By Josh Brown
CASSTOWN — One week after its most disappointing loss on the same court, Miami East found itself cutting down the nets.
The Viking boys basketball team (18-3, 11-1 Cross County Conference) put away the visiting Bradford Railroaders with a big second half, winning 59-48 Friday night at home to clinch a share of the CCC championship — its first since 2012.
“This was our first league title since 2012, four years ago, meaning this was the first chance for these seniors to cut down the nets,” Miami East coach Allen Mack said. “Bradford put up a hard fight in the first half with a young team and only one senior, but we pulled away with a decisive third quarter.”
The Vikings led only 26-24 at the break, but they outscored Bradford (2-18, 0-12 CCC) 20-6 in the third to take control for good, putting three players in double figures.
Damien Mackesy led the Vikings with a game-high 23 points, six rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot. Braxton Donaldson added a career-high 14 points, going 6 for 6 from the field and 2 for 2 from the free throw line, Brandon Mack hit a pair of 3s and added 10 points, Ryan Haney had four points and four assists, Michael Werling had four points and four rebounds and Kley Karadak had four points.
Andy Branson had 15 points to lead Bradford and Drew Patty added 14 points.
Both teams played Saturday in games that were not complete at time of press, with Miami East traveling to Fairlawn and Bradford hosting Houston.
Spr. Shawnee 53,
Tipp 48 OT
TIPP CITY — Tippecanoe’s first-round tournament game will definitely be an interesting matchup, given how the first two meetings between the teams went.
After the Red Devils — who earned the top seed in the Division II Springfield sectional — defeated them 48-43 earlier this season, the third-seeded Springfield Shawnee Braves rallied and knocked off Tippecanoe 53-48 in overtime Friday night, setting up a whopper of a rubber game to open the postseason on Feb. 20.
Seth Gray scored 23 points to lead the Braves (14-7, 7-3 Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division) past Tippecanoe (13-8, 5-5 CBC Kenton Trail), which saw a three-game winning streak end.
The Devils finished the regular season Saturday against Northwestern in a game that was not complete at time of press.
DAYTON — For 16 minutes and a few seconds, Milton-Union kept pace with the No. 3 team in the state in Division III, Northridge, on the road.
But the Polar Bears hit a desperation 3 at the buzzer to go into the locker room with a five-point lead, then they outscored the Bulldogs 45-18 in the second half to put away a 75-43 victory, improving to 20-1 on the season and 11-0 in the Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division.
“It was a two-point game before the half, then they hit about a 35-foot 3 at the buzzer to make it a five-point game. We kind of woke the beast at halftime,” Milton-Union coach Rusty Berner said. “That gym’s a tough place to play, and they haven’t lost a league game in two years now. They’ve got a special group of kids and a good team.
“I was proud of our kids. We battled in the first half against the No. 3 team in the state, and we showed a lot of toughness.”
Eric Swartz led Milton-Union (1-18, 1-9 SWBL Buckeye) with 14 points, Tommy Smith added 10 and Blake Ullery scored seven. Averon Ely Jr. led Northridge with 20 points.
Milton-Union, which hosted Newton Saturday in a game that was not complete at time of press, has two more games this week — at Dixie Tuesday and against Waynesville Thursday — before opening tournament play at Northmont Feb. 20 against Northridge.
MC 50, TC 42
TROY — Middletown Christian (11-10, 5-5) outscored Troy Christian 22-14 in the fourth quarter Friday night, pulling ahead to claim a 50-42 Metro Buckeye Conference victory.
James Anderson led the Eagles (9-12, 7-5 MBC) with 14 points and 13 rebounds, Chase Hayden added 13 points and Jacob Brown scored five.
Troy Christian finishes the regular season at Northeastern Monday.
MV 74, Bethel 52
UNION CITY — Bethel’s Caleb South led all scorers with 21 points Friday night, but no other Bees reached double digits as Mississinawa Valley (14-7, 10-3 Cross County Conference) won 74-52 to claim third place in the conference.
Bethel (15-6, 8-4 CCC) finished the regular season at Stivers Saturday in a game that was not complete at time of press.
Other scores: Covington (9-12, 6-6 CCC) 69, Franklin Monroe (9-12, 6-6 CCC) 53.
* Girls Basketball
Newton 58, FM 33
BROOKVILLE — One small adjustment proved to be all the Newton girls basketball team needed.
The sixth-seeded Indians (16-7) held No. 9 Franklin Monroe (2-21) to only four second-quarter and five third-quarter points, outscoring the Jets 27-9 during that time to pull away for a 58-33 victory to open the Division IV sectional tournament Saturday at Brookville.
“I thought we gave up a few too many layups on our press in the first quarter,” Newton coach Neal Hans said. “We changed the press a little after that, did a little something different and really put the clamps on them after that.”
Maddie Mollette and Tatum McBride each scored 17 to lead the Indians and Elizabeth Carroll added eight.
Newton takes on No. 8 Twin Valley South at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Brookville.
BROOKVILLE — The third-seeded Covington Buccaneers advanced to the second round of the Division IV sectional tournament with an easy win Saturday at Brookville, defeating No. 7 Bradford 54-30.
Covington (15-8) will face fourth-seeded Xenia Christian, a 50-34 winner over No. 5 Southeastern, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, while Bradford’s season ends at 8-15.
JC 60, TC 35
SIDNEY — Troy Christian, seeded No. 7 in the Division IV sectional tournament, had a tough first-round matchup in No. 2 Jackson Center, and the Eagles couldn’t get going in a 60-35 loss at Sidney Saturday.
Troy Christian finished the season 14-8, while Jackson Center (16-7) will face No. 8 Lehman at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
NE 49, M-U 38
PITSBURG — Senior Jordan Pricer led Milton-Union with 14 points and five steals Saturday, but the eighth-seeded Bulldogs were outscored 17-10 in the fourth quarter as No. 9 Northeastern came away with a 49-38 upset to open the Division III sectional tournament at Franklin Monroe High School.
Liz Renner added eight points and nine rebounds as Milton-Union fell behind 25-16 at the half, cut the deficit to 32-28 going into the fourth but never could get over the hump.
“Northeastern played a good game today,” Milton-Union coach Katie Roose said. “They were able to knock down some outside shots, which isn’t a side of their game that we were expecting. They played with a lot of heart today.
“Today marked the end of basketball careers for two young ladies, Jordan Pricer and Michaela Fullmer, that contributed greatly to our program. Peanut (Fullmer) provided us great leadership and played a large part in us being our league’s leading defensive team. And Jordan ended her career with a bang. It was evident both girls didn’t want their careers to end today. We will most definitely miss these two fine young ladies next year.”
Milton-Union finished the season 15-8, while Northeastern (13-10) moves on to face No. 3 seed and defending state champion Versailles Wednesday.
Tipp 85, Greenon 14
NEW CARLISLE — The top-seeded Tippecanoe Red Devils posted a lop-sided first-round victory to open the Division II sectional tournament Saturday at Tecumseh High School, outscoring No. 13 Greenon (2-21) 42-2 in the second half to seal an 85-14 win.
Tippecanoe (18-5) will face No. 12 Greenville at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the second round.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.