Dayton Flyers Digest: What we learned from Monday’s media availability

Published: Monday, December 04, 2017 @ 5:20 PM

Dayton coach Anthony Grant talks to reporters on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, at UD's Cronin Center. David Jablonski/Staff
HANDOUT/David Jablonski/Staff
Dayton coach Anthony Grant talks to reporters on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, at UD's Cronin Center. David Jablonski/Staff(HANDOUT/David Jablonski/Staff)

Dayton Flyers coach Anthony Grant and a pair of his players met with the local media Monday to discuss the state of the team as the early season continues. 

They looked briefly back on a last-second loss at Mississippi State, ahead to Tennessee Tech and beyond. 

Here’s video followed by a quick rundown of what was discussed at the most recent media appearance by the Dayton Flyers: 

Coach Anthony Grant: 

Story of the MSU game was turnovers. Foul trouble was also an issue. 

He acknowledge bad starts has been something of a theme early on this season and they need to figure out how to avoid those. 

All turnovers aren’t created equal. Maybe half of them were unforced, things they need to clean up and stop doing. 

“I think we’ve got the right mindset in terms of when we talk to the guys: they’re understanding how to try to use these experiences to get better.” 

He was impressed with how Jalen Crutcher reacted to environment, both on the road and in front of a large crowd of his friends and family. The freshman point guard struggled early but had a good second half. 

RELATED: Freshman point guard draws first start

Why sign him? Talent, basketball junky, certain toughness level, potential to grow all evident last summer. Grant is now seeing basketball IQ develop.

Do they need to get the ball inside more? Yes. That’s been a source of some turnovers, too. Need to execute better. 

What about Jordan Pierce making his college debut? Always figured he would get into a game eventually. Needed him with guys in foul trouble and Xeyrius Williams still out. Had a solid debut. 

No common thread in foul trouble other than it is typically the big guys. Just need to do a better job avoiding fouls. 

Crutcher has to learn what everyone else is doing and how they do it. That is a challenge, but that’s the role of a point guard. He needs to understand everyone’s role and how to make everyone else look good. Process both Crutcher and John Crosby are still going through. 

Freshman point guard Jalen Crutcher: 

He agreed it would be good to get the ball inside more. Defenses already pay a lot of attention to Kostas Antetokounmpo even though he’s still only played a few college games. “I think it’s because of his last name,” Crutcher said, referring to Kostas’ brother, Giannis, who is an NBA star. 

Crutcher hasn’t played with this many big guys in the past, either, so he’s got a lot of new things to absorb.  

He got a little understanding of where everyone is on the court, what position they are playing, what each play calls for them to do, etc., in high school, but there’s a lot more to learn at the college level. 

He felt like he was more engaged against MSU and played more poised. 

He knows they have had some first-half struggles. Defensive intensity tends to ramp up in the second half. 

Junior forward Josh Cunningham:

Crutcher played with tremendous confidence at Mississippi State. Needs to keep doing that. 

Freshmen were more comfortable in the second half in Starkville. 

Turnovers are obviously something they need to clean up. 

He didn’t have much of a scouting report for Tennessee State since they played late the night before, but right now the focus is really more on themselves anyway. 

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Trotwood-Madison loses to Akron SVSM in D-II boys state final

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 7:18 PM
Updated: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 9:03 PM

            Amari Davis (left) and Myles Belyeu watch Akron SVSM accept the championship trophy. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Amari Davis (left) and Myles Belyeu watch Akron SVSM accept the championship trophy. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Trotwood-Madison’s bid for an elusive boys state basketball championship was undone by nemesis Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 60-51 at Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center on Saturday night.

It was the second straight Division II title for the Irish, who also defeated the Rams in last year’s D-II state semifinals. It was a record eighth state title for Akron SVSM, the program that LeBron James elevated during his celebrated run with the Irish. That snapped a tie with Middletown.

Trotwood (26-4) had a 19-game win streak snapped. Akron SVSM (21-8) also defeated Trotwood early in the regular season.

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Anthony Muñoz on sports in Ohio: ‘It’s special’

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 7:05 PM

Cincinnati Bengals great Anthony Munoz learned right away how important sports are in Southwest Ohio and throughout the state.

Anthony Muñoz was a special player for the Cincinnati Bengals for 13 seasons. 

In Columbus at the boys’ basketball state championships to be recognized as part of the OHSAA Circle of Champions, the California native explained the special place sports have in Ohio helped convince him to stick around long after his pro football career was over. 

His daughter, Michelle, and son, Michael, also were recognized as part of the Circle of Champions along with former Ohio State basketball star Dennis Hopson, Ohio State football standout William White and Dwight “Bo” Lamar, who played in the ABA and NBA. 

Michelle Muñoz was part of a state championship season for the Mason girls’ basketball team while Michael was a highly-regarded offensive line prospect at Moeller High School. 

They both went to Tennessee for college, though Michelle finished her career at Ohio State.

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Flyers’ Mescher on state title: “We got a little help from upstairs”

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 3:42 PM
Updated: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 4:07 PM

Marion Local senior Tyler Mescher hit the game-winning free throws in a 52-51 defeat of Willoughby Cornerstone Christian to win a boys high school basketball D-IV state championship at OSU’s Schottenstein Center in Columbus on Sat., March 24, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

His knees knocking, Tyler Mescher of Marion Local heeded a little help from teammate Tyler Prenger.

“He said calm down, you got this and relax,” recalled Mescher. “Easy shots.”

Not quite. Mescher’s pair of rim-rattling free throws with 2.6 seconds left in the second overtime was the difference as Marion Local stunned Willoughby Cornerstone Christian 52-51 to win a boys high school Division IV state basketball championship on Saturday afternoon.

»RELATED: Marion Local after basketball title, too

»RELATED: Bruns’ late heroics lifts Marion Local

It was one of four season-ending divisional championships that were held at Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center.

It also completed a rare state-title double for Marion Local (25-4), which also won a D-VI state football championship last December.

»RELATED: Marion Local state semifinal photo gallery

»RELATED: Trotwood joins Marion Local in finals

No one came up more clutch than Mescher for the Flyers. Trailing by one in the second OT, his first free throw clanged several times on the rim and backboard before circling and falling through the net.

WATCH: Marion Local wins state title on late free throws(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

The second rim-rattler wasn’t as dramatic, but almost.

“We got a little help from upstairs,” said Mescher, a robust senior who doubled as a blocking tight end and defensive end on the football team.

»RELATED: Springfield standouts on All-Ohio teams

»RELATED: Wayne, Trotwood players picked for All-Ohio

“I couldn’t stay still at all. It’s a dream come true to be able to shoot those free throws. Any little kid, that’s their dream, to be able to shoot two free throws at the end of a state championship game and make them both.”

Cornerstone (21-8) missed a half-court heave and the Flyers’ fans - among the 9,620 in attendance - rocked the Schott in celebration.

»RELATED: Rams’ opposing coach, ‘They’re crazy athletic’

»RELATED: Boys state final four pairings

Mescher’s bucket with about 10 seconds left in regulation forced overtime.

“There aren’t many 6-1, 240-pound guys on our schedule,” Cornerstone coach Dan Selle said of Mescher. “He’s not a vegetarian. He eats meat for breakfast. He’s tough as nails and a lot of respect to him. He’s a guy you hate to fight against but you want to have on your team.”

»RELATED: Moeller bumps Wayne off tourney trail

»RELATED: Springfield coach, “we’ll be back”

Mescher and Nate Bruns each had 18 points to lead the Flyers. Mescher also had nine rebounds.

Bruns, a 6-6 wing who doubles as the Flyers quarterback, added 14 rebounds. It was Bruns’ 3-pointer with 17.7 seconds left that knotted the teams even and forced the second OT. He had several late key field goals, free throws and rebounds for the Flyers.

“We had to go to our money man late in the game,” Flyers coach Kurt Goettemoeller said of Bruns. “He’s a stud.”

»RELATED: Boys regional results

»RELATED: Ahrens, Barhorst earn top D-IV boys honors

Prenger added three 3-pointers and 10 points.

Cornerstone, anchored in Lake County and a Cleveland suburb, is an independent that mostly played high-level Division I and II teams, which made its record deceiving. The Patriots also had the D-IV state player of the year in Michael Bothwell. The Furman signee tallied a game-high 23 points.

“State-wide, I definitely had the feeling we were an underdog,” Goettemoeller said. “We figured it out at the end. We just found a way a get it done.”

»RELATED: Trotwood-Madison back to final four

»RELATED: Girls state final four results

Is was the third boys state basketball title for Marion Local, which also won in 2003 and 1975. The Flyers were a state runner-up in 2004.

Cornerstone won a D-IV state title in 2016 in its only other final four appearance.

Of the Flyers’ 12 players, 10 also played on the state-title football team.

“This senior class, that really shows what they’re made of,” Bruns said. “To be able to do that in both (sports), that’s something special for them.”

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Mescher hits winning free throws as Marion Local wins state title

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 12:58 PM
Updated: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 1:01 PM

WATCH: Marion Local wins state title on late free throws

Tyler Mescher converted two free throws with with 2.6 seconds left as Marion Local stunned Willoughby Cornerstone Christian 52-51 in double-overtime to win a boys high school basketball Division IV state championship on Saturday.

That matched Marion Local’s D-VI football state title it won last fall, making the Flyers a rare double state winner in the same school year.

A senior, Mescher’s first free throw rattled all around the rim before falling. His second also clanged in. Cornerstone inbounded and missed a half-court heave as time expired. Marion Local players and their fans erupted in celebration.

Mescher and Nathan Bruns each had 18 points to lead the Flyers (25-4). Bruns also had 14 rebounds. Tyler Prenger added 10 points.

Cornerstone (21-8) was led by D-IV state player of the year Michael Bothwell with 23 points.

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