You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Trotwood braces for rematch after blasting Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary

It didn’t take Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary coach Dru Joyce long to recount how many times prior to playing Trotwood-Madison this season the Irish had allowed 100 points.

“Never,” he said during a state-wide media conference call about this week’s boys high school basketball state final fours at Columbus.

“We regrouped and started coming together until we met Trotwood-Madison, which gave me the worst beating of my coaching career. After that game our guys recognized what’s at stake.”

Trotwood lit up Ohio Twitter feeds that night, landing an uncharacteristic 100-61 blowout on Jan. 14 to the school that LeBron James made famous.

PHOTOS: LeBron James in high school

Trotwood (26-2) and Akron SVSM (23-5) will play again in a Division II state semifinal at 2 p.m. Thursday at Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center. Wauseon (26-1) plays Columbus Eastmoor Academy (22-6) at 10:45 a.m. in Thursday’s D-II opener. The winners return to decide the state championship at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday.

Trotwood is the only area boys team that advanced to a state final four. Alter won its third girls D-II state title last Saturday and Versailles was a D-III girls runner-up.

Reflecting on that lopsided beating hogged most of the time Joyce and Trotwood coach Rocky Rockhold spent addressing their teams, and for triple-digit reasons. It’s a given that won’t happen again with so much at stake. Besides, instead of Trotwood’s relatively new gymnasium, the teams will be anchored at the Schott, or as Rockhold said, “this is almost a home court for (Akron SVSM) so we’re at the disadvantage this time.”

Here’s why: The Irish will be playing in their 14th state final four, including five of the last six seasons. They own six state titles, spanning from 1984 to their most recent in 2011. In contrast, Trotwood is making just its third trip to a final four. The Rams were the D-I state runner-up in 2006 and were leveled by Upper Arlington in a 2014 D-I semi.

But then there’s that previous blowout factor.

“It was definitely a wakeup call,” Joyce said. “Sometimes losing can be a good thing. It was definitely a humbling experience and gave our guys motivation to be better.”

The Irish did just that, losing only to state power and D-III final four qualifier Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph in the final seconds. St. V also owns two-point defeats of Lakewood St. Edward and Massillon Jackson, both of which made the D-I final four.

Trotwood landed another shot that rocked social media last Saturday, leveling Dunbar in a regional final, 83-54.

Rockhold expects to take St. V’s best shot in the rematch.

“That was a long time ago,” Rockhold said of the initial derailing. “I’m certain St. V and Trotwood are different teams than they were then. There’s no doubt that coach Joyce is as good or better than anybody at what he does. He’ll have his team ready.”

• All four of Saturday’s state title games will be shown live on Spectrum Sports, formerly Time Warner Cable. In Southwest Ohio, that’s cable channels 1311 (HD), 311 and 99.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Dayton’s Mikesell won’t play in 2017-18 season
Dayton’s Mikesell won’t play in 2017-18 season

Dayton Flyers fans won’t have to debate all offseason whether junior forward Ryan Mikesell will play in the 2017-18 season. UD took away the guessing game by announcing Wednesday, months earlier than expected, that Mikesell will not play next season. He will receive a medical redshirt after undergoing surgeries in May and June to correct impingements...
Reds’ Suarez hopes one good game gets him out of slump
Reds’ Suarez hopes one good game gets him out of slump

No one player gets the blame for the Cincinnati Reds joyless June. The starting pitching has been most at fault, but several position players have slumped as well. Third baseman Eugenio Suarez has seen his average drop from .287 to .265 since the start of the month. He was 2-for-4 with a home run and two walks Tuesday in an 8-6 victory over the Milwaukee...
Son of former Reds closer having big year with Brewers
Son of former Reds closer having big year with Brewers

Two proud parents stood up behind the visitor’s dugout at Great American Ball Park when Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw hit a three-run home run Tuesday. Jeff Shaw heard the cheers from Cincinnati fans two decades ago as the Reds closer. Now he and his wife Julie cheered for the opposing team and their son as he rounded the bases...
Reds’ Joey Votto facing uphill battle for All-Star bid
Reds’ Joey Votto facing uphill battle for All-Star bid

Joey Votto is fifth among National League first basemen in All-Star voting, but the Reds aren’t slowing their campaign for the first baseman. Votto is third among qualifiers in batting average (.304) and hits (84), trailing leader Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals and Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks in both categories. His 55 runs and .414...
Cincinnati Reds: 2016 first-round pick headlines list of promotions this season
Cincinnati Reds: 2016 first-round pick headlines list of promotions this season

While the Cincinnati Reds have endured ups and downs at the major-league level, some good things have been going on in the minors. Here are five potentially important players who have been promoted so far this season: Old team: Dayton Dragons New team: Daytona Tortugas A second-year pro signed last year out of Nevada after going undrafted, Friedl was...
More Stories