Xenia Warner Middle School celebrates GWOC win

By John Bombatch Sports Editor jbombatch@civitasmedia.com

February 21, 2014

XENIA — For the first time in at least 15 years, Xenia’s Warner Middle School has a Greater Western Ohio Conference eighth grade boys basketball champion.

Coach Jamie Hand’s eighth grade team, with players Simari Curtis, D’Metri Wilson, Trent Swift, Jay Evans, Anthony Holder, Kyle Lawson, Anthony Gray, Johnny Shampton, Tavis Peet, Darren Popp and Logan Bilbrey, and assistant coaches David Morris and Justin Shirley, won the GWOC Eighth Grade boys basketball tournament recently at Watts Middle School in Centerville.

The team celebrated its season championship with Warner’s other winter sports teams at their annual banquet, Thursday night at the school.

Seeded fourth in the tournament, the Warner Middle School contingent defeated Vandalia (47-39) in the opening round on Feb. 1.

A week later, the team upset Springfield Gold, the second-seeded team out of the North Division, by a 38-34 score.

On Feb. 12, Xenia knocked off Trotwood, the third highest seeded team out of the North by a narrow 29-28 decision. That set up the Feb. 15 finale with previously unbeaten Huber Heights Weisenborn Middle School.

Xenia claimed a 41-37 win to hand Weisenborn its only loss of the season. Xenia, which was second in the regular season to Springboro Blue in the 14-team GWOC South Division, finished the year with a 13-3 overall mark.

Coach Hand said it was believed that Xenia hadn’t had a boys eighth grade GWOC tournament champion in 15 years. The Warner eighth grade team lost in the opening round to Huber Heights Wayne’s Weisenborn Middle School last season.