Boys basketball: Botkins rips Ripley Union, wins 2nd straight district title


Trojans will face Springfield Catholic Central next Tuesday in regional semifinal

By Bryant Billing - [email protected]



Botkins’ Jaydon Wendel shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington’s Braiden Bennington defends during a Division IV district final on Tuesday at University of Dayton Arena. Wendel scored 20 points, 15 of which came in the first half.

Botkins’ Jaydon Wendel shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington’s Braiden Bennington defends during a Division IV district final on Tuesday at University of Dayton Arena. Wendel scored 20 points, 15 of which came in the first half.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins' Jacob Pleiman shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington's Gabe Fyffe defends at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins' Jordan Herzog shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington's Braiden Bennington defends at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins' Elijah Stewart shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington's Drew Cooper defends at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins’ Jameson Meyer shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington’s Drew Cooper defends during a Division IV district final on Tuesday at University of Dayton Arena. Meyer scored 11 points.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins' Jacob Pleiman shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington's Gabe Fyffe defends at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins' Carter Pleiman drives as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington's Chayston Shields defends at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins' Carter Pleiman shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington's Drew Cooper defends at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins coaches Phil Groves hoists the game net after cutting down following the Trojans' win over Ripley Union Lewis Huntington at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins players and coaches pose for a team photo after defeating Ripley Union Lewis Huntington in a Division IV district final at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins senior forward Dylan Topp hoists a Division IV district championship trophy after defeating Ripley Union Lewis Huntington at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday. Topp, a senior, suffered a season-ending knee injury midway through the season.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

DAYTON — Botkins senior guard Jaydon Wendel isn’t the team’s first option for buckets. Or second. Or third.

But when a squad is as deep as the Division IV defending champions are, anyone who gets good shooting opportunities is more likely than not to knock them down.

And Wendel didn’t let good opportunities pass him up in a Division IV district final on Tuesday.

Wendel scored 15 of his 20 points in the first half to power the Trojans to a 73-39 victory over Ripley Union Lewis Huntington at University of Dayton Arena.

“Coach always yells at me. When I take shots, the ones I miss most of the time are out of rhythm,” Wendel said. “If I’m in rhythm, it’s most likely going to go in.”

The win earned the squad its second consecutive district title and regional berth.

Wendel played his freshman and sophomore seasons but didn’t come out at the beginning of his junior year. He rejoined the program late in regular season last year and finished the season on junior varsity.

He’s been a starting guard this season — though Tuesday’s scoring output was his highest of the year.

“I missed out on this last year, so I wanted to come out and bring us back again,” Wendel said. “I did what I can.”

Botkins (24-2), which was tied for No. 1 in D-IV in the final Associated Press state poll, advances to face Springfield Catholic Central in a regional semifinal next Tuesday at Trent Arena in Kettering.

The Irish (24-2), which were ranked No. 6 in the final AP poll, beat Jackson Center 47-36 in the third district final on Tuesday night in Dayton.

“They’re a very high-quality team,” Botkins coach Phil Groves said. “We know we’re going to have to give our best effort to compete.”

“… It’s going to be a battle. It will probably come down to whatever team shoots the best that particular night.”

The Trojans had a 43-27 rebounding edge on Tuesday and forced nine turnovers while only committing four.

“We have a great combination of good bigs that can help and rebound and good guards that can defend and take care of the ball,” Wendel said.

Botkins also largely shut Ripley out of the post in the first half while amassing a 35-10 halftime lead. The squad pressured the Blue Jays all night long wherever it was shooting from; Ripley shot 17 for 53 (32.1 percent) from the floor.

“The first half was excellent,” Groves said. “The second half, we gave up some more points, but the kids battled the whole night.”

Ripley stayed close through the first few minutes, but Wendel scored eight straight points to put the squad ahead 15-5 at the end of the first. He made two 3-pointers from the left wing during the run and capped it off with a jumper from the left baseline.

“Jaydon is an unsung hero,” Groves said. “He doesn’t always get the credit he deserves. He’s always there, and he’s always consistent for us.

“I’ve talked all year about how we have balanced scoring, and this is just another example of someone stepping up for us. Someone steps up every night, and I can’t be more proud of Jaydon tonight.”

The Trojans went on an 8-3 run in the first four minutes of the second to take a 15-point lead, then went on a 12-2 run in the last four minutes to take a 25-point halftime lead.

Botkins pulled away with a 18-15 scoring edge in the third and 20-14 edge in the fourth.

Drew Cooper led Ripley (17-8) with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The Trojans shot 31 for 60 (51.7 percent) from the floor. Senior forward Jacob Pleiman also scored 20 points and had a game-high 13 rebounds.

Senior guard Jameson Meyer scored 11 points and junior guard/forward Carter Pleiman scored nine points and had 11 assists — two more than Ripley accounted for as a team.

“We didn’t know what to expect from them tonight,” Groves said of the Blue Jays. “If you scouted them, you know that they have a lot of different defensive schemes, whether it be zone or trapping. One thing we wanted to do was keep attacking, no matter what they were in.”

Botkins will now focus on earning a second consecutive regional title and state berth.

“We’ve just got to keep focusing on our defense,” Wendel said. “That’s what we’ve been doing all year. Defense is our main goal. Get a defensive rebound when you can, don’t let them have any other opportunities.”

Botkins’ Jaydon Wendel shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington’s Braiden Bennington defends during a Division IV district final on Tuesday at University of Dayton Arena. Wendel scored 20 points, 15 of which came in the first half.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/03/web1_R13-4.jpgBotkins’ Jaydon Wendel shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington’s Braiden Bennington defends during a Division IV district final on Tuesday at University of Dayton Arena. Wendel scored 20 points, 15 of which came in the first half. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins’ Jacob Pleiman shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington’s Gabe Fyffe defends at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/03/web1_DSC_2391-4.jpgBotkins’ Jacob Pleiman shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington’s Gabe Fyffe defends at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins’ Jordan Herzog shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington’s Braiden Bennington defends at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/03/web1_DSC_2453-4.jpgBotkins’ Jordan Herzog shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington’s Braiden Bennington defends at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins’ Elijah Stewart shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington’s Drew Cooper defends at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/03/web1_DSC_2467-4.jpgBotkins’ Elijah Stewart shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington’s Drew Cooper defends at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins’ Jameson Meyer shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington’s Drew Cooper defends during a Division IV district final on Tuesday at University of Dayton Arena. Meyer scored 11 points.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/03/web1_DSC_2471-4.jpgBotkins’ Jameson Meyer shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington’s Drew Cooper defends during a Division IV district final on Tuesday at University of Dayton Arena. Meyer scored 11 points. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins’ Jacob Pleiman shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington’s Gabe Fyffe defends at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/03/web1_R0-4.jpgBotkins’ Jacob Pleiman shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington’s Gabe Fyffe defends at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins’ Carter Pleiman drives as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington’s Chayston Shields defends at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/03/web1_R23B0-4.jpgBotkins’ Carter Pleiman drives as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington’s Chayston Shields defends at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins’ Carter Pleiman shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington’s Drew Cooper defends at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/03/web1_R55B0-4.jpgBotkins’ Carter Pleiman shoots as Ripley Union Lewis Huntington’s Drew Cooper defends at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins coaches Phil Groves hoists the game net after cutting down following the Trojans’ win over Ripley Union Lewis Huntington at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/03/web1_DSC_2510-4.jpgBotkins coaches Phil Groves hoists the game net after cutting down following the Trojans’ win over Ripley Union Lewis Huntington at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins players and coaches pose for a team photo after defeating Ripley Union Lewis Huntington in a Division IV district final at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/03/web1_DSC_2521-4.jpgBotkins players and coaches pose for a team photo after defeating Ripley Union Lewis Huntington in a Division IV district final at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Botkins senior forward Dylan Topp hoists a Division IV district championship trophy after defeating Ripley Union Lewis Huntington at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday. Topp, a senior, suffered a season-ending knee injury midway through the season.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/03/web1_DSC_2481-4.jpgBotkins senior forward Dylan Topp hoists a Division IV district championship trophy after defeating Ripley Union Lewis Huntington at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday. Topp, a senior, suffered a season-ending knee injury midway through the season. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News
Trojans will face Springfield Catholic Central next Tuesday in regional semifinal

By Bryant Billing

[email protected]

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

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