CINCINNATI, Ohio — Last night, the city was able to see two of the best in the Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference go to war as Taft headed to Dennis Bettis Court to take on the Woodward Bulldogs. Coming into the game, both teams had one conference loss to their name and had hopes of keeping the pace with Hughes a top the red division.
In the first quarter, Taft did a really good job trying to force the ball out of Woodward sophomore Paul McMillan IV‘s hands by doubling him and were able to get some transition buckets by forcing turnovers. The Senators got a nice early lift from both senior guard Roemello Carleon and junior forward AJ Lowe — who had six points and five points respectively — and led after one, 17-11.
It was more of the same in the second period, as Carleon put together another solid frame and finished with 12 points at the break, Taft was able to hold McMillan IV to just five points in the first half so it was important that they were able to extend their lead before he was inevitably able to put his fingerprints on the game. Along with Carleon, freshman Rayvon Griffith also pitched in with four points and the green and gold had the advantage at the conclusion of the first half, 36-25.
The third quarter was when McMillan IV was able to see his best quarter of the night at that time. The Bulldogs sophomore dropped 8 points and pushed his total to 13 before entering the final period. Senior center Davion Mace also added four points of his own. However, Taft got contributions from a host of players including senior guard Muhammed Metz (4 points) so Woodward was only able to cut into their deficit by two points and headed to the 4th down 49-40.
With the game still up in the air, McMillan IV got going with 17 points in the final frame and did a good job getting to the charity stripe. However, in the end, it was senior forward Nekhi Smith, Griffith, and the aforementioned Carleon who slammed the door close for the Senators.
For the victors of Taft, Roemello Carleon led the team with 19 points. Nekhi Smith (15 points) and Rayvon Griffith (10 points) both finished over double figures. LeRoy Walker Jr. and AJ Lowe also added 9 points of their own.
For Woodward, Paul McMillan IV led all scorers with 30 points (13-15 FT). Davion Mace was the only other Bulldog over double figures in the scoring column as he finished with 10 points. Freshman Kanye Moreland was just outside of the group with 8 points.
Looking ahead, Taft is back in action tonight as they will take on McNicholas in the home of the Rockets. Woodward will see their next action on Tuesday as they square off against Summit Country Day at home.