Catholic Central, Greeneview headed to UD Arena

SPRINGFIELD — The Catholic Central High School boys basketball team has been focused on one goal the entire season: getting back to University of Dayton Arena for the second straight season.

With just two returning players and a new head coach, the Irish knew it would take some work to make it back to a Division IV district final game.

Catholic Central achieved its goal on Saturday, engineering a second-half comeback to beat Ohio Heritage Conference rival Cedarville 48-43 in a district semifinal game to earn a spot in Dayton.

“We wanted to get back to UD because it’s such a special place,” said Irish coach Matt Mullen.

Catholic Central (17-8) will play Russia (22-3) in a D-IV district final game at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at UD Arena.

“With the amount of talent that we lost and bringing in a team that was untested and hadn’t played together — only two guys had played together in high school,” said Mullen, who served as an assistant coach last season. “The composure we’ve shown has been great.”

Last season, the Irish went 24-3, falling to Botkins in a D-IV regional semifinal game. The Irish graduated eight seniors and Mullen took over for coach John Detling, who resigned after the season.

“Since our first day in June, we’ve talked about the tournament,” Mullen said. “We said the regular season is the regular season. We’re going to struggle. It’s going to take us a couple months to get there.”

The Irish started the season 3-4, but won eight games in a row. At the end of the year, Catholic Central lost four of its last seven games, including losses to two district finalists: Greeneview (D-III) and Troy Christian (D-IV).

In the district semifinal, the Irish trailed Cedarville by seven points in the second half, but rallied take the lead down the stretch. Galluch scored 30 points. The senior is averaging 27 points and 10 rebounds during the Irish’s postseason run, shooting 84 percent from the field (32-of-38).

The Irish will face a sixth-ranked Russia squad that advanced to a district final game for the first time since 2018. The Raiders, who shared the Shelby County Athletic League title with third-ranked Jackson Center, are led by junior guard Hayden Quinter (14 points per game) and sophomore guard Braylon Cordonnier (11 ppg).

“They play tight, they play physical and they play pressure (defense),” Mullen said.

The winner will advance to face either Troy Christian or Riverview East in a D-IV regional semifinal game at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, at Trent Arena in Kettering.

Division III

Greeneview is back in the D-III district tournament for the first time since 2021.

The Rams (21-4) will play Tri-Village (20-5) — the state runner-up in D-IV last season — in a D-III district final game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at UD Arena. The Patriots have won six straight games since falling to Preble Shawnee in a game that determined the Western Ohio Athletic Conference championship. They’re led by senior guard Wilson Suggs (14.6 ppg) and senior post Justin Finkbine (11.4 ppg, 6.9 ppg), who were key players on last year’s state team.

Greeneview, the Ohio Heritage Conference South Division champion, is led by a group of seven seniors, including guard Jordan Erisman (14.1 ppg), guard Carter Williams (13.8 ppg) and post Ethen Caudill (11.6 ppg).

The winner will advance to face either Worthington Christian or Canal Winchester Harvest Prep in a D-III regional semifinal game at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, at Trent Arena in Kettering.

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