Elks defeat Wayne to earn share of title

Cam Fancher puts up a shot over Elks’ defender Kebba Archimalo.

Photo by Robert Williamson II

CENTERVILLE — Centerville jumped out to an 11-0 lead in the opening minutes of the first quarter and never looked back in route to a 69-45 win over visiting Wayne, winning its 12th straight and claiming a share of the GWOC National East title with Springfield.

“I give coach Cupps, his staff and his players all of the credit,” said Wayne coach Nathan Martindale. “I congratulated them afterward on winning the GWOC share with Springfield. We were trying to break the streak but they’re on a roll. They hit us hard early, the first couple of quarters and sometimes when you’re down it’s hard to figure out how to change that momentum and change that energy. I keep preaching play one possession at a time but that was unfamiliar territory for our guys and it showed.”

Centerville was crisp in its execution of its offense and Wayne could not get anything to fall. Centerville won each of the first two quarters 20-10, which was good enough to double up Wayne at the half, leading 40-20.

In the first quarter, the Warriors had trouble defending Elks’ junior center Mo Njie. Wayne had to give help to the defender on Mo, which opened up the rest of the Elks’ offense.

Wayne never got closer than 20, with Centerville extending its lead to 56-28 at the end of the third quarter. Wayne did not let down, it fought to the end but the large deficit was too hard to overcome.

A challenging and at some points disappointing season has come to an end for Wayne, but it has to get ready quickly because a new season in the form of the sectional tournament, starts in about a week.

“Through the season, obviously we always want to compete for a league title, but the reason we try to schedule as many tough games as possible is to prepare ourselves for the second season,” Martindale said. “I told my kids we have to have a short term memory because we play Stebbins Saturday and if we come with this type of effort, we are going to get the same type of results.”

As previously noted Wayne will play Stebbins in a first-round game, Saturday at Trotwood High School. Centerville takes on Piqua this Friday night at Trotwood High School.

WAY 10 20 28 44 – 44

CEN 20 40 56 69 – 69

Wayne: Ronnie Hampton 18, Rashad McKee 9, Jahrod Lankford 3, Cam Fancher 6, Tallice Landers 2, Jordan Long 4, Brian Hill 2. Totals: 17-6-44.

Centerville: Jason Sneed 11, Ryan Marchal 13, Matt Pierce 5, Mo Njie 16, Kebba Archimalo 2, Ryan Ballard 2, Tim Ankenbauer 7, Davis Mumaw 3, Kaleb Mitchell 8, JV Player – Hayes 2. Totals: 27-8-69.

Three-point goals: Wayne 4 (Fancher 2, McKee, Lankford); Centerville 5 (Marchal 2, Pierce, Ankenbauer, Mumaw).

Records: Wayne 12-9 (9-3), Centerville 16-5 (10-2).

JV Score: Centerville 61 Wayne 45