Boys basketball: Cincinnati Christian falls in regional semifinals

The Cincinnati Christian High School boys basketball team was prepared for Jackson Center’s pressure defense.

The problem? The shots simply didn’t fall.

The Cougars shot 35.3 percent from the field, including 2-for-9 from the 3-point line, falling to the Tigers 40-30 in a D-IV regional semifinal game on Tuesday night at UD Arena.

Logan Woods had 11 points for the Cougars, who were held 35 points under their season scoring average.

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“It was nothing we haven’t seen before, nothing we weren’t expecting,” said Cougars coach Carl Woods. “We’ve played Jackson Center a couple times now, so we knew they’d be a very disciplined defensive team. Unfortunately, the shots didn’t go in for us, so that doesn’t help. Give credit to those guys. They played some good defense.”

Aidan Reichert had a game-high 18 points and Garrett Prenger added 11 as the Tigers (21-6) advanced to play Columbus Wellington (19-8) for a trip to the state tournament at 7 p.m. Friday night at UD Arena. Wellington beat Fort Loramie 38-35 in the other semifinal game.

The Cougars trailed 19-12 at the half, but went on a 9-2 run to start the third quarter to tie the score at 21.

“I don’t think it was any surprise, we talked about it at halftime, the way they were going to come at us, try to pick tempo up, put us in positions to make bad decisions,” said Tigers coach Scott Elchert, “and we did enough for them to get the momentum and get back in (the game). But the bottom line is we were able to gain our composure and finish out strong.”

At halftime, Carl Woods challenged his team to follow the game plan they had expected to play early in the game.

“We had a gameplan and weren’t executing our game plan at the beginning of the game,” Carl Woods said. “We talked to them at halftime, challenged them and they responded to it. We started playing ball the way we know how to play ball. Unfortunately, the foul count was extremely swayed. When it’s 14-4, that’s a problem. As we were getting the momentum there, calls didn’t go our way.”

The Cougars took a lead 29-28 lead on a jumper by Logan Woods early in the fourth quarter, but the Tigers held the Cougars (21-6) to just one point the rest of the way.

“A couple shots down the stretch just rammed in-and-out for us,” Carl Woods said. “It just didn’t go in for us tonight.”

Cincinnati Christian finished its season 21-6, winning its first district since 2017. They’ll graduate two seniors in Winston Spencer and Cameron Rogers.

“We’re very pleased with the season,” Carl Woods said. “This team faced a lot of adversity with injuries up front and to battle back, set some records even though we had that adversity. We had an 11-game winning streak and another 20-win season. We had a lot of things that we can be happy about and be proud of.”

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