Milford continues to be the pacesetter for Clermont County’s varsity boys basketball squads. The Eagles clutch play has led to thrilling overtime victories that have earned the Red and White a berth smack dab in the middle of the Greater Miami Conference race.
Clermont Northeastern has been displaying steady improvement as the Rockets are in the midst of a tight race in the Southern Buckeye Conference American Division (SBC-A) with arch-rival and next door neighbor Goshen.
Jerry Doerger, head coach at Clermont Northeastern said, “We’re playing a little better than I thought we would.” His charges are 8-3 overall and 5-1 in the SBC-A.
“We’re still very inconsistent and we’re working on getting consistency on both ends of the floor.”
He credits junior center Chris Jordan for being “the most improved” with his scoring and rebounding. Senior forward Zach Slusher and sophomore guard Jake Terry are “very steady.” Slusher and Terry are the scoring leaders at 15 and 14.5 points, respectively, per game. Jordan is almost 10 ppg and is hauling down seven rebounds per contest and Slusher is averaging seven rebounds. Terry and junior guard Tyler Sanders have been the assist leaders. Terry is averaging 5.5 per outing. Sanders was also singled out for being a standout on defense.
The Rockets have control over their own destiny for a possible conference championship. They will have to travel to play unbeaten Georgetown (Jan. 26) and will get a return match in Owensville versus Goshen (Feb. 16) whom CNE lost to earlier in the campaign.
"Those will be big games for us," said Doerger. "We still have room to improve. We still haven't peaked."
Milford nipped Middletown 59-58 in a Greater Miami Conference confrontation contested at the aviary. The Middies emerged with slim leads of 15-13, 28-25, and 43-39 before the Eagles took over the lead and held on in the final eight minutes of action. Milford scoring leaders: Brandon Baker 28 and Andrew Burton 16.
Milford continues to provide evidence that the Eagles are undoubtedly the best clutch team in the area. The Eagles won a double overtime thriller over visiting Kings 57-56. In this non-league struggle, the Red and White were good hosts allowing the Knights early period leads of 12-8, 28-24, and 37-34 before tying the game at the end of regulation action at 50. Neither team scored a point in the first OT, but the home boys finally eked out another close victory. Milford scoring leaders: Baker 24, Burton 15, and Mark Bryant 11. Baker made four treys.
Goshen shut down Little Miami 54-30 in a non-conference game played in the Warriors' village. The Red and Gray was in front all the way 21-13, 35-17, and 41-21. Goshen scoring leader: Chris Petry 22 (made five three-pointers).
Clermont Northeastern led all the way to beat Batavia 57-40 on the Rockets' launching pad in a non-division Southern Buckeye Conference confrontation. The Blue and Gold was in control throughout 14-12, 21-18, and 40-25. Clermont Northeastern scoring leaders: Zach Slusher 18, Chris Jordan 10, and Jay Terry 10. Batavia scoring leaders: Eric Simmons 17 and Andrew Avery 12.
Amelia won its first Fort Ancient Valley Conference Cardinal Division game of the season with a 50-39 triumph over Little Miami in Morrow. The Barons' second quarter onslaught powered them to the triumph. The score was knotted at 11 after the first period and the Blue and White led 28-16 after two quarters of action and 37-25 after three quarters. Amelia scoring leaders: Garrett Hounshell 12, Bryce Couch 11, and Willie Tansey 10.
Felicity returned from Highland County following a hard-fought 62-59 loss to White Oak. The Cardinals were in the lead of this non-conference fray 15-12, 29-25, and 44-40 until the final frame when the host Wildcats managed to eke out a victory. Felicity scoring leaders: Tyler Utter 22 and Jordan Grooms 11.
Hard luck continues to curse Glen Este as the Purple and White lost yet another very close contest, this one to Winton Woods 62-61 in the Fort Ancient Valley Conference Buckeye Division. The Trojans were on the down side at the intermissions 20-13, 39-32, and 57-49 before staging a fierce comeback that fell just short. Glen Este scoring leaders: Matt Winegardner 24 and Josh Crawford 11.
Purcell Marian was a rough host as the Cavaliers gored Glen Este 85-44 in a non-league game. The Trojans were on the short end at the finish of each period 21-9, 40-13, and 71-32. Glen Este scoring leader: Tyler McCalla 10.
Batavia was downed by visiting Western Brown 63-41 in a non-division Southern Buckeye Conference game played in the Clermont County seat of government. The Bulldogs led the Brown and Gold 17-13 after the beginning eight minutes, but fell behind the remainder of the way 34-21 and 52-32. Batavia scoring leader: Simmons made nine points.