Taft Takes Down Defending State Champ Deer Park In Play-By-Play Classic


The Taft High School Senators were the aggressors in a battle against the 2018 State Champion Deer Park on Friday night. Taft got off to a slow start, but would go on a scoring surge at the end of the second half, never looking back to win the game 78-71.

Despite getting easy looks at the basket, Taft struggled early finding themselves down 13-2 before Demarco Bradley Jr hit a couple of corner three-pointers to spark a run, closing the gap to five at the first quarter break.

Taft remained aggressive in the second quarter by cutting off Deer Park on multiple drives to the basket and even coming up with a few blocked shots by Nekhi Smith, but foul trouble kept the game close as the Senators led 35-33 at half time.

At the beginning of the third, Taft found what they needed to counter brief runs from Deer Park, as Romello Carleon hit some clutch shots from beyond the arch. However, foul trouble once again plagued the Senators and Deer Park was able to keep the game close.

The grit and relentless attack of Taft took over in the second half as both teams settled in. Taft forced Deer Park to turn the ball over several times down the stretch, and hot shooting from Bradley and Carleon only helped. Taft and the packed gym were then treated by a THUNDEROUS dunk by Stinger at the end of the third quarter that sent the entire crowd into a frenzy. Stinger was greeted by his teammates with chest bumps and high fives at the buzzer. See the dunk here courtesy of Basketball Hustle TV!

"Our playing style is fast, hard and physical", Coach Bradley said when describing how the game went. In the end, that style of play resulted in too much for Deer Park to handle and Taft now finds themselves atop the city rankings for D2 hoops!

Story by Theo Caldwell // Photo taken by Anthony Tribble, Cincinnati Enq