Is this the year Centerville basketball makes state?

Image

Centerville’s Matt Kavanaugh is looking to lead the Elks to their fourth district title and beyond. (Photo by Nick Falzerano)

Centerville High School has made a living excelling in sports. Nearly every Elks athletic team has its own claim to fame and state hardware of some sort – championship or runner-up. One exception is the boys basketball team. That could change this season.


Centerville High School has made a living excelling in sports. Nearly every Elks athletic team has its own claim to fame and state hardware of some sort – championship or runner-up. One exception is the boys basketball team. That could change this season.

The Elks have been close to Columbus before, making the regional championship twice in the last seven years, but this season Centerville appears to have what it takes to take that next step. And if there’s someone in their way, the Elks also have the ability to remove them – literally. Talk about physical strength. Centerville has it.

According to head coach Jim Staley, who enters his 17th season at the school, this Centerville squad is “the most experienced and strongest team we have ever fielded.”

Supplying the length is 6-foot-10 center Matt Kavanaugh. A University of Dayton recruit, Kavanaugh is a two-time first team Greater Western Ohio Conference selection and was the conference’s player of the year last season after averaging 20.8 points, 10 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.4 blocks and 1.2 steals per game. Kavanaugh averaged 10.8 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.6 blocks as a sophomore. He’s rated the No. 5 recruit in the state by Ohio High Magazine.

Plenty of players supply the bulk, but none is bigger than 6-3, 270 pound senior Adam Replogle. A first team All-Ohio football player as a defensive lineman, Replogle was second team GWOC last year in hoops when he averaged 8.1 points and 4.6 rebounds. Replogle is headed to Indiana to play football.

Other key returners for the Elks include 6-4 senior Greg White (honorable mention GWOC), 6-3 senior Bill Reilich, 6-5 senior Mike Griffin, 6-4 junior Craig Ashworth, 6-0 junior Pat Crawford and 6-1 senior Alex Kniceley.

Kavanaugh, Replogle, White, Griffin, Ashworth and Crawford all saw action in all 23 games last season. Reilich played in 17, while Kniceley played in 14.

As a program, Centerville has established itself as the marquee big school in Dayton based on results. The Elks are 213-68 the last 12 years (76-percent winning-percentage) and have played in the district finals eight of the last nine seasons.

Centerville has three district titles and is looking to extend its GWOC Central Division championship streak to five.

A tough schedule looms with non-conference games against Thurgood Marshall, Jefferson, Alter and Montrose Christian (MD). The usual GWOC gauntlet of Northmont, Trotwood-Madison, Springfield, Beavercreek, Fairmont and Wayne is also on the docket.

Centerville is ready.

Said Staley: “This team embodies what our program believes in as far as how we want to play basketball and is the product of what we think our basketball program has become.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *