Prep basketball: Webb-led Dayton Christian uses late surge to sink MCS

FRANKLIN — Jason Crider keeps finding areas of improvement, even as the losses continue to mount.

The latest defeat for his Middletown Christian School boys basketball team was a 53-41 decision at the hands of visiting Dayton Christian on Friday night, with the Warriors using a late 9-0 run to seal the win.

“I do find something that’s gotten better every game,” Crider said. “I think a lot of it comes down to expecting to win. We play hard. You can see we don’t lay down. But do we truly expect to win at the end? That’s the question we need to answer.”


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Alan Holtrey led the Eagles with 10 points and seven rebounds. Camden Robertson had seven points and three boards, and Jeremy Lindenschmidt added six points and eight rebounds.

MCS fell to 4-11 overall and 2-9 in the Metro Buckeye Conference. The Eagles, 1-6 since the new year began, are tied with Yellow Springs for last place in the MBC.

“We haven’t been able to find our identity yet,” Crider said. “Put it on me, first and foremost. We’ve got to take that next step. I believe God sent me here for a reason. I think there’s a plan behind all this. We’ve just got to keep fighting and see what that is.”

Dayton Christian (4-12, 3-7) defeated MCS 63-48 on Jan. 4 without 6-foot-8 senior Anton Webb, who missed about a month of action due to an illness.

Webb was in fine form Friday with 25 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Teammate Seth Griswold contributed 13 points, seven boards, four assists and three steals.

Friday marked Webb’s eighth game since returning to the court, yet Warriors coach J.T. Holliday said he’s still working his way back into shape.

“I’m proud of him because he’s working his butt off. He cares a lot about this team,” Holliday said. “If you don’t have the size or you don’t try to go box-and-one on him, it’s very difficult to take him out of the game. I thought they did a really good job of being very physical with him, but clearly he handled it as much as he could, and he was inside out.”

Dayton Christian appeared to be pulling away early in the fourth quarter, but found itself ahead 44-40 after a Trey Hamlin basket for the hosts with 2:44 remaining.

MCS had a chance to get even closer, but Holtrey got called for a charge and fouled out with 1:54 left. Webb converted a stickback off a missed free throw four seconds later, sparking that nine-point surge for the winners.

“We appreciate the win because we haven’t had a lot of them,” Holliday said. “The kids definitely work hard. It’s just little things that could make a huge difference.

“We don’t put a full game together consistently. We had a lot of opportunities to bury that game a lot sooner. We’re a young team, and we’re putting a lot on Anton’s shoulders because he’s the main guy that came back this year. I’m telling them as much as they’ve got to learn, I’ve got to learn with them. We’ve just got to be in it together.”

Turnovers have been a problem all season for the Eagles. Crider said that area didn’t seem as bad Friday as it has been, although MCS more than doubled the Warriors in turnovers (24-11).

“We gave up too many offensive rebounds, but I thought we played well enough to win that game,” Crider said. “I thought this was a much better showing than the last time we played them. Besides having to foul there at the end, we held them in the 40s. If you hold a team in the 40s, you should be winning games. We’ve just got to generate more offense, and I think some of that’s got to come from our pressure defense.

“There might have been a few calls we didn’t agree with, but it wasn’t the refs that lost the game. They played better than us tonight. They deserved to win.”

Lindenschmidt said the Eagles have a tendency to get down as teams extend the margin late in games, but he said that wasn’t the case Friday.

“It’s definitely been an enjoyable season, even with our record. We do play hard,” said Lindenschmidt, the lone senior on the MCS roster. “We always keep the tournament in our minds. Our coach has always said even with our season, we can still get another banner in the tournament. That’s always motivated us and kept us positive.”

The Eagles were just 4-18 in the regular season last season before making it to the Division IV district finals. MCS was also a district finalist in 2016.

“I believe in our system,” Crider said. “We don’t have a lot of returning experience this year, but we’ll only be losing one senior and our eighth grade is undefeated, so we’re hoping to get that winning culture to slowly trickle in.”

Holliday sees a bright future for Dayton Christian as well. He said the Warriors’ youth program is strong, and the school should receive a boost by finally getting its own gym next season.

Both teams are slated to play Saturday. Dayton Christian will meet Seven Hills at Carlisle at 8 p.m., while MCS travels to Madison at 5 p.m.

Day. Christian 18-8-7-20—53

Mid. Christian 10-12-6-13—41

DAYTON CHRISTIAN (4-12, 3-7 MBC): Anton Webb 9 7 25; Seth Griswold 5 2 13; Devin Dreier 0 2 2; Matt Filaseta 1 0 3; Jackson Skolik 1 0 3; Gabe Turner 1 0 2; Jon Welker 1 3 5. Totals: 18-14-53

MIDDLETOWN CHRISTIAN (4-11, 2-9 MBC): Alan Holtrey 3 2 10; Jeremy Lindenschmidt 3 0 6; Seth Wolfenbarger 2 1 5; C.J. Money 0 1 1; Charlie Pagnard 1 0 2; Camden Robertson 3 0 7; Silas Crawford 2 0 5; Trey Hamlin 2 1 5. Totals: 16-5-41

3-pointers: DC 3 (Filaseta, Skolik, Griswold), MC 4 (Holtrey 2, Robertson, Crawford)

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