NEW MIAMI — There were plenty of quality performances from Cincinnati Christian School’s boys basketball team Friday night, but the “Beast Mode” belt could only go to one player.
That was senior forward Riley Reutener, who tallied 15 points and 12 rebounds in a 70-52 Miami Valley Conference victory at New Miami.
“At the end of the game we vote on whoever worked hard and played hard and showed heart in the game, and I was the recipient of the belt this game,” Reutener said with a smile. “We were hard at work today. We played four quarters, and we played for the Lord. That’s all we can do.”
FRIDAY NIGHT BASKETBALL COVERAGE
The Cougars believe this can be a special season now that they’ve dropped back down to Division IV. They made it to the D-IV regional finals two years ago, but lost their first tournament game in D-III last season.
“Where are we setting the bar? I don’t think there is a bar. I think the sky’s the limit for us,” Reutener said. “I think with this group of guys, we can do anything. We can make a big run in the tournament like we did two years ago and even go farther.”
CCS improved to 4-1 overall and 4-0 in the MVC Gray Division with Friday’s conquest of New Miami (3-2, 2-2). The Cougars are eyeing their fifth straight Gray championship.
Devin McKinnon (12), Miguel Ringer (10) and Logan Woods (10) all contributed double-digit scoring for Cincinnati Christian, which outpointed the Vikings 20-7 in the second quarter and took a 33-18 lead into the break.
Ringer collected six rebounds and three steals, Woods dished out five assists, K.J. Swain had seven points and four assists, and Bryson Teague added three steals. Jalon Percy and Cameron Rogers hauled in five boards apiece.
“I thought it was a really good effort,” CCS coach Carl Woods said. “We summed it up as a business trip. We’re definitely grinding and getting better and better each day, but we also played our first four games at home. That got us into a comfort level, so we really needed to get on the road and test the waters. I think we passed that test tonight.”
The Cougars have a lot of quickness and athleticism, and it was tough for New Miami to match up.
“Our defense was definitely beneficial tonight,” Woods said. “We got after it. We defended well. We rebounded well. Offensively, we do like the balance. These guys are very unselfish. They really don’t care who scores.”
The Vikings needed a nearly flawless performance to beat the Cougars. It didn’t happen, despite solid showings from Deanza Duncan (23 points, seven rebounds) and Jordan Robinette (13 points, six boards).
“In a nutshell, we lost to a better team tonight,” New Miami coach Jared Lee said. “They’re well coached, they’re very, very talented, and there’s a reason why they’ve won the league four years in a row. I really feel like we didn’t play terribly, but when you make a mistake against that team, they burn you on it. And we made a couple too many.”
It was an 0-2 week for the Vikings — they were on the wrong end of a 63-37 decision against Seven Hills on Tuesday. The Stingers and CCS are tied for first place in the Gray Division.
“There’s no shame in losing to those two teams,” Lee said. “Our big thing this year is we’re not conceding any games. We’re going to give every team everything we’ve got and see where we’re at.
“We’ve got 18 more games minimum. We still have every opportunity in front of us, and the best part about it is we control our own destiny. So we can be as good as we want to be or we can stay where we’re at. It’s up to us.”
Cincinnati Christian travels to Aiken on Saturday night. The Vikings will be on the road against Cincinnati College Prep Academy on Wednesday.
Cin. Christian 13-20-19-18—70
New Miami 11-7-16-18—52
CINCINNATI CHRISTIAN (4-1, 4-0 MVC Gray): Riley Reutener 5 5 15; Miguel Ringer 3 4 10; K.J. Swain 3 0 7; Logan Woods 2 6 10; Cameron Rogers 2 0 4; Winston Spencer 1 0 2; Cole Martin 2 0 4; Devin McKinnon 4 4 12; Bryson Teague 2 0 4; Jalon Percy 1 0 2. Totals: 25-19-70
NEW MIAMI (3-2, 2-2 MVC Gray): Deanza Duncan 7 8 23; Trey Robinette 0 4 4; Nate Hobbs 1 1 3; Ronnie Bowman 2 2 7; Jordan Robinette 4 4 13; David Cunningham 0 2 2. Totals: 14-21-52
3-pointers: C 1 (Swain), N 3 (Duncan, Bowman, J. Robinette)