The other state semi will feature defending D-II state champ Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (19-8) against Lexington (23-5) at 2 p.m. Friday. The semi winners advance to the Saturday, March 24 championship at 5:15 p.m.
Akron SVSM upset Trotwood on a last-second shot in last year’s D-II state semifinals, 62-60. The Rams had won a regular-season matchup with the Irish by 39 points.
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Trotwood raced to a 20-point lead late in the first half against Hughes, out of the Cincinnati Metro Conference. The Big Red made a second-half run, mainly benefitting from Trotwood’s free throw inaccuracy (23 of 45).
Myles Belyeu led Trotwood with 24 points. Amari Davis added 18 points and Carl Blanton 17.
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Hughes (24-4) received 20 points apiece from Giovanni Santiago and D.J. Brewton. A.J. Smith added 18 points.
It was the first time in six postseason matchups the Rams didn’t post a blowout win. Trotwood will take an 18-game win streak into the final four, its fourth and all since the 2006 Rams were runner-up in D-I. Among the most winningest big-school area programs the last 20 years, Trotwood has never won a state title.
Trotwood boys basketball coach Rocky Rockhold addresses an 84-74 defeat of Cin. Hughes to win a D-II regional title at Trent Arena on Sat., March 17, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
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The Rams also are in contention for a rare football/basketball state-title double. Trotwood completed a 15-0 season by winning a D-III state football championship last December.
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