Thursday, March 15, 2001

Boys regional semifinal matchups

        Previews of tonight's games involving Elder, Western Hills and Middletown Fenwick:

        Elder vs. Springfield South

        • WHAT: Division I regional championship

        • WHERE: Cintas Center, Xavier University

        • RECORDS: Elder 18-6, Springfield South 19-5

        • WHEN: 6:30 p.m.

        • STARTING LINEUPS: Elder—Jake Bazeley (G, 6-3, Sr.), Scott Benken (G, 6-3, Sr.), Tim Schenke (F, 6-6, Sr.), Mike Mahon (G, 6-0, Sr.), Phil Bengel (C, 6-7, Sr.). Springfield South—Jordan Copeland G, 6-3, Sr.), Tony Brown (F, 6-3, Jr.), Ty Walker (G, 6-0, Jr.), Mitchell Crossley (F, 6-3, Sr.), Elgrace Wilborn (C, 6-8, Sr.).

        • NOTABLE: Springfield South hasn't had a boys basketball team in the state semifinals in the 18-year history of the school. This might be its best chance.

        South has four veteran starters, including Elgrace Wilborn, a 6-foot-8 senior center who's a Tennessee recruit.

        Although Wilborn hasn't lived up to expectations as a scorer (14.5), he has played tremendous defense, averaging five blocks a game.

        Springfield South Point guard Jordan Copeland is an excellent outside shooter.

        With five senior starters, Elder peaked at the right time. Elder's strength is a strong man-to-man defense that limited its four tourney opponents to an average of 35.8 points per game.

        Western Hills vs. Vandalia Butler

        • WHAT: Division I regional semifinal

        • WHERE: Cintas Center, Xavier University.

        • RECORDS: Western Hills 20-4, Vandalia Butler 20-4

        • WHEN: 8:15 p.m.

        • STARTING LINEUPS: Western Hills—Malcolm Andrews G, 5-9, Sr.), Michael Hadnot (G, 5-10, Sr.), Darryl Peterson (F, 6-6, Sr.), Steve Banks (G, 6-3, Sr.), Danny Horace (F, 6-6, Sr.). Vandalia Butler—John Goldsberry (C, 6-3, Jr.), Brandon Godzik (F, 6-0, Sr.), Josh Betts (G, 6-3, Sr.), Blake Keegan (F, 6-4, Sr.), Tom Hertlein (F, 6-2, Sr.)

        • NOTABLE: Vandalia Butler, which upset St. Xavier last week, matches up well with Western Hills — especially underneath the basket, where the Mustangs usually dominate opponents.

        John Goldsberry, Josh Betts and Tom Hertlein average in double figures and combined for 50 points and 27 rebounds in the Aviators' upset over St. Xavier.

        Butler is versatile: Goldsberry, Betts and Hertlein all can shoot 3-pointers or take the ball to the basket.

        WestHi was suspect from outside earlier in the season, but improved in the tournament behind Malcolm Andrews, Darryl Peterson (15 ppg) and Michael Hadnot. Miami recruit Danny Horace (18.0 points) has dominated inside.

        Middletown Fenwick vs. Waynesville

        • WHAT: Division III regional semifinal

        • RECORDS: Middletown Fenwick 19-5, vs. Waynesville 17-7

        • WHEN: 6:15 p.m

        • WHERE: Nutter Center, Wright State University

        • STARTING LINEUPS: Middletown Fenwick—Joe Kreke (G, 5-10, Sr.), Matt Burns (C, 6-5, Sr.), Mike Kleingers (G, 6-2, So.), Charlie Martin (C, 6-5, Sr.), Tony McCormick (F, 5-11, Sr.). Waynesville—Scott Sesslar (G, 5-3, Sr.), Junior Castle (F, 6-3, Jr.), Mike Benton (F, 6-4, Sr.), Matt Letts (C, 6-0, Jr.), Andy Whipp (G, 6-1, Jr.).

        • NOTABLE: Since making sophomore guard Mike Kleingers a starter midway through the season, Fenwick has improved markedly.

        The Falcons made an impressive run through the sectional and district tournaments, defeating Springfield Northeastern, Sidney Lehman Catholic, Clinton Massie and Mariemont.

        Waynesville lost to Fenwick 69-61 in the season opener at Fenwick after leading throughout the first half.

        Waynesville's Scott Sesslar is diminutive (5-foot-3) and dangerous (61 3-pointers.

        With four of five starters six-foot or under, the Spartans like to speed up the tempo and not get forced into half-court sets.

        “We'll use a straight man-to-man defense and try to push the ball up the floor as much as possible,” Waynesville coach Jim Philpot said. “The keys for us are to cut down unforced turnovers and keep them off the glass.”

        Both teams have made one appearance in the state tournament. Fenwick won the Class A state championship in 1982 under coach John Rossi while Waynesville's only appearance was in 1936.

Boys basketball coverage
Girls basketball coverage

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