Prep basketball: New Miami, Cin. Christian headed for district finals

CLEVES — Gritty New Miami just keeps making prep basketball history.

The fourth-seeded Vikings shook off giving up the go-ahead layup to Gamble Montessori with 7.6 seconds remaining as sophomore guard Jordan Robinette scored on a leaner with one second remaining to pull out a 48-47 win over the third-seeded Gators in a Division IV district semifinal Saturday night at Taylor.

The win, which prompted the Vikings to engulf Robinette in a group hug before a swarm of NMHS fans joined them, propels New Miami — already enjoying its first winning record since the 2002-2003 season — into its first district championship game since that same season.

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“We talked about that,” said Robinette, who finished with 13 points, two behind senior forward Ronnie Bowman’s team-high 15. “We’re just trying to make history right now.”

“We talked at the beginning of the year about how one of our goals was to play a game at UD Arena,” second-year coach Jared Lee said. “We accomplished that.”

New Miami (16-9), winner of five consecutive games after losing three straight and five of six, will play Springfield Catholic Central, ranked seventh in the final Associated Press state poll, in a 9:30 p.m. district final Friday at the University of Dayton Arena.

The winning play was hastily drawn up during a timeout, and Lee was quick to deflect credit to his players and coaching staff, which includes Kevin Lakes, the coach of the last New Miami district finalist.

“I just push a pen,” he said. “The players pass and shoot. We took punch after punch today and kept going. Every time they made a run, we had an answer.”

“I was just trying to draw a foul,” said Robinette, who sank six of his seven free throws. “They didn’t call the foul, so I made the shot.”

Robinette scored five of his seven first-half points during a 9-0 New Miami second-quarter run that gave the Vikings their largest lead (20-12) with 2:15 left in the first half. Bowman scored eight points in the half, which ended with New Miami leading 22-17.

In the first game of the doubleheader at Taylor, senior Cole Martin helped Cincinnati Christian shake off a sluggish start with a red-hot second quarter, and the top-seeded Cougars went on to pull away from fifth-seeded Miami Valley Christian Academy for a 55-40 win.

Freshman Logan Woods scored 23 points to lead CCS, which led the Lions by as many as 28 points in the fourth quarter before settling for the 15-point win.

“It’s an awesome feeling,” CCS coach Carl Woods said. “We knew Miami Valley would come out and play tough. We knew we’d have to stay focused and intense.”

The Cougars (20-5) will take a three-game winning streak into a 5:30 p.m. district championship game against Fort Loramie on Friday at UD Arena.

“Any time you play a team from up north, it’s going to be physical,” said Woods, who’s had the opportunity to scout Fort Loramie.

CCS, which has won four of its last five games, reached a district final for the second time in the last three seasons and first since winning a 2017 district championship.

In the opener between two Miami Valley Conference programs, CCS had difficulty adjusting to the MVCA zone defenses, and its grasping, clawing, in-your face man-to-man defense didn’t produce as many turnovers as hoped for, leaving the Cougars trailing 10-9 going into the second quarter.

Martin came off the bench to sink three 3-pointers and scored 11 points in the second quarter, helping CCS take a 26-15 lead into halftime.

“It feels really good,” Martin said. “I was hitting my shots. I was just playing my game. When it’s there, it’s there.”

“Cole’s an assassin,” Woods said of the CCS seventh man. “He’s a sharp-shooting kid. He can come in and stretch a zone really quick.”

The run included Logan Woods’ banked-in 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2:21 left in the quarter.

“We got into early foul trouble, and that forced us into a different rotation with different personnel,” Carl Woods said. “They were pretty active in their zones.”

The CCS defense started taking a toll after halftime. The Cougars forced the Lions, who lost to CCS 69-31 during the regular season, into turnovers on their first three third-quarter possessions and seven in the quarter and limited MVCA to four points while taking control of the game.

Cincinnati Christian 9-17-14-15—55

Miami Valley Christian Academy 10-5-4-21—40

CINCINNATI CHRISTIAN (20-5): Riley Reutener 2 1 5; Miguel Ringer 2 3 8; Cole Martin 4 0 11; Logan Woods 9 2 23; Cody Anderson 1 0 2; Bryson Teague 1 0 3; Cameron Rogers 1 1 3. Totals: 20-7-55

MIAMI VALLEY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (10-14): Box not available

3-pointers: C 8 (Martin 3, Woods 3, Ringer, Teague)

Gamble Montessori 5-12-14-16—47

New Miami 7-15-15-11—48

NEW MIAMI (16-9): David Cunningham 1 0 3; Deanza Duncan 2 2 6; Trey Robinette 4 0 11; Ronnie Bowman 6 3 15; Jordan Robinette 3 6 13. Totals: 16-11-48

GAMBLE MONTESSORI (17-8): Box not available

3-pointers: N 5 (T. Robinette 3, Cunningham, J. Robinette)

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