NEW BOSTON — Four sectional titles in four seasons is an achievement no team has accomplished in New Boston school history — until now.
With their 74-51 win over Symmes Valley — their third over the SOC I rival Vikings this campaign — in Saturday’s Division IV sectional championship inside Homer Pellegrinon Gymnasium, the Tigers made sure yet another number would be added to their wall of banners.
The win — New Boston’s 20th in 22 tries this campaign — solidified yet another historic marker for this period of Tiger basketball.
“Means a lot to me and our program, and it means a lot to our whole village — we won this for them,” NB coach Adam Cox said, after the win. “We wanted to be the first team in school history to have four-straight sectional titles. It’s something special, something to be proud of. Me and Kyle (Sexton) stepped in here four years ago together and the team had only won six games in five years — it’s been a great roller-coaster ride. Glad we have a great group of kids that love the game and are gym rats.”
Both teams entered Saturday’s sectional title tilt having played just four days prior on Tuesday of last week, an 86-57 win by the Tigers which helped complete their SOC I sweep during the regular season.
Not only did the Tigers sweep their SOC I schedule this season, but 13 of those 14 wins in league play came by at least double-digits — the lone exception of course their league-title clinching win in the final seconds over Notre Dame.
Having to play a team three times in one campaign is always unique and may have played a factor in the early portion of the game, especially having done so just days prior.
“We know each other inside and out, it was kind of a chess match early on because we’re so familiar with each other,” Cox said, of facing SV. “We were able to maintain focus and determination, and these kids are a different team. A lot of teams haven’t been in as many halftimes as we’ve been, it’s really not a panic mode — it’s us thinking about how we can gameplan to come out and get the job done and we were able to tonight.”
The visiting Vikings managed to hold a 28-27 lead going into halftime, but were unable to sustain that momentum in the final 16 minutes.
Instead, the Tigers — as they’ve so often done — blitzed the Vikings for 47 second half points and outscored their guests 47-23 in that stretch.
“We’d been down at half, had talked about the position we were in and what adjustments we thought we could make in the second half,” Cox said. “We were able to execute alot better coming out of half — our intensity, our feet and legs were a lot quicker. When we play like that, we’re on top of our game.”
Four different NB players reached double-figures in the win as part of their six-man rotation with senior Kyle Sexton leading all scorers with a game-high 23.
Senior De’von Jones and Sexton both combined to score 26 of NB’s 47 second half points with each posting 13 in the game’s final two periods.
Jones’ 19 points for the game and his 29 in their win over the Vikings on Tuesday has the senior averaging 24.5 points a game in their last two, a sign that Cox says will be important if the Tigers are poised for a deep run in this postseason’s Division IV tournament.
“De’von Jones has been on a mission these last two games. He’s had 29 and 19, feel like he’s one of the best players in this area that’s unnoticed,” Cox said. Just turned 17 years old — lot of upside and a good kid with a great heart. Glad he’s a Tiger.”
Junior guard Grady Jackson scored 15 points in the 23-point decision, including sinking three of the Tigers’ seven-made threes.
Senior Tanner Voiers scored each of his 10 points in the second half while younger brother Brady Voiers added four off-the-bench in his reserve role.
The win places the Tigers back into the D4 district semis where they’ll face a familiar foe — the South Webster Jeeps.
The Jeeps defeated Notre Dame 50-48 in a sectional final of their own to set up the third meeting in the last four seasons between the Tigers and themselves at the district semis level.
NB won the last meeting between the two — postseason or otherwise — defeating the Jeeps 63-60 in an all-time classic at Ohio University’s Convocation Center.
Wednesday will be two years to the day (March 3, 2019) of the two’s last meeting at OU, and Cox says he knows the Jeeps will bring their A-game in hopes of knocking off his top-seeded Tigers.
“Great coached team, SOC II team. People don’t realize how good of a strength of schedule South Webster has. For us to be ready, we’re going to have to play better than we did tonight, going to have to play as a team. They’ve got some kids that can shoot the ball and who hustle, Coach Cole’s a great coach and they’re going to come here to win and play us as hard as they can.”
Tipoff from New Boston is set for 7 p.m. and can be streamed by visiting the New Boston Local School District website.
Symmes Valley 12 16 10 13 — 51
New Boston 10 17 20 27 — 74
SYMMES VALLEY 51 (8-11)
Caden Brammer 3 0-0 7, Luke Leith 6 1-5 13, Josh Ferguson 2 0-0 4, Drew Scherer 4 1-2 10, Eli Patterson 3 3-4 9, Grayson Walsh 4 0-0 8; TOTALS 22 5-11 51; Three-point field goals: 2 (Caden Brammer and Drew Scherer 1 apiece)
NEW BOSTON 74 (20-2)
De’Von Jones 8 2-5 19, Grady Jackson 6 0-0 15, Tanner Voiers 3 2-4 10, Kyle Sexton 7 8-10 23, Chase Clark 1 1-2 3, Brady Voiers 2 0-0 4; TOTALS 27 13-21 74; Three-point field goals: 7 (Grady Jackson 3, Tanner Voiers 2, De’Von Jones and Kyle Sexton apiece)
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved