Central Ohio has three chances at a state boys basketball championship as
Northland, DeSales and Logan Elm each wrapped up regional
titles over the weekend and play Friday at the Ohio State
Schottenstein Center. The chance for a state title is best in Division II where two Central Ohio schools are in the Final Four.
Central Ohio has three chances at a state boys basketball championship as Northland, DeSales and Logan Elm each wrapped up regional titles over the weekend and play Friday at the Ohio State Schottenstein Center.
The chance for a state title is best in Division II where two Central Ohio schools are in the Final Four – Logan Elm is 24-1 on the season and DeSales is 22-3. Northland plays in the Division I and is 25-1 on the season.
Africentric made good as the only Central Ohio girls basketball team in the state tournament, defeating Berlin Hiland and avenging a 44-37 loss to Hiland in last season’s state championship game.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jared Sullinger, Northland, boys basketball: A 6-foot-9 Ohio State recruit, Sullinger had a monster Division I regional championship game against Dublin Scioto, tallying 17 points, 20 rebounds and six blocks in a 54-53 overtime win over Scioto.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Africentric, girls basketball: Staring down a 17-point deficit one minute into the second half, Africentric didn’t panic. The Lady Nubians just turned up the heat. Africentric forced Berlin Hiland into 17 turnovers with its high paced defensive pressure, helping to erase the large deficit en route to a 55-46 Division IV state championship game victory.
The Lady Nubians wore down Hiland, a program that was going for its fifth state championship this decade, taking a 47-46 lead with 3:51 remaining on a layup by Ashar Harris, who set a state-record by pulling down 16 rebounds to go with 14 points. Raven Ferguson tallied all but three of her 17 points during the second half comeback.
NEW, NOTES & NUGGETS
Decades in the making: The Logan Elm boys basketball team clinched its first-ever
Final Four appearance in school history with a 53-39 win over Cambridge in a Division II regional title game. Logan Elm, 24-1, is the first boys team from Pickaway County to make it to the state tournament since Ashville High School– one of the school’s that eventually consolidated into the Teays Valley school district – made the trip in 1945.
Purple explosion: DeSales, 22-3, has simply been a big, bruising bulldozer gaining speed on a steady downhill track. After winning its first four tournament contests by an average of 27 points, the Stallions clinched an appearance in the state tournament with a convincing 84-64 win over Vermillion. Nick Kellogg and Nick Goff each tallied 15 points for DeSales, which now has a superstar match up with Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in a Division II state semifinal.
One step short: Dublin Scioto, Grandview Heights, Bishop Watterson and Newark Catholic all were one step short of making the state tournament. Scioto senior Bradley McDougald poured in a career-high 32 points in the loss to Northland. Grandview Heights lost a 10-point lead in the closing 2:30 of regulation, eventually falling 78-72 in overtime. Newark Catholic, known more for its football, baseball and volleyball, was seeking its first appearance in the state tournament in school history, but fell 56-52 to Oak Hill. Bishop Watterson, which came into the tournament at 10-10, fell 44-42 to Dayton Thurgood Marshall, ending its magical run.
Players of the year: Northland’s Jared Sullinger was the Division I state player of
the year, averaging 19.9 points per game.
Coaches of the year: Tony Bisutti of Dublin Scioto was a quad-state coach of the
year in Division I. Logan Elm’s Doug Stiverson was a tri-coach of the year in Division II.
National recognition: Two area schools received preseason publicity in the Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse High School national rankings. Worthington Kilbourne was ranked 17th nationally while Upper Arlington was 20th.
Division II state boys basketball semifinals, Friday, Schottenstein Center: Logan Elm vs. Dayton Thurgood Marshall, 10:45 a.m.; DeSales vs. Akron St.Vincent-St. Mary, 2 p.m.
Division I state boys basketball semifinal, Friday, Schottenstein Center: Northland vs. Warren Harding, 5:15 p.m.