XENIA — His team may have hit the century mark in the Dec. 18 home win over West Carrollton. That’s nice.
But coach Kent Anderson’s talented Xenia Buccaneers team gave up 90 points in a fast-paced 100-90 win over the feisty Pirates.
Counting a recent 35-point loss at Trotwood-Madison, Xenia has now given up 185 points in its last two games.
“That wasn’t our best defensive effort tonight,” a visibly frustrated Anderson said afterward. “We know we wanna press. We know we wanna get the ball up and down the floor. But in our half-court defense, (West Carrollton) just went right around us and got to the basket. And to their credit, they just kept attacking the rim. We just let them go right by us.”
Samari Curtis scored a season high 47 points in the Xenia win, and Daviohn Boccara was next with 15 points. Dylan Hoosier finished with nine points, Isaiah Holt finished with eight, Jate Bradley scored seven points while Zack Gaither and Noah Crawford both added six for the Buccaneers who are now 4-2 overall, 2-1 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s American South division.
West Carrollton (1-6, 0-3 GWOC South) certainly didn’t play or look like a team that has won one contest all season, so far. Despite Xenia jumping out to double-digit leads of 20 or more points, the Pirates kept their composure and kept pushing the pace. They closed to within 10 points of the Bucs on four different occasions over the game’s final three minutes, but couldn’t get any closer.
Ryan Brown led West Carrollton with 33 points scored, James Hall scored 20, reserve-turned-varsity fill-in Jaye’Ton Howard finished with 18, Kalen McKinney knocked in 11 points and Mykale Johnson finished with eight in the loss.
The Pirates were playing without their two big men. Six-foot-6 sophomore center Kadiri Aigbokhai was in Africa visiting with family he had never met before; and 6-7 senor forward/football quarterback Tristan Dillon was at AT&T Stadium in Dallas as part of the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl high school football all-star game. So despite the loss, West Carrollton coach Anthony Parker left XHS feeling pretty good about his Pirates team.
“Obviously we’re never happy with not getting the win, but we really felt did leave it all on the court tonight,” he said. “We were kinda short-handed tonight, so we played team basketball. I felt like we fought very hard. Samari (Curtis) is a phenomenal player. He hit some really tough shots tonight. Our goal was to let him have those open looks outside, but stop him from getting into the paint. But later on, I feel that we had some defensive breakdowns that let him get to the bucket.
“But all in all, we feel that this is something that we can definitely build off of.”
The Pirates’ 90-point effort is easily their highest scoring output of the season so far. Their previous high was 52 points in a 68-52 loss to Fairborn, which happens to be Xenia’s next opponent.
“That’s a big one,” Anderson said. “We haven’t played well the last few times we’ve been over there, and they’ve been playing pretty well. They’ve got a big scorer, too, in (Shaunn) Monroe. He’ll score 50 on us, the way we played defense tonight.”
The Fairborn-Xenia game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21 at Fairborn’s Baker Middle School gym. West Carrollton enjoys a brief Christmas break before returning to action on Friday, Dec. 28 when they take on Stebbins in Riverside.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.