BELLBROOK — The ebb and flow of the Bellbrook girls high school basketball season has been like the chapters in a good book. Coach Jason Tincher says the team hopes to write another exciting chapter on Friday when his Golden Eagles play in the Division II state semifinal game at Value City Arena in Ohio State University’s Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus.
From a team that was questioning itself and its abilities and struggling to stay over the .500 mark at 8-7, to one that’s now reeled off 12 wins in its last 13 games, the Bellbrook season has definitely had its share of highs and lows. Tincher says his team has become stronger because of that early-season roller coaster ride.
“We’d lost two league games in two years, but then we lost two league games this season (both to eventual regular season champion Valley View) and we were sitting there at 8-7 and had just lost to Beavercreek and … well, we had a meeting,” Tincher said. “We tried to air out some things, and we kind of made a deal that we were going to be all in. We were going to change the way we coached, the way we played, and the way we treated each other. We had some really tough questions that we addressed. You never know how that’s going to play out. Either it was going to work, or it was going to get worse.
“But I knew we had to do something.”
It got better. Much better.
After a lopsided 43-28 loss to Beavercreek on Dec. 22, 2017, Bellbrook’s only loss the rest of the way came to Division I perennial powerhouse Fairmont on the road. The team closed out the regular season with a convincing Feb. 8 home win over Eaton, then avenged the two league losses by defeating Valley View in the post season.
Tincher saw the team improving with each time they took the floor. With consistent defensive pressure and key scoring from the entire team, the Golden Eagles, now 20-8, have been a tough team for anyone to face.
“The girls have been getting better and better just in this last month. Every game we won, we were finding more cohesiveness within the group,” Tincher said. “Coaches speak of that all the time. When team’s come together, and start focusing on the right things. Their play just gets better and better. With that comes confidence. Going 12-1, we’ve become a closer family, and we owe that to a lot of that adversity we had early on in the season.
“The injuries, the finger pointing. All of us as coaches, we were spinning our wheels and we had to figure out why. Those were frustrating times, but we had some questions we needed to ask ourselves, like most teams have to do. But it’s been more than a pleasure as their coach to see how they have responded. Through all those hard times, they’re now going to experience some of the best things a high school athlete can ever experience.”
The winner of Friday’s 1 p.m. state semifinal between Bellbrook and Gates Mills Gilmour Academy (24-3) will take on the winner of the second D-II state semi between New Philadelphia (25-2) and Toledo Rogers (25-3). The Division II state championship game will be held at 5:15 p.m. Saturday, March 17 at the Jerome Schottenstein Center’s Value City Arena.
Follow the action online or on TV
Network broadcasts of each Ohio High School Athletic Association girls basketball state tournament game will be available online at ohsaa.org/news/radio.
Spectrum cable television will televise all 12 games on cable Channell 311, and provide online streaming of the games on MySpectrumSports.com.
Game highlights on SoundCloud
The OHSAA Radio Network will post highlight game clips from each game on its SoundCloud page. Just go to soundcloud.com/ohsaaradio .
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.