Last weekend, I had the honor and privilege to broadcast at the 13th annual Good Samaritan Hospital Flyin’ to the Hoop tournament.
This is the #2 ranked national tournament in the country by CBS Sports and MaxPreps! This year, we would see teams representing eight states, including California and Nevada out west. Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Maryland, and West Virginia would also send a couple of teams to the Trent Arena in Kettering. The majority of the tournament’s teams would hail from the Cincinnati-Dayton-Columbus area in Ohio.
The video streamer of the event, SUVehicle, reached out to me and gave me a chance to broadcast 14 games (with eight of those as the play-by-play voice) out of 23 total contests. While having to miss Opening Night due to a prior commitment, I joined up with the broadcasting team on the first full day of the tournament. Saturday brought me seven games total with a headset. Here’s what I saw as the Play-by-Play voice:
The first game saw the Tri-Village Patriots of the Cross County Conference tangling with the Russia (pronounced Roo-she) Raiders of the Shelby County League. This would be my first play-by-play of the tournament, not knowing what to expect (other than a good match between two top Division IV opponents. The Patriots won 56-49 (box score from the Flyin’ to the Hoop site is here.)
My next game back as the Play-by-play voice was the Centerville Elks (just south down the road from Kettering’s Trent Arena) hosting Bowman Academy from Gary, Indiana. With thirteen lead changes and nine ties, we had a back-and-forth battle with the Elks winning on a Joey Weingartner last-second tip 61-59.
My next call was a battle of Columbus and Dayton, as Walnut Ridge tangled with Thurgood Marshall. Walnut Ridge led from the get-go, when offense was a tough item to order. Thurgood Marshall did their best to stay with the Scots, but it was a 51-44 victory for Walnut Ridge. Malik Harrison finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds for the Scots.
My last call of Saturday Night brought all the fans to Trent Arena. Franklin vs. Montrose Christian of Maryland. The arena was jam-packed, where the standing-room only section was bombarded with folks. Luke Kennard of Franklin has drawn a crowd of folks wherever he has played, as his next destination will be Duke University as a member of the Blue Devils’ Men’s Basketball team. With a jam-packed arena, I had to make sure that this call was up to the task. Franklin held on for a 77-75 victory over the Montrose Christian Mustangs. Kennard broke the state record for Free Throws Made (34 of 40; 47 points [now 3rd all-time at Flyin’ to the Hoop.]) Alani Moore for MC had himself a game too, with 35 points (5 of 10 outside the arc.)
Fast forward to Sunday Night, after I turned in a college DH victory for Miami-Middletown over UC-Clermont: Wilmington took on Taylor County from Campbellsville, Kentucky. The Hurricane, representing Clinton County, led by as much as 13 points on the contest. Wilmington held on to beat a talented Taylor County team 82-72. Wilmington was led by the equally-talented Cumberland Cousins, combining for 56 points (Jaevin with 29, 6 rebounds; Jarron with 27, 11 rebounds.)
Fast forward again to the final day of the 13th Flyin’ to the Hoop: Three more games awaited me as the Play-by-Play voice, and the first one was a Cin-Day duel.
Walnut Hills battled Piqua for the 17th game of the tourney (our first on Monday.) WH is out of the Eastern Cincinnati Conference (formerly of the Fort Ancient Valley Conference), where Piqua is from the Greater Western Ohio Conference (a league similar to the old FAVC before it disbanded.) With the exception of two early ties, Walnut Hills stole the show and ran away with a 96-48 victory. The Eagles’ MaCio Teague put in a ridiculous amount of points with 51 (giving him 2nd All-time at FttH), with a 6-for-10 performance outside the arc in a little under 26 minutes. That performance from Teague also broke a couple of school records at WHHS.
My second game on Martin Luther King, Junior Day was the second contest of the tournament for Montrose Christian (out of Rockville, Maryland) battling the Tigers of Pickerington Central. Montrose Christian was looking to leave Kettering with one win in the their two scheduled, having dropped a 77-75 decision to Franklin two nights ago. After trailing by four in the first quarter, Montrose Christian tied it up at half at 27-27, then outscored the Tigers 39-26 the rest of the way for a 66-53 victory. Taron Oliver came back with a strong second half and finished with 19 points on the night. Ibi Watson of PCHS had 22 points for the Tigers.
My last call as the Play-by-Play was another battle of the Columbus and Dayton areas, as Gahanna Lincoln took on Chaminade-Julienne. I would call another game tied at the half between the Golden Lions and the Eagles of CJ, but Gahanna Lincoln rolled out a 29-19 second half for a 49-39 triumph. Nick Ward and Jenisys Battle had 12 each for the Lions; Myo Baxter-Bell with 12 for the Eagles. Future Wright State Raider Alan Vest had 9.
There you have it, my summary of the eight games I called as the Play-by-Play voice. I helped out with six other broadcasts as the color commentator, even lending a hand with the camera work in two separate contests! All in all, a fantastic time was had. This is surely some of the experience I needed to really move myself up towards the ultimate goal of working the sportscasting career to its fullest. I got to meet some fantastic folks along the four days and it’s something I won’t ever take lightly.
If you’d like a more full in-depth look at the tournament, consider checking out my friend Michael Hirn’s site. He also got some opportunities to do Play-by-Play in the tournament.
Sorry for this being a week late folks. Hope you enjoyed my view of the 13th annual Flyin’ to the Hoop from Kettering, Ohio!
Until next time,