- By Marc Pendleton Staff Writer
It’s all about the process for Wayne girls basketball coach Travis Trice. Previously an ultra successful Wayne boys coach, Trice is in his first season with the Warriors girls.
“It’s taken all year, but our whole motto is trust,” said Trice, who’ll lead Wayne into one of four Division I district finals on Saturday at Princeton.
“We always leave our huddle and say, ‘One, two, three trust.’ The defining portion to that is we’re trying to trust the process and build a foundation. Obviously, we’ve won games in the past, but I’m new and the girls are new to me. It’s tough for the girls to learn that and figure it out all at once. It’s taken all (season).”
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Wayne earned its district shot with a stunning 41-30 defeat of Springboro (21-4), which had walloped Wayne 56-27 in the regular season. Joining Wayne at Princeton are Beavercreek and Fairmont. All three area powers represent the Greater Western Ohio Conference National East.
In Saturday’s girls D-III district finals at Springfield High School it’s Waynesville, West Liberty-Salem, Versailles and Anna playing. Also on Saturday is the girls D-IV district finals at Troy. The entire field consists of area teams: Russia vs. Tri-Village, Legacy Christian vs. Covington and Cedarville vs. Fort Loramie.
Franklin, Carroll, Bellbrook and Tippecanoe all played in girls D-II district finals at Mason on Friday.
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Girls district winners advance to next week’s regional semifinals at Fairmont’s Trent Arena (D-I), Springfield (D-II and D-III) and Butler (D-IV).
The boys tourney is one week behind the girls and has its sectional finals on Friday and Saturday. Miamisburg and Fairmont will play in a D-I sectional final at Centerville on Saturday. In D-III it’s Brookville vs. Anna and Dayton Christian against Stivers at Butler on Saturday. Waynesville, Bethel, West Liberty-Salem and Versailles also will play in D-III sectional finals on Saturday at Northmont.
Among D-IV boys, top-seeded Fort Loramie plays Ansonia at Piqua and Catholic Central gets Legacy Christian at Troy on Saturday. All boys winners advance to next week’s district finals at the University of Dayton Arena (all divisions).
Area girls D-I district champs have been few since Fairmont’s run of four straight seasons to the state final four from 2010-13. Last season Wayne, Springboro and Beavercreek all fell in district finals also at Princeton.
Wayne (15-9) will have to beat defending D-I state champion Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame (25-4) to trump its upset of Springboro. Wayne lost 55-45 at MND to end the 2017 portion of the season.
“I think we’ve played the toughest schedule in the state,” Trice said. “That’s what causes your season to go up and down.”
Fairmont (17-8) is up first among the area’s D-I reps, playing Lakota West (23-2) at 1 p.m. Saturday. Wayne and MND are next at 3 p.m. and Beavercreek (21-4) gets Mason (21-3) at 5 p.m.