Arrows, Pats, and Bengals, Oh My!

Shots in the Darke


If you’re a high school basketball fan you have to be looking forward to the first Thursday and Friday of February when it comes to the Western Ohio Athletic Conference. Tri-Village’s Lady Patriots, fresh off a MLK Day win over highly touted Toledo Christian, will face the Lady Arrows of Preble Shawnee in a February 2nd encounter in New Madison, with both teams currently unbeaten at 8-0 in league play. Shawnee first has to defeat 7-1 Mississinawa Valley on January 26th in order to keep pace with T-V.

The team from Preble County boasts of two 1,000 point scorers in seniors Liv Thompson and Campbell Jewell and will offer a stern challenge to a talented bunch of Lady Pats led by seniors Rylee Sagester, Morgan Hunt, and Torie Richards.

Meanwhile, the following night of February 3rd will see the boys of T-V also host Shawnee in a battle of 7-0 squads. 6’5” junior Mason Shrout will lead the Arrows into Darke County as the WOAC’s leading scorer, averaging almost 24 points per game. The Patriots will counter with seniors Wilson Suggs, Dalton Delong, and Justin Finkbine among others. It most likely will a tough ticket to come by, even with the new Patriot Activity Center seating over 1,700; what a great 24 hours of high school hoops on tap!!

What’s up with the Buckeyes of Chris Holtmann? The young group, after breaking into the Top Twenty-Five, has now fallen on hard times with four consecutive losses, albeit by a combined total of fourteen points. Even a shake-up of the starting lineup didn’t produce results as Rutgers took down the Bucks Sunday. Here’s trivia question number one for the day —can you name the top three teams in the Big Ten standings as of January 16th?

Question number two—who leads the vaunted Atlantic Coast Conference and who is their coach? Answers to follow after giving you time to ponder!

Congratulations to Green Wave head coach Matt Hamilton as his team garnered its first win of the season by taking down Fairborn by a 63-58 count. Sophomore Eric Brenner paced the attack with 18 points while seniors Jarrod Demange and Haiden Livingston added 17 and 11 respectively. Junior Jack Chick contributed 8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 6 points as an all-around team effort brought joy to an enthusiastic home crowd.

Any questions as to why the NFL has assumed the title of America’s most popular sporting league were answered over the weekend with tremendously competitive games for the most part. How about a synopsis of the six games?

Sam Hubbard and the defense saved the day as the Bengals, THE BENGALS, took down the Ravens for a second straight week 24-17. A tough Baltimore defense held the potent Stripes somewhat in check and the Ravens looked to be going in for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter before a huge play by Logan Wilson in forcing a fumble just short of the goal line and the resulting 98-yard return by Hubbard turned the tables. What block in the back on the return? Refs didn’t call it so it must not have happened!! On to Buffalo; think the league office will spot the Bengals a 7-3 lead from the cancelled game of two weeks ago?

The 49ers looked dominant in winning their 11th straight game, beating an overachieving Seattle team handily.

The Jaguars overcame a 27-point deficit and somehow defeated the Chargers on a last play field goal 31-30. Los Angeles coach Brandon Staley, a UD graduate, is coming under some extreme heat for a few dubious decisions over the past week or two.

The Bills held off a game but undermanned Dolphin squad to earn the right to host the Bengals next Sunday. Condolences to Darke County’s number one Miami fan Ben Studebaker!!

The Giants took out the Vikings, a team that set a new NFL record with 12 wins but a negative point differential for the season, as Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins was forced into throwing a 4-yard completion on 4th and 8 to seal a New York victory.

And the Cowboys won a road playoff game for the first time in 31 years with a 31-14 beat-down of the Buccaneers. Dak Prescott threw four touchdown passes, Brett Maher missed four extra-point kicks, and Tom Brady looked forty-five in the least competitive of the wild card games. Dallas, love ‘em or hate ‘em, moves on to face San Francisco this weekend.

Finally, Purdue leads the Big Ten at 5-1 while Rutgers (yes, Rutgers!) is tied with Michigan State and Michigan for second at 4-2. And in the ACC it’s Clemson at 7-0 leading the pack under the tutelage of former Wright State coach Brad Brownell (he led the Raiders for four seasons, compiling an 84-45 mark from 2006-2010). Enjoy the mild winter weather for a few more days!!