Deer Park: The team they love to hate in Cincinnati is on cusp of a state title

High School

Posted On: 03/23/18 3:00 PM

They love their Skyline Chili in Cincinnati but apparently are not as fond of the Deer Park High boys basketball program.
How else can one explain that a team completes an undefeated regular season, outscoring opponents on average by 32 points a game doesn’t place a player on either the Division III first, second or third All-Ohio team.
Haterade apparently was served with cookies and sub sandwiches at the meeting in which the voting for the teams occurred.
Surely Damani McEntire (2018), who averaged 19.5 points per game, 6.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists merited a spot on an All-State team. Not to be, although he did earn honorable mention.
Or maybe superb sophomore point guard Mark Wise, who averages 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 3.8 assists, could have cracked the squad; or silky smooth shooter Jalen Rose (2018) and his 13.8 points per game or point guard Steven Gentry Jr. (2020), and his 10.3 points per game and 4.7 assists and 2.4 steals.
Turns out there is a back story.
Accusations floated around Cincinnati that Deer Park coach Steve Gentry recruited his roster after a slew of players transferred to the school.
An investigation by the OHSAA cleared Deer Park of any wrongdoing, according to OHSAA spokesman Bob Goldring.
“We have a compliance division and they investigated and didn’t find any wrongdoing,” Goldring said.
Said Gentry: “Everybody feels like we did things the wrong way. Like I tell everybody, and this is going to be my last time saying it, the OHSAA has cleared everyone. No infractions. None. Some of the people who think we cheated to get here, deal with it. We are playing for a state championship on Saturday.”
So the powers that be that nominates players for postseason awards — the all-state teams — apparently took matters into their own hands.
“No all-state honors for you,” was the message.
It doesn’t seem to bother Gentry, though, who addressed the issue after his team knocked off Lutheran East in the Division III semifinal on Thursday and will face Columbus Africentric on Saturday for the D-III state title.
“There’s one thing we always told our kids. Our goal coming into the season was win the league, win the district, win the regionals and win a state championship. The personal accolades, we could care less,” Gentry said.
He then went on to address the voting “process” and who gets what when it comes to postseason recognition.
“There’s a lot of people that wish we wasn’t here. There are a lot of people that don’t want us to be here and those are the people that are voting,” Gentry added. “They can have it all. I’ll take that state championship.”