Opening Day is wrapping up a wild sports month for Dayton: Here's what happened

Mar. 28—March Madness was just part of a busy sports month across the Dayton region.

The Cincinnati Reds' Opening Day today will round out March and add one more sport to the list.

Here is a catch-up for sports fan on a few of the major events the Dayton Daily News reported on this month.

The First Four

The first game of the 2024 NCAA Tournament featured No. 16 seeds Wagner vs. Howard and Colorado State against Virginia in a battle of 10 seeds.

Wagner kicked off March Madness with the first NCAA Tournament win in program history, getting 21 points from Melvin Council Jr. and holding off a late rally by Howard to win 71-68 in the First Four.

Colorado State put the clamps on Virginia, winning 67-42 in the second game of the First Four.


Dayton Flyers basketball

The Flyers season was something special for Dayton.

UD finished the season with a 25-8 record and many great memories for faithful fans.

The victory over Nevada was Dayton's first NCAA Tournament win since 2015. And the comeback may well be the best ever in Dayton's storied basketball history.

After the Dayton Flyers ran out of time and comebacks and were knocked out of the NCAA tournament by the No. 2 seed Arizona Wildcats, 78-68, the UD players slowly walked off the court to the cheers of their fans, who stood and applauded and sent them visual and verbal bouquets.


Boys high school basketball

Alter topped Maysville for the Division II state championship, their fourth state boys basketball title.

"I tell these guys all time, moments of work for a lifetime of memories," Alter coach Eric Coulter said. "They put the work in — so proud of them. It's so hard to win a state championship, and it's so special."

Centerville also made a run to the state final in D-I, losing to Cleveland St. Ignatius, 66-56, while Preble Shawnee advanced to the D-III state semifinals.


Girls high school basketball

Springboro won 15 straight games to reach the Division I state final and lost to Olmsted Falls, 52-45.

The only other time the girls team played at state was in 1978 in Class AA. They defeated Delphos St. John's in the semifinals, then lost for the first time to Columbus Bishop Hartley by two points in the final.

High school swimming

Oakwood, Sidney and Beavercreek seniors swam their way to gold in state competition.

Oakwood senior Tristan Prizler won a pair on Division II titles in the endurance-testing 500-yard freestyle with a personal best time of 4 minutes, 28.81 seconds and the 200-yard individual medley (1:51.29).

Sidney senior Jarrett Payne left the state meet in Canton with a pair of titles. Payne, who owns all eight Sidney High School individual records and seven of the eight league records, clocked a personal best time of 47.68 in the Division I 100-yard backstroke. Payne also won the 200-yard IM (1:48.77).

The top of the podium was also the goal for Beavercreek senior Caleb Manning, who swam to a first-place finish in the D-I 500-yard freestyle (4:30.12).


High school wrestling

Legacy Christian's Dillon Campbell made history with his fourth straight wrestling state title.

Campbell finished his career with 169-8 record and will wrestle collegiately at Virginia Tech.

Other area wrestlers who won in state competition were Matt Kowalski of Springboro and Hayden Hughes, Brogan Tucker and Bryce Kohler of Graham.

Graham won its 25th team championship, including the last 23 in a row.

In the girls state tournament, Lacie Knick of Northmont won the 125-pound state championship by pinning Lily Hendricks of Greeneview.


High school bowling

The Beavercreek boys team shook off a slow start to win their second state bowling title in three years.

In the team bracket, Beavercreek edged St. Marys Memorial 3-2 and beat Big Walnut 3-1 to set up the championship match against Avon Lake. It was knotted at two games apiece before the Beavers came up with a 222 to easily eclipse Avon Lake's 169 at H.P. Lanes in Columbus.

While Fairmont bowed out early in the championship round with a loss to Avon Lake, Firebirds senior Isaiah Shannon claimed the individual D-I state title with a 743 series. Consistency was the key for Shannon with games of 251, 237 and 255.


Cincinnati Reds

What fans will see on Opening Day today in Great American Ball Park isn't exactly what manager David Bell and President of Baseball Operations Nick Krall envisioned.

The inevitable injury bug took a large bite out of what the Reds planned for their 26-man roster for Cincinnati's pomp and circumstance of Opening Day.

The biggest makeover for 2024 is in the bullpen with significant additions like Brett Suter and Emilio Pagan joining closer Alexis Diaz, Lucas Sims, Buck Farmer, Fernando Cruz, Tejay Antone and Justin Wilson.


Coming in April: Dayton Dragons

The Dragons open the 2024 season on April 5 at Day Air Ballpark against the Lansing Lugnuts.

Improvements to the baseball field and other stadium features at Day Air Ballpark are near completion as the Dayton Dragons prepare for the start to their season.

Work includes replacements to the baseball stadium's roof, playing field and HVAC system, as well as improvements to stadium seating, the sound system, the LED outfield wall and more.