Boys basketball: Russia dominates Cincinnati College Prep for district title


DAYTON — Russia rolled to its fourth consecutive lopsided postseason win in the nightcap Division IV district final on Saturday at University of Dayton Arena.

The Raiders are expecting things to be tighter when they play in regional contests this coming week, but they feel ready to earn a second consecutive state berth.

Russia took control fast and beat Cincinnati College Prep 88-54 to earn a district title for the second straight year. The squad will face Lancaster Fisher Catholic in a regional semifinal on Tuesday at Trent Arena in Kettering.

“These kids have played in many, many big games, and they’re very, very experienced, in different sports,” Russia coach Spencer Cordonnier said. “They don’t get rattled by much, and they handle our business. We’ll try to do that (this week).”

The Raiders (25-1) won their first regional title since 2002 a year ago. With two wins next week, they’ll return to UD Arena for a state game for the second consecutive year.

“We learned from this atmosphere, obviously a bigger floor, different place to play than our home gym,” Russia junior forward Braylon Cordonnier said, who led the team with 17 points, said of the squad’s experience last year.

Russia won its first three tournament contests with margins of at least 35 points and has had a running clock in each of its four postseason games.

Braylon Cordonnier, who is Spencer’s son, said they’ve haven’t slacked in practice.

“We know the regional games are going to be two tough games, and we’ve got to prepare in practice, go hard-nosed all the time, and hopefully the results are what we want,” Cordonnier said.

Russia rolled from the start.

The Raiders led 20-9 by the end of the first quarter and used a 21-11 scoring edge in the second to take a 41-20 halftime lead. They had six steals in the first half and forced the Lions into eight turnovers, which they scored 11 points off.

“Our main goal was to go, go, go, as fast as we get it up and down, and get stops on defense,” Braylon Cordonnier said. “… We decided in the start to get up and press and get up into them like we usually do other teams. But as it got later in the game, we realized they were a little quicker than us and were getting by us, and we had to step back to the 3-point line and play defense in half court.”

Russia scored another 11 points off turnovers in the second half. The squad finished with 26 points on second-chance looks thanks to a 42-24 rebounding edge.

Cordonnier brought down five rebounds. Felix Francis scored 15 points and had a team-high seven rebounds, Benjamin York scored 12 points and had four rebounds and Brayden Monnin scored 11 points. Vince Borchers had six assists and Jaxon Grogean had five steals.

The Raiders shot 37 for 68 (54.4 percent) from the floor.

Russia advances to face Lancaster Fisher Catholic (16-9) in a regional semifinal at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Trent Arena in Kettering. The winner will advance to a regional final on Friday against the winner of Jackson Center vs. Troy Christian.

“The regional’s going to be fun,” Spencer Cordonnier said. “Jackson was there last year, and so was Troy Christian. …We’ll throw the ball up in the air and see what happens.”

Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.

No posts to display