Cardinals surprise neighborhood rival
March 3, 2013Colerain High School/WeAreColerain.com
The joke shared by the Colerain and Northwest boys’ basketball teams before the Northwest Local School District rivals played Sunday was they should have shared a bus to the game.
As close as that would have made the two teams, they were even closer on the court. Colerain’s Cardinals couldn’t breathe easily until senior guard Milton Davis made two free throws with 1.2 seconds left to clinch a 65-61 win over the Knights in their Division I sectional championship game at the University of Cincinnati’s Fifth Third Arena.
“I just told myself to keep my elbow up and follow through,” said Davis, explaining the concentration and focus he and coach Kevin Higgins believed was the difference in the game. “We knew it was going to be a close game. It’s a rivalry.”
Davis scored a game-high 20 points, eight on 10 free throws. Junior guard Kelvin Cook added 13 points and senior forward C.J. Reed finished with 12 for 22nd-seeded Colerain (12-13), which will play third-seeded Withrow, the No. 4 team in the Enquirer’s Division I coaches’ poll, in a district championship game scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday at University of Dayton Arena.
Sophomore Cody Roberson led 20th-seeded Northwest (17-8) with 17 points. Junior forward Darius Hubbard logged a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while senior forward Ramar Hairston scored 13 for a Northwest team that set a single-season school record for wins, according to athletic director Joe Pollitt.
Knights coach Brooks Posta considered turnovers to be Northwest’s main problem. The Knights committed 15 to Colerain’s nine, but the Cardinals got more mileage out of their gifts, outscoring Northwest, 16-4, in points off of turnovers.
“The turnovers were big,” Posta said. “We didn’t handle the ball. We fought back. We just couldn’t make stops or get baskets at the right time. Tonight, (Colerain) had a couple more players step up at the right time.”
Neither team led by more than seven points and the game featured nine lead changes and seven ties before Colerain senior guard Bryan Porter made a free throw to snap a 47-47 tie with 5:45 left in the game. Davis followed with two more free throws and junior forward Justin Dubose capped the Cardinals’ 8-0 run with a driving layup along the left baseline for a 52-47 lead with 4:32 left in the game.
The Knights threatened several times down the stretch, making it a one-possession game on several occasions, but they couldn’t take the next step.
“When we play them, it’s always like that,” Higgins said. “These kids grew up together. They might live on the same street and go to different schools. No one really appreciates how intense a game it is.”
Northwest (17-8) –Roberson 6 2 17, Hairston 4 3 13, Hubbard 5 4 15, Simms 0 2 2, Walker 2 0 5, Worsham 2 1 5, Britten 2 0 4. Totals: 21 12 61.
Colerain (12-13) – Bennie 3 0 6, Porter 1 4 6, Cook 5 0 13, Reed 3 6 12, Dula 1 1 3, Davis 5 8 20, Colbert 1 1 3, Mays 1 0 2. Totals: 20 20 65.
Halftime: Colerain, 33-28. 3-pointers: N 7 (Roberson 3, Hairston 2, Hubbard, Walker), C 5 (Cook 3, Davis 2).