XENIA — There were no heads bowed in disappointment. Nobody was calling out a teammate to place blame. Best of all, not a single person on the Xenia High School team gave up, despite a one-sided Dec. 12 loss to visiting Trotwood-Madison.
Xenia lost to the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s defending American South division champs, 79-17.
To be honest, the game was likely over when the two teams jogged into their respective locker rooms at the half, with the Rams out in front 46-6.
But this extremely young bunch of Buccaneers doesn’t know the word ‘quit.’ They played hard for the game’s entire 32 minutes.
An example of the team’s effort can be seen with how the game ended.
Trotwood-Madison could’ve walked off the court in the final minute or two and still would’ve won.
The Rams played a full-court, in-your-face style of defense for all but a few seconds of the game. Unofficially, Trotwood created 42 Xenia turnovers. Numbers like that would frustrate anybody.
The Xenia girls could’ve gone through the motions, cried “Uncle!” and admitted defeat, and nobody — except perhaps their coaches — would’ve blamed them.
Instead, there was Alashia Adams dishing out a pass to her left with 40 seconds left to play to Reaghan Wakefield for a score. Then as the final second was ticking off the Xenia High gymnasium’s scoreboard, Kamea Baker came flying in from the left side for a lay-in with 0.8 seconds left for the game’s final points of the night.
Wakefield led Xenia with six points; Baker finished with five. Brynna Mardis finished with three Buccaneers points, Kelli Hatfield scored two, and Olivia Wakefield chipped in with a free throw.
Every kid on the team played their hearts out.
No quitting. No moping allowed.
“I’m very proud to be their coach, and our school is very proud to have them represent us as their basketball team. They are great girls and they play hard no matter what the scoreboard says,” said Xenia coach Jamie Hand. “As long as they do that, I’m okay with it. We only have one senior. We have four freshmen, one sophomore and two juniors.
“They’re all pretty solid athletes. If we keep on playing hard, we’re gonna be alright.”
Hand didn’t mind that Trotwood played their stifling full-court offense for almost the entire game, despite the lopsided score.
“Nah, that’s their style of play. It’s what they do,” he said. “This gave us the opportunity to play against a lot of pressure. Once we have played this game, anyone else that we play now, we’ll know what that feels like. With these girls being so young and inexperienced, sometimes it takes a while to understand the speed of the game, and how big and quick some of these girls are. Now that we’ve seen it and felt it, we can better prepare for it later.
“We know we earned every point we got against a really good team.”
Xenia is now 0-4 overall, 0-2 GWOC South, and heads south to West Carrollton for their next game at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15.
Trotwood’s Sha’mya Leigh outscored Xenia on her own. She finished with a game-high 20 points, 12 of which came in the second half. The Rams don’t have much time to rest. Now 3-1 overall, 3-0 in the GWOC South, Trotwood will play host to Columbus Eastmoor at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.