Prep basketball: Cincinnati Christian ends drought against Summit, widens MVC Gray lead

Cincinnati Christian’s Cameron Rogers pulls up for a jumper during Friday night’s game against Summit Country Day in Fairfield Township. CCS won 44-35. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Caption
Cincinnati Christian’s Cameron Rogers pulls up for a jumper during Friday night’s game against Summit Country Day in Fairfield Township. CCS won 44-35. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

FAIRFIELD TWP. — The highest-scoring team in the Miami Valley Conference can play a little defense too.

Cincinnati Christian School’s boys basketball squad held visiting Summit Country Day scoreless for a critical stretch of more than eight minutes Friday night, helping the Cougars secure a 44-35 victory.

“Everybody looks at our scoring, but really it’s our defense that creates the scoring,” said junior forward Cameron Rogers, who had 10 points and eight rebounds for CCS. “We really just put the hammer on that. That’s the focal point of this team.”

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The Cougars went down 18-12 on a three-point play by Summit’s Rylan Woods with 3:28 left in the second quarter, but responded with 14 straight points. The Silver Knights didn’t score again until the 3:02 mark of the third stanza.

Included in that 14-point surge for the hosts were four consecutive baskets by Riley Reutener to begin the second half.

“There were a couple shots where I was yelling, ‘Get to the glass,’ but he was feeling it and knocked down some nice 13- to 15-footers,” Cincinnati Christian coach Carl Woods said. “That helped because it also drew them out of their zone. They went man, and that’s what we really wanted them to do because we felt we had a little bit deeper bench and overall better athletes.”

Summit remained competitive, yet simply couldn’t sink enough shots to make CCS nervous down the stretch.

Silver Knights coach Pat Cosgrove said before the game that his team plays hard and excels on the defensive end, but struggles to put the ball in the hole. That assessment proved to be dead-on.

“Knowing that we do have limitations on the offensive end, we can’t let one guy rattle off eight in a row in two minutes like Reutener did,” Cosgrove said. “And no one was near him. It wasn’t like he was shooting over people. It was like a shootaround. We were still in the same defense that held them to 18 points in the first half. We just weren’t executing it the same way.”

Logan Woods collected 12 points and five assists for the Cougars, who improved to 13-3 overall and 10-1 in the MVC Gray Division. Second-place Seven Hills lost to North College Hill on Friday and fell two games behind CCS in the Gray race.

Cincinnati Christian began the night with an MVC-leading scoring average of 64.8 points. Against Summit, it was an 18-18 contest at halftime.

“I really was just focused on salvaging that second quarter because we got down,” Carl Woods said. “The goal is to win the quarter and we ended up losing by one, but at least we got it back to an even ballgame.

Cincinnati Christian’s Miguel Ringer dribbles the ball as Summit Country Day’s Terry Evans (11) defends during Friday night’s game in Fairfield Township. CCS won 44-35. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Caption
Cincinnati Christian’s Miguel Ringer dribbles the ball as Summit Country Day’s Terry Evans (11) defends during Friday night’s game in Fairfield Township. CCS won 44-35. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

“We were missing a lot of shots. We had some clean looks and they just weren’t falling for us, so we knew we’d be OK there eventually. But we needed to step up the intensity of the defense in the second half, and the guys responded.”

Rogers converted two baskets during Cincinnati Christian’s 6-0 run to finish the second period. He said the Cougars weren’t particularly concerned about being behind at that point.

“Since we had a whole lot of time left in the game, we had a quiet confidence that we would come back and win,” Rogers said. “Basketball is a game of runs. They had their chance, then we had our chance.”

Rylan Woods had 13 points and Terry Evans added 12 for Summit, which fell to 8-8 overall and 6-5 in the MVC Scarlet Division. Benjamin Toble contributed six rebounds, but the Silver Knights got doubled on the boards.

“We made all the wrong plays when they were making all the right plays, and when those things happen simultaneously, that’s when it goes from tied to down 12,” Cosgrove said. “When they get up, they put offensive pressure on you. That can be deadly against a team like us who can struggle at times to score. When it gets to three or four possessions against a good team on the road that shoots it well, that’s really hard to come back from.

“Credit to them. Their shot chart in the second half was ridiculous. It was all around the rim. Some of them were uncontested, unfortunately. We made mental errors that we don’t usually make.

“Our margin for error is small. Every game is winnable, but every game is also losable. That’s kind of different for some of the kids in this program, to be quite honest. It’s tough for some guys.”

Miguel Ringer and Reutener both had eight points for Cincinnati Christian, and Reutener chipped in four assists. Devin McKinnon contributed four points and 11 rebounds.

Carl Woods said balance and unselfishness continue to drive the team. He was also quite happy to end a lengthy victory drought against Summit.

“It’s been 10 years since we last beat them,” Woods said. “That was a long time coming, and that’s with an exclamation point.”

Rogers said the Cougars are confident in their ability to capture a fifth straight Gray Division crown and make a serious run in the Division IV postseason.

“The sky’s the limit,” Rogers said. “We feel like we have the talent, we have the coaches, we have the intellect and everything to go far in the season. We feel like we’re the only team that can beat us.”

On Tuesday, CCS will travel to Cincinnati Country Day and the Silver Knights will be at home against Miami Valley Christian Academy.

Summit Country Day 5-13-5-12—35

Cincinnati Christian 6-12-15-11—44

SUMMIT COUNTRY DAY (8-8, 6-5 MVC Scarlet): Jimmy Stines 1 0 3; Rylan Woods 5 3 13; Terry Evans 4 3 12; Benjamin Toble 2 0 4; Matt Dahling 1 1 3. Totals: 13-7-35

CINCINNATI CHRISTIAN (13-3, 10-1 MVC Gray): Riley Reutener 4 0 8; Miguel Ringer 4 0 8; Logan Woods 4 3 12; Devin McKinnon 2 0 4; Cameron Rogers 5 0 10; Winston Spencer 1 0 2. Totals: 20-3-44

3-pointers: S 2 (Stines, Evans), C 1 (Woods)