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Published: Friday, December 29, 2017 @ 6:38 PM
Updated: Saturday, December 30, 2017 @ 1:46 AM
TROTWOOD — There are several good reasons why new Wayne boys basketball coach Nate Martindale leans on guard Darius Quisenberry. The two were paired as coach and player in youth basketball for three seasons and have been reunited with the Warriors.
Having bonded long ago, it was “Quiz” that Martindale hoped would be a difference-maker in what would be a 90-87 double-overtime instant classic win at Trotwood-Madison before a capacity crowd on Friday night.
“Darius is a tough kid,” said Martindale, who’s in his first season as the Warriors’ coach after being promoted when Travis Trice jumped to the Wayne girls team. “He’s a little stubborn sometimes, but you cannot question his toughness. I’m thankful to have the relationship that I have with him and I’m thankful he’s on my team.”
It was a boys high school basketball state-final quality showdown, a last stop both these high-end programs are shooting for. Wayne (8-0), appears to have its best team since winning the Division I state championship in 2015. The Warriors were 25-1 the next season, but couldn’t get past a district final.
Trotwood (5-2) lost to Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s on a last-second shot in the 2017 D-II state championship. Its only other loss this season was an early rematch at Akron.
»RELATED: Boys basketball power rankings
Quisenberry, a 6-foot senior who has signed with Youngstown State University, was clutch for the Warriors when they needed him most. He scored a team-high 23 points, including Wayne’s last five in the second OT.
“It’s a different mindset this year,” Quisenberry said. “We’re an actual family. It’s not about me, it’s about we. Coach Nate is a wonderful coach.”
Joining in those heroics was Wayne senior sub James Shanklin. He had scored just two points coming into the classic and added 10 more, including six in OT. His driving layup with 1:29 left in the second OT put Wayne up for good at 85-83. Quisenberry followed with a steal, layup and free throw and hit two more free throws with 14.6 seconds left for the final margin.
How unlikely was that? Wayne played all of the second OT without L’Christian “Blue” Smith, a rugged 6-5 center who tallied 19 points but fouled out late in the first OT.
“This is big,” said Smith, who signed to play receiver at Ohio State two weeks ago. “I have so much confidence in my guys. I was not tripping out at all when I fouled out. I knew my guys were going to get the job done.”
Emerging Wayne junior guard Ronnie Hampton also tallied 19 points, including nine in the second quarter.
“As a coach, when you’re playing those games, you’ve got to find a way,” Martindale said. “I have nothing but love for my guys. I’m really proud of them.”
Trotwood let victory slip away. Trailing by eight in the first quarter, the Rams rallied around senior Myles Belyeu’s 30 points and led by 11 early in the fourth quarter, “but we didn’t close the deal,” Trotwood coach Rocky Rockhold said.
“In the big picture, it doesn’t change our goals or change where we want to be. We told our kids, no one in the history of the (Ohio High School Athletic Association) has won a (state) championship in December. It impacts us because now we have to grow and learn from it, but it doesn’t change our ultimate goal.”
Amari Davis, Trotwood’s celebrated 6-4 junior, added 17 points and Carl Blanton 14. Davis surpassed 1,000 career points in the Rams’ previous game.
Wayne and Springfield, also 8-0, have separated themselves among other area D-I teams. They’ll play twice in the regular season, with a Greater Western Ohio Conference National East divisional title and No. 1 sectional seed at stake.
Trotwood is the area’s best D-II program with Dunbar (2-3) having rebooted its coaching staff and Franklin graduating to D-I.
Martindale and Rockhold had a heartfelt embrace afterward. Their roots also run deep, although in different eras. Martindale was a multi-sport standout at Cedarville and Rockhold the same at nearby Greeneview in Jamestown, both small-town Greene County rivals.
Wayne didn’t do itself any schedule favors. The Warriors were matched against Emmerich Manual (Ind.) at Indianapolis Northwest at 6 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s crazy,” said Quisenberry, who leads Wayne in scoring (17.9) and tops the GWOC in assists (6.7). “There’s nothing better than a Trotwood/Wayne game. It’s a classic. Double-OT? What’s better than that?”
»RELATED: Girls basketball power rankings
• Trotwood football coaches and players received state-title medals during halftime of the Wayne game. The most raucous ovations were for senior quarterback Markell Stephens-Peppers and senior running back Ra’veion Hargrove. Neither has signed national letters of intent and Hargrove de-committed from Bowling Green.
Trotwood defeated Dresden Tri-Valley 27-19 to complete a perfect 15-0 season and win a D-III state football championship earlier this month at Canton. It was the second state title for the Rams, who also went 15-0 in 2011 and won a D-II championship.
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 8:15 PM
— UPDATE, 8:36 p.m.
The Cleveland Browns selected Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward with the fourth overall pick after taking Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield first overall.
The New York Giants took Penn State running back Saquon Barkley second, and the New York Jets picked USC quarterback Sam Darnold third.
This is the second time in three years an Ohio State player has gone in the top four picks after San Diego took Joey Bosa third in 2016.
The Cleveland Browns selected Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield with the first pick in the NFL Draft tonight.
The Browns also own the fourth pick in the draft and will be back on the clock in about an half hour.
This is the third time since 2012 the Browns have drafted a quarterback in the first round. They selected Johnny Manziel 22nd overall in 2014 and Brandon Weeden 22nd overall in 2012. The team picked DeShone Kizer in the second round last year and took Cody Kessler in the third round in 2016.
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 10:47 AM
CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez returned from the disabled list and to the lineup Thursday afternoon for the finale of a four-game series against the Atlanta Braves at Great American Ball Park.
» MCCOY: Riggleman shows he’s ‘old school’
Suarez suffered a broken right thumb when he was hit by a pitch April 8 in Pittsburgh. He missed 16 games.
“I feel so excited to be back this quick,” Suarez said. “I feel great right now. I’m a little nervous, but I think it’s normal. I’ll be all right. I feel good. My thumb has no pain at all, so that’s why I’m here today.”
» SPORTS TODAY: NFL Draft drama gets early start
Suarez made two rehab appearances with Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday and Wednesday. He went 1-for-5.
The Reds also called up infielder/outfielder Rosell Herrera, 25, from Triple-A. He will make his big-league debut when he plays. The Dominican Republic native hit .311 in 15 games with Louisville.
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 10:25 PM
The Cincinnati Bengals continued the rebuild of their offensive line by selecting Ohio State center Billy Price with the 21st pick in the NFL Draft tonight.
Price suffered a pectoral injury at the NFL Combine, creating doubt about how far his draft stock would plummet, but all indications are he will be ready for training camp, if not sooner.
Price said he was hopeful to hear his name called in the first round but was still stunned when the phone call came.
“I sat there and looked at my phone,” he said. ” I looked at my agent and said, ‘Holy (crap). It’s Cincinnati.’ He’s like ‘Well, you’ve got to answer the phone.’
“It’s just an unbelievable feeling right now,” Price added. “I’m oozing with emotions right now because this is exactly what I wanted in this draft, for me to be able to go as high as possible and to stay home in Ohio, to stay in the midwest and to bring the brand of Ohio State football down to Cincinnati and to completely be able to do everything, all my hopes and dreams for the NFL.”
Last month the Bengals traded for Cordy Glenn, who is expected to start at left tackle. And Price will enter camp as a projected starter after the Bengals let four-year starter Russell Bodine leave for Buffalo in free agency.
“My goal is to finish up my career at Ohio State and transition to the NFL and set this league on fire from Day 1,” Price said. “It’s that expectation to go and earn a starting job, to compete from Day 1, to be that plug-and-play player at center or guard or whatever the team wanted. There’s a lot of pride coming with me. I have sky high expectations for myself.”
Price is the fourth center the Bengals have selected in the first round, joining Bob Johnson (1968), Blair Bush (1978) and Dave Rimington (1983).
Arkansas center Frank Ragnow, whom the Bengals also were high on, went 20th the Detroit Lions, one pick before the Bengals.
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 12:41 PM
— The newest Cincinnati Red is Rosell Herrera.
Here are five things to know about him after his call-up Thursday to replace veteran Cliff Pennington on the team’s bench.
1. He is a native of the Dominican Republic.
The Rockies signed Herrera in 2009 when he was 16, and he was named Colorado’s No. 12 prospect by Baseball America a year later.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder is a switch hitter who throws right-handed.
2. He was the South Atlantic League Most Valuable Player in 2013.
Herrera moved up to the No. 3 spot in the organization in 2013 when he hit 16 home runs and stole 21 bases while posting a .933 OPS for the Asheville Tourists (Single-A).
After putting up modest numbers in advanced Single-A in 2014 and ’15, he had solid seasons in Double-A and Triple-A in ’16 and ’17, respectively, but never got a call up to the major leagues.
3. The Reds signed Herrera to a minor-league contract last November and invited him to spring training.
He was not among MLB.com's top 30 Reds prospects in the system at the start of the year but hit .267 with an .890 OPS during spring training.
He hit two home runs, a double and a triple in 30 at-bats in Arizona.
4. He has been Triple-A Louisville’s best offensive player so far this season.
Herrera has played 15 games for the Bats, batting a team-high .311 with a .980 OPS. He has paced Louisville in homers (three) and triples (two) while sharing the team lead in doubles (five) and RBIs (10).
He’s also committed three errors.
5. He should bring some versatility.
Herrera began his career as an infielder but added outfielder to his resume in 2015.
This season he has played shortstop, third base, second base and all three outfield spots for Louisville.Follow @marcushartman