DAYTON — Fort Loramie is led by an experienced group of seniors and was making its third consecutive district final appearance on Friday at UD Arena. The team’s seniors helped make their last district final their best.
Fort Loramie jumped out to a 14-point lead by the end of the first quarter and coasted to a 68-33 win over Middletown Christian in a Division IV district final. The Redskins (24-2) captured their second consecutive district title with the win and advance to face Russia in a regional semifinal next Tuesday at Trent Arena in Kettering.
Fort Loramie beat Lockland by 26 points in a district final last year and lost to Southeastern in overtime two years ago.
“I think without that loss two years ago (to Southeastern), we don’t learn a lot of lessons,” Fort Loramie coach Corey Britton said. “We had Dillon (Braun), Tyler (Siegel) and Evan (Berning) all as sophomores at that point and all are senior starters now. It’s been a great ride and hopefully we can keep going.”
Siegel, a senior center, had a monster game as he scored 18 points, brought down 12 rebounds and had three blocked shots and three assists in just 16 minutes of playing time.
“He was pretty efficient tonight,” Fort Loramie coach Corey Britton said. “Tyler’s been pretty good and has been dealing with a (wrist) injury the last couple of weeks, but he was good tonight. Hopefully we just keep getting better.”
Siegel, who’s 6-foot-6, rested for most of the second half after showing off his size and agility. He was 8 for 10 from the field worked around opponents, and he helped the Redskins get out to an 11-2 early lead.
Fort Loramie continued the assault in the second quarter by pushing the lead over Middletown Christian (6-19) to 34-11 after Eli Rosengarten nailed a 3-point shot. Siegel connected on two baskets and Berning hit a free throw to boost the halftime lead to 37-13. Seven different players scored in the first half and eight had rebounds.
Britton said the Redskins didn’t take Middletown Christian lightly, and he was pleased they jumped out to a big early lead.
“We prepare for every team the same way,” Britton said. “We scout them and watch film and make sure we know their offense and defense. It’s the same thing, regardless of whether it’s the first game of the year of district finals.
“…I think any time you can come down and play here, it’s a great opportunity for everyone. We got all 15 guys in tonight, got some youngsters the opportunity to be on this floor and set goals for years down the road.”
The Redskins continued to move the ball well against the Eagles’ defense in the second quarter and got open shots. Berning and Braun were the main factors for Loramie, as Braun had two 3-point shots and a two pointer in the third while Berning found guys wide open and gathered five assists.
Rosengarten hit a late 3 to boost Fort Loramie’s lead to 52-24 lead after three quarters.
Cody Barhorst, Nolan Berning, and Jake Ratermann came off the bench and hit 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, much to the delight of Loramie’s fans. The Redskins finished with 12 different players scoring.
Braun finished with 12 points and had four assists and three steals. Rosengarten finished with eight. Fort Loramie had 10 different players getting at least one assist.
The Redskins will face Shelby County Athletic League foe Russia at 8 p.m. on Tuesday at Trent Arena — which is where the Redskins played in January when they beat Thurgood Marshall in Flyin’ to the Hoop.
Russia beat Middletown Christian’s Metro Buckeye Conference foe Emmanuel Christian 65-33 in Friday’s second district final at UD Arena.
“It’s going to be no holds bar and no secrets,” Britton said. “It’s going to be physical, it’s going to be rough and grind it out for 32 minutes. Whoever is going to be able to do that is going to be play next Friday (in a regional final). I think it’s fantastic for our league, with one team getting to play for a trip to Columbus. That says a lot about our league and how tough it is this year.”
Middletown Christian was led by Jarod Hamlin, who had 11 points and eight rebounds. Dre Shores scored seven points and had three rebounds for the Eagles.
Fort Loramie shot 26 for 51 (51 percent) from the field and had a 36-22 rebounding advantage. The Eagles shot 13 for 40 (32.5 percent) and had 22 turnovers to Fort Loramie’s 15.