Second-seeded Wildcats gear up for postseason run

  • Marc Pendleton
  • Staff Writer
3:43 p.m Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 Sports
Springfield’s Jordan Howard (2), Michael Wallace and Raheim Moss. Centerville defeated visiting Springfield 50-48 in a boys high school basketball game on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

It’s been a great run for Springfield High School’s boys basketball team. Here’s why:

• The Wildcats (18-4) remained ranked among the state’s best Division I teams all season.

• Springfield contended for a Greater Western Ohio Conference National East title, placing runner-up to Wayne (20-1).

• The Wildcats played an exceptional non-league schedule and handed Wayne its only loss.

»RELATED: Final boys basketball power rankings

Best of all, there are many key pieces to coach Isaiah Carson’s dream team. None more so than breakout junior Raheim Moss. The 6-foot-4 guard is the Wildcats’ leading scorer (16.2 points), a top defender (6.8 rebounds) and is an emerging star among stars.

That’s why Ohio State University, Miami, Dayton, Wright State and Northern Kentucky all have interest in Moss. And he’s also drawing mounting interest in football as a linebacker.

Moss and the rest of the Wildcats will be on one-and-done high alert from here on out. A No. 2 seed in the Dayton D-I sectional, Springfield opens the postseason against Springboro at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Centerville.

“We’re looking forward to (the postseason),” Carson said. “We just have to continue to get better.”

»RELATED: Beavercreek stuns Franklin in D-I boys opener

Springfield closed the regular season last weekend by taking out visiting Middletown, coached by former Wildcats coach Darnell Hoskins, 70-57. The Wildcats split their final six games, losing at Centerville and Trotwood-Madison and to visiting Moeller, the D-I state runner-up last season.

Springboro (8-15) advanced by defeating Piqua 86-56 in Friday’s first round at Trotwood. It was a season-high scoring effort for the Panthers. Springfield defeated visiting Springboro in a GWOC crossover game 56-48. The Wildcats led 15-2 after the first quarter but had to rally in the fourth. Springfield drew a first-round bye.

»RELATED: Springfield at Trotwood boys photo gallery

The winner advances to Friday’s sectional final against the Sidney-Beavercreek winner also at Centerville.

“We can’t wait,” said Springfield senior Michael Wallace .

• The Central Buckeye Conference will have four teams remaining in the D-II boys sectional at Springfield following Saturday’s games.

Northwestern (4-18) has the most daunting task against top-seeded Trotwood-Madison (20-3) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the upper bracket.

No. 2 seed Urbana (15-7) will play the Bellefontaine-Shawnee winner at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the lower bracket. Urbana has a first-round bye.

Also emerging in the lower bracket will be the Graham-Kenton Ridge winner. That winner will play the Carroll-Tippecanoe winner at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Kenton Ridge is a No. 2 seed and Tipp a No. 3 seed.

West Liberty-Salem 56, Arcanum 30: Max Eggleston had 18 points and Trevor Burden 17 in leading the Tigers to a D-III sectional opening win at Northmont on Friday. WL-Salem (16-7) plays Ohio Heritage Conference rival Greeneview (13-9) in an upper bracket sectional semi at 6 p.m. Tuesday also at Northmont. The Rams had a first-round bye.

Fairlawn 58, Triad 45: Shut out in the first quarter, Hadley LeVan rallied for a game-high 29 points but the Cardinals fell in a D-IV sectional opener at Piqua on Friday. LeVan hit 12 of 15 free throws and had three 3-pointers for Triad (15-8).

Franklin Monroe 58, Southeastern 35: The Trojans (3-20) exited the D-IV sectional at Troy in the first round to the No. 3 seeded Jets.

• CBC rep Tecumseh (19-5) will play Fairmont (16-8) of the GWOC in a D-I girls sectional final at 6 p.m. Monday at Troy. Tecumseh won its fifth straight game by upsetting No. 3 seed Lebanon 64-58 in the semis on Tuesday. Tecumseh defeated Fairmont 54-45 in a D-I sectional semi last season. The teams did not play in this regular season.

• Kenton Ridge (14-10) will play top-seeded Tippecanoe (22-2) in a D-II girls sectional final at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Tecumseh. Kenton Ridge advanced by edging Shawnee 42-40 on Thursday and Tipp blew out Northwestern 54-20.

• OHC rivals Greeneview (21-2) and WL-Salem (18-5) will play in a D-III girls sectional final at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Trotwood. Both teams were 15-1 to win their respective OHC divisions. Greeneview, the No. 3 seed, won the regular-season showdown, 44-33.

• OHC rivals Cedarville (19-5) and Southeastern (7-16) will play in a D-IV girls sectional final at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Monroe. Seeded second, Cedarville swept the two regular-season matchups.