By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
WEST MILTON — Two games into the season, and the Milton-Union boys basketball team is already as successful as last season.
The Bulldogs are just getting started, too.
Milton-Union (2-0, 1-0 Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division) built a 16-point lead by halftime and held on from there in its division opener Friday night, defeat Dixie at home 52-40.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 14-6 lead after one and led 34-17 at halftime before Dixie rallied in the third, cutting the lead to 38-30 heading into the fourth — but Milton-Union held on from there.
“We played really well defensively in the first half and went 5 for 11 from 3-point range, shot the ball well,” Milton-Union coach Rusty Berner said. “In the third, give Dixie credit, they battled and we didn’t really defend well. But in the fourth, we regrouped and regained our composure.”
Aaran Stone led the Bulldogs with 18 points and four rebounds, Will Morris and Caleb Wintrow each scored nine points and A.J. Lovin and Nathan Brumbaugh both chipped in five.
“The reality is that we’re 2-0 now, and the kids are excited. But they know we could have played better in the second half,” Berner said. “And they’re hungry to get better.”
After traveling to Newton for a non-league matchup Saturday, Milton-Union travels to Carlisle Tuesday.
PLEASANT HILL — Two-time defending Cross County Conference champion Bethel kicked off league play with a win Friday night, pulling out to a big first-half lead and putting away Newton on the road, 64-47.
Kendal James led the Bees (3-0, 1-0 CCC) with 17 points and Ethan Rimkus added 15 as Bethel led 16-7 after one quarter and 41-21 at halftime.
Newton (0-1, 0-1 CCC), which fought back in the third and trailed 53-34 going into the fourth, was led by Ryan Mollette and Chet Jamison with 14 points apiece.
Bethel hosts Graham Tuesday. After hosting Milton-Union Saturday night, Newton is back in action Dec. 14, traveling to Ansonia.
Troy Christian 68,
DAYTON — Troy Christian opened Metro Buckeye Conference play with a convincing victory Friday night as the defending champion Eagles routed Jefferson 68-42 on the road.
Troy Christian (2-1, 1-0 MBC) had four players in double figures on the night, led by Jackson Kremer’s double-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks. Isaac Gray had 13 points and Brady Clawson had 11 points, both off the bench, Connor Case added 11 points and Connor Peters dished out eight assists.
The Eagles, who won their 12th straight MBC game, took a 12-3 lead after the first quarter and never looked back, leading 31-14 at halftime and 50-29 after three.
Troy Christian travels to Emmanuel Christian Tuesday.
TIPP CITY — Tippecanoe won for the first time this season Friday night, outscoring Piqua 23-14 in the third quarter to claim a 62-55 victory in Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division play at home.
Ben Sauls led the Red Devils (1-2, 1-1 GWOC American North) with 24 points and Ben Mader added 13 points the two teams were tied 18-18 after one, then the Indians (0-3, 0-2 GWOC American North) took a 30-28 lead at halftime. Tippecanoe pulled ahead 51-44 after the third, though, and didn’t look back.
Tippecanoe travels to Greenville on Dec. 14.
Miss. Valley 44
COVINGTON — After falling behind by five after the first quarter, Covington shut out Mississinawa Valley in the second, taking a 20-13 halftime lead and closing out a 53-44 Cross County Conference victory Friday night.
Four Buccaneers were in double figures, with Clayton Maschino and Andrew Cates leading the way with 12 points apiece, Chad Yohey scoring 11 and Gray Harshbarger adding 10.
After taking on Versailles Saturday, Covington (1-1, 1-0 CCC) travels to Franklin Monroe Dec. 14.
Franklin Monroe 74,
Miami East 58
CASSTOWN — Miami East held the lead early in the fourth quarter Friday against Franklin Monroe, but the Jets took control from there to defeat the Vikings 74-58 in Cross County Conference play.
“The final score doesn’t quite indicate the game we played,” Miami East coach Allen Mack said. “We held a 53-51 lead a couple minutes into the fourth, but things really fell apart for us from that point. It was a strong effort for a little over three quarters.”
Miami East (0-3, 0-1 CCC) held a 21-16 lead after the first and a 10-point edge at halftime at 38-28, but the Jets (1-1, 1-0 CCC) took a 49-45 lead after three. The Vikings battled back early in the fourth, but Franklin Monroe — led by Ethan Conley’s 26 points and nine rebounds — outscored them 23-5 down the stretch to pull away.
“He’s an outstanding player, and we struggled to shut him down,” Mack said of Conley.
Will Hudson led the Vikings with 14 points and eight rebounds, Parker Heim had 12 points, Sam Zapadka had 11 points and Wes Sutherly and Josh Whitt both scored nine.
After traveling to Graham Saturday night, Miami East travels to Bradford Dec. 14.
Other scores: National Trail 75, Bradford 18.
TROY — The Tippecanoe girls bowling team defeated Springboro 1,702-1,658 Friday at Troy Bowl, while the Red Devil boys fell to the Panthers 2,187-2,096.
For the girls (1-1), Abigail Lee rolled 150-188—338, Ashlyn Herzog rolled 180-157—337, Mckenzie Dean rolled 124-148—272, Emma Lara rolled 113-147—260, Marissa Miller added a 127 game and Taylor Horne rolled a 105.
For the boys (1-1), Austin Post rolled 196-265—461, James Ridgeway rolled 179-191—370, Aaron Davis rolled 163-144—307, Taylor Riggle added a 159 game and Zach Kauffmann rolled a 141.
Tippecanoe travels to Fairborn Monday.
Josh Brown is the Sports Editor of the Troy Daily News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.