Red Scare advance to TBT semifinals behind tough play from Landers

Trey Landers (#4) throws down a dunk during Red Scare’s 83-76 win against House of ‘Paign to advance to the TBT semifinals. Photo courtesy of Ben Solomon , TBT.

Luc Almeda
Assistant Sports Editor

Much like the 2019-2020 Dayton basketball season, Trey Landers’ relentless motor was a facilitator for the Red Scare’s 83-76 TBT win over House of ‘Paign. He set the tone for Red Scare’s defense, which irritated House of ‘Paign’s scorers all night.

Mike Daum, familiar South Dakota State tournament name and NBA hopeful after playing in Spain last year, was held to only seven points on five shots in the first half. He ended with a quiet 12 points. Again, Landers had much to do with neutralizing Daum, as he blanketed him on the defensive end for most of the game. 

Landers was also a contributor on the offensive end. The Dayton native made hustle play after hustle play, including an and-1 alley-oop and throwing down put back dunks on three(!) separate occasions, one to beat the third quarter buzzer. Landers had a game-high 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds. 

ReadScare coach Joey Gruden attributed the team’s ability to stifle House of ‘Paign’s offense to Landers at half, mentioning that the recent UD graduate should be considered one of the best defenders in the country. 

Gruden was vocal throughout the entirety of the game. His voice was easily picked up in the empty gym, continuing even when Red Scare dominated the game.

Trevor Thompson, the former Ohio State center, led the team with 10 points at the half. He got it done both outside and inside.

Red Scare’s team chemistry was the highlight of the quarterfinal game. Smothering shooters and help defense were huge for them on one end. On the other, scoring was shared across the board and unselfish play led to easy buckets. They had five players in double digit scoring. 

There were multiple go-to options on the offensive end. Devin Oliver worked off the dribble and got to the line on numerous occasions, finishing with a 10-point, 12-rebound double double. Ryan Mikesell and Ryan McMahon filled their roles as the team’s sharpshooters, both finishing with 16 points a piece. 

McMahon started to heat up in the fourth and Red Scare pulled away when he did. He hit two quick threes to start the quarter and sparked a 9-0 run. 

Red Scare faltered a bit at the end, giving up multiple buckets and seeing their lead reduce. They eventually held on to win 83-76. Fittingly, the nail in the coffin was a breakaway dunk by Landers. 

After the win, Red Scare moved their name forward on the bracket and became one of two teams to have punched their semi final ticket. They will face off against the Golden Eagles on July 12. The Dayton squad is now just two wins away from the $1 million prize awaiting the winner of TBT.

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