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Second half carries Senators past Chiefs (Audio included)

Finding themselves down 23-22 at half, the Cincinnati Taft Senators erupted for 35 second-half points and downed the Bellefontaine Chieftains, 57-44, in the boys’ basketball Division II district finals at University of Dayton Arena Friday. All of the action was broadcast live on 1390 WBLL.

(Left: Bellefontaine's Tristin Tillman attempts a free throw in Friday's game against Cincinnati Taft.)

The Chieftains led 14-12 after the first quarter and took the slim one-point lead into the locker room, but had trouble handling the Senators’ half-court pressure in the second half, and were outscored by seven points in both the third and fourth quarters.

The Chiefs opened the third quarter with a 5-0 spurt and led 28-22. The Senators responded and finished the quarter with a 17-5 run. They quickly reached a double digit advantage in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

With the loss, Bellefontaine closes its season with a 16-9 record and a Div. II Sectional title. It was the Chiefs first district final game in seven years.

Chieftains Max Oyer and A.J. Gorham shared the Steve Austin’s Auto Group Player of the Game honors. Oyer scored 13 points in the loss, while Gorham had seven points. Daniel Boy also had seven points for Bellefontaine.

For Cincinnati Taft, Kenny Kauffman poured in a game-high 16 points. Robert Smith added 12.

Cincinnati Taft (18-6) will face Columbus Eastmoor Academy in the regional semifinals at Kettering Fairmont High School Thursday at 5:30.

Listen to the complete postgame interview with BHS head coach Henry Stolly.

Other Division II finals at UD:

Dayton Dunbar raced past Dayton Carroll 68-47.

Thurgood Marshall defeated Cincinnati Wyoming 49-37.

Dunbar will tangle with Thurgood Marshall in a regional semifinal matchup at Kettering Fairmont Thursday night at 8:00.

Division IV at Wapakoneta:

Marion Local beat Arlington 44-34 to claim another district title.

Girls Division II regional final at Springfield:

Kettering Alter eliminated Kenton Ridge 65-48.

The Knights are 28-0. The Cougars finish the season 26-2.

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