Preston Jackson a 151.
* Girls Basketball
Troy 38, Greenville 34
GREENVILLE — One third-quarter stretch proved to be enough for the Troy girls basketball team Saturday.
The Trojans (8-9, 4-3 Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division) outscored Greenville 12-4 in the third to take a nine-point lead, then they held off a Greenville rally attempt in the fourth to hang on for a 38-34 victory on the road, the team’s seventh in its last 11 games.
“We led 16-15 at the half and weren’t playing really well, weren’t shooting well,” Troy coach Nathan Kopp said. “Then we had three straight trips with backdoor buckets from Kayla Niswonger to Alaura Holycross, and Sierra Besecker hit a 3 to make it 28-19 — and luckily, that was enough.
“We knew they (Greenville) were going to play better this time. We shot 23 for 43 from the field the first time we played them. That was the best we’ve shot in about six years, and we figured we weren’t going to be able to duplicate that. But we shot 17 for 25 from the free throw line today, which is good for us, and made some big ones in the fourth.”
Besecker led the Trojans with 11 points Holycross and Jordan Short each added seven points and Bailey Hess scored six points.
Troy hosts Trotwood on Wednesday and Butler on Saturday, a pair of GWOC North games in which the Trojans lost the first meeting.
M-U 62, Carlisle 34
WEST MILTON — Milton-Union built a 16-point lead by halftime, cruising to a 62-34 Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division victory over visiting Carlisle Saturday.
Three Bulldogs (13-5, 6-2 SWBL Buckeye) were in double digits on the day. Taylor Jacobs led the way with 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists, Liz Renner added 13 points, four rebounds and three blocked shots and Kristen Dickison had 11 points, six rebounds and three assists. Michaela Fullmer chipped in two points, six assists and seven steals, Jordan Pricer had six points and Bri Stone and Olivia Brown each added four points.
Milton-Union travels to Franklin Monday.
TC Boys, East
BROOKVILLE — Troy Christian’s boys and Miami East girls swimming teams won at a quad match Friday night at Brookville, with host Brookville winning the combined team scores by one. The Viking girls beat the Blue Devils 147-138 and the Eagle boys beat the Blue Devils 215-111, but Brookville had 248 total points to Troy Christian’s 248.
Troy Christian’s boys won every event except for one. Matt Moebius, Zeke Fulton, Matt Newcomer and Sam LaVielle won the 200 medley relay, Moebius, Newcomer, Alec Klint and LaVielle won the 200 free relay and Grant Doucette, Jacob Voisinet, Fulton and Klint won the 400 free relay. Moebius added wins in the 200 free and 100 back, Doucette won the 200 IM and 500 free, LaVielle won the 50 free and 100 free and Newcomer won the 100 fly.
For the Eagle girls, Hailey Isenbarger won the 50 free and 100 free and Kaitlyn Strait won the 100 breast.
For Miami East’s girls, the 200 medley relay team of Megan Lawson, Meredith Richters and McKenna and Abby Bollinger won, as did the same quartet in the 400 free relay. Lawson also won the 200 free, McKenna Bollinger won the 100 fly and Abby Bollinger won the 100 back.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.