2023 Benner Field House Classic: Beavercreek boys, Xenia girls shine in wins


XENIA — The 2023 Benner Field House Classic had fans rolling in throughout the six-game, 10-plus hour marathon day to see some of the best teams from Greene County and the surrounding area.

The latest edition of the basketball showcase started the day with a girls reserve game between Xenia and Carlisle as a lead-in to five boys and girls varsity matchups from schools representing some of the top leagues in Southwest Ohio, such as the Miami Valley League, Greater Western Ohio Conference and Greater Miami Conference.

Xenia girls control game against Carlisle

Xenia got the varsity portion of the schedule started with a 56-43 win against Carlisle.

The Lady Bucs and Indians traded baskets in the early going as both teams tried to get up and down the floor quickly.

When Xenia (7-3) applied full court pressure to start the second quarter, the game quickly began to spiral out of control for Carlisle. A 12-1 run in the first three minutes saw several breakaway baskets, several off steals by Alaiya Meaux heading the press, broke open a close score and left the Indians searching for a ball handler to try and get the ball across midcourt.

Xenia head coach Jessica Threats said after the game she still is seeking more consistency from a minute-by-minute basis on the floor. Most of that sentiment likely comes from the team’s play heading into and coming out of halftime.

A turnover plagued final few minutes carried over into the second half and saw Carlisle get as close as six midway through the third. A three by Taylor Elliott stopped the bleeding and after hitting another later on, Xenia got its lead back to double digits and was never challenged down the stretch.

Elliott had three makes from deep as part of leading the Bucs’ with 14 points, a total matched by Meaux.

Nataiya Madison led the offense in the first half en route to scoring nine points, and Shelby Collier helped Xenia stay ahead by going 7-of-8 from the free throw line in the second half.

Legacy unable to hold onto double digit lead

The Knights were able to survive one stretch without Parker Burke heading the point. When faced with having to do it again late in the game, things went downhill fast.

LCA led by 11 heading to the fourth quarter but with Burke on the bench, Carlisle amped up its ball pressure and started a comeback that saw them pull out a 48-43 win against the Knights.

“Parker has always been a phenomenal player,” LCA head coach Steve Seitz said. “We’re trying to continue to build a program as far as everyone being comfortable with the basketball. … We just didn’t handle that pressure to handle that situation.”

Burke, of the leaders this season in the Metro Buckeye Conference conference in scoring, assists and steals, picked up his third foul within seconds of the third quarter getting underway. After leading 24-13 at the break, a quick 6-0 run by Carlisle without him on the floor caused Seitz to call a timeout. LCA recovered to hold Carlisle without a point for the next four minutes and got back up 11 heading to the fourth.

It was a last second steal and breakaway make by Burke to extend the lead as the buzzer sounded that also unwittingly led to the game-changing moment. Burke hit the padding behind the basket hard on his way to the floor, appearing to injure his hip.

He would not return to the game until midway through the fourth when multiple forced turnovers and lack of ball handling led to a 13-2 that allowed Carlisle to tie the game.

Back at full strength on the floor, the Knights (5-2) couldn’t lift the lid off the basket as Carlisle completed a 17-0 run into the final minute.

“We played three quarters of new Legacy basketball, but in the fourth we went back to old Legacy,” Seitz said.

Burke still ended up as Legacy’s leading scorer with 15 points. Jacob Thompson had 13 but was unable to score in the fourth quarter.

Justyce Taylor and Blake Lawson led the comeback effort for Carlisle, combining for 33 points with 19 coming in the fourth.

Northmont takes care of Troy

The Thunderbolts steadily built a lead it didn’t relinquish in handling Troy 73-45.

Northmont got out of the gate fast in leading 19-4 after the first.

Troy came out for pregame warmups with black t-shirts displaying the Northmont school logo and the message “Luke Strong” in support of Luke Mangen, a member of the Thunderbolts’ basketball team who suffered a heart attack during a practice in early December.

Beavercreek bests Lakota West’s style

Beavercreek keeps getting pushed and is able to repel the opposition.

The latest late game triumph for the Beavers saw them hold off a fiesty Lakota West team in a 76-70 win to improve to 6-1 this season.

Beavercreek has wanted to outlast teams and done so successfully, but needed to adjust to facing a Firebirds squad which pushed the pace and had plenty of energy to last until the end.

“They were a little quicker and more athletic than we were,” Isaiah-Michael Williams said, who had a team-high 24 points. “We just had to play our game rather than letting them speed us up.”

Lakota West had success several times increasing the pace in a game played with high amounts of energy and at a high level. Beavercreek twice pulled away with 10-0 and 9-0 runs in the first half that saw the Firebirds immediately counter by pushing the ball quickly in transition to get looks near the basket.

Spectacular plays by both sides highlighted the game. Lakota West threw down an alley-oop out of an inbounds play which Beavercreek countered through a trio of threes by Liam Gluck.

In the second half, Kaden Ellerbe found an open lane in transition to throw down a two-handed jam, which Lakota West’s Bryson Curry one-upped with a posterizing tomahawk dunk that put the crowd at Benner into a clamour.

Beavercreek was able to grow a three-point halftime lead to 13 before Lakota West had a final run. A switch to a 1-3-1 zone slowed the pace, and Beavercreek was able to take the air out of the ball on offense while getting a few timely baskets to not let its lead get under three down the stretch.

“I think it’s just our chemistry that keeps us together in those tough moments,” Williams said. “We’re all friends on and off the court and we just know when it’s crunch time we’re going to band together.”

Gluck had 22 points, and Owen Roether scored 13.

Miamisburg towered over Xenia

A team either has a size advantage, or it doesn’t.

Xenia was on the latter end in a difficult matchup with Miamisburg to close the showcase.

The Vikings pulled away in the second half for a 78-53 win. It was a frustrating 16 minutes for head coach Jason Caudill to watch after his team hung around in the first half.

“There were some crucial mistakes in the second half with our press and it just opened the game up too much for us,” he said. “It happened quick. It was a blitz in the third quarter and we just couldn’t get a stop that we needed defensively.”

Miamisburg’s big man duo of Andrew Jackson-Dunaway and Andrew Hoerner combined to score 47 points. The two made no shot near the basket easy for Xenia’s offense and forced more mid-to-long range attempts as the game progressed and the scoreboard got away from the Bucs.

Xenia trailed by 10 late in the first quarter but got Jackson-Dunaway in foul trouble and found success only needing to focus on one post player.

The Bucs temporarily grabbed the lead at 27-26 late near halftime after Juan Underwood hit a three from the corner. Miamisburg was able to immediate respond though with an and-one basket and drilled a three in the final seconds of the half to pull back ahead by five.

“We did a good job in the second quarter and I didn’t realize we took the lead,” Caudill said. “It was tough though in a physical game and that’s what we thought it would be. … I thought they made a great adjustment bringing guys up higher and making it harder for us to double.”

Miamisburg got in its flow quickly after the break, and Xenia’s only means of keeping up was via Gavin McManus hitting four shots from deep. The Vikings still outscored Xenia 25-14 in the third and never looked back.

“I told the kids we know everybody’s tired of hearing to keep playing hard because they want to see that result,” Caudill said. “The win was so good for us, but none of us want to lose.”

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on X (formerly Twitter) @Steven_Wright_.

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