Chaminade Julienne and Dunbar both passed their sectional tests Monday night, although neither head coach sounded like it.
CJ coach Joe Staley bemoaned a tendency to “take too many possessions off” in a lackluster 53-43 defeat of Thurgood Marshall. Dunbar coach Pete Pullen lit into the Wolverines for allowing 36 points by halftime, then turned glum following a 100-81 defenseless defeat of Clinton-Massie.
The good news is CJ and Dunbar are back together again after each posted Division II boys high school basketball sectional wins at Fairmont’s Trent Arena. One of the best and longest-running Dayton city rivalries will be renewed at 8 p.m. Saturday at UD Arena.
“If we don’t play every possession against Dunbar I don’t give us much of a chance,” said Staley.
That’ll be the last of a D-II tripleheader that also will feature the Valley View/Badin and Trotwood-Madison/Eaton (Tuesday games) winners at 5 p.m. and the Alter/Carroll and Fenwick/Ponitz (Wednesday games) winners at 6:30 p.m.
CJ’s Christian Montague and Milton Gage each tallied 14 points to keep pesky Thurgood from mounting an upset bid. CJ (14-10) led 21-5 and by 17 in the second half before Thurgood closed within six on Tyrin Yates’ three. CJ also defeated Thurgood 69-53 in the regular season.
“This means a lot to get to the next game because it’s either win or go home,” said Montague, who lists Liberty University (Va.) among teams that are recruiting him.
Kadiem Jones had 21 points to lead Thurgood. The Cougars started four underclassmen, including three sophomores, and finished 5-16 in the debut season of coach Shawn McCullough. Just three weeks ago Dunbar overtook Thurgood in the final minutes to win, 60-59.
“We’re young, so we have a bright future,” McCullough said. “I’m not losing any sleep at night. It’s definitely going in the direction we want. I’m not really into moral victories, but we held them to what we expected to and we expected to score a tad bit more.”
Dunbar (21-3) benefitted from its full-court pressure with steals and quick baskets when Massie (10-13) didn’t break free for easy transition scores.
A mid-sized football state power, Massie had no chance to land an upset but gamely stayed even after being blitzed early. But that didn’t prevent Pullen from often wincing.
“We didn’t play no defense,” he said. “I got on them at halftime because I thought the 36 was too much.”
Storm Cook led Dunbar with 21 points. Chris Jackson and Devon Baker added 20 apiece. Caleb McDowell tallied 13 points and Joseph Scates 12.
Dunbar beat host CJ 73-60 in the regular season.
“I knew when we played them we’ll more than likely see them again,” Pullen said. “I knew Joe was going to jump in the bracket with us. It’s going to be a good, competitive game. We’re going to have to play some defense because they’ve got some kids we’re gonna have to stop. They like to control the tempo and style of play. It all changes … and they’re CJ.”
View photos and video from the games at MyDaytonDailyNews.com