Southeast Ohio boasted three teams in the state basketball tournament this weekend and one brought home the hardware. Oak Hill won its first state title in school history under veteran head coach Norm Persin. Unfortuantely for Piketon and Logam Elm, they were sent packing in the semifinals.
When it comes to postseason basketball in southeast Ohio, Norm Persin has never been a stranger to basketball in late March.
However, with over a decade worth of regional tournaments mainly with Chesapeake and now Oak Hill, Persin finally got his chance to advance from Athens to Columbus. The legendary coach made the most of his first trip as his Oak Hill Oaks will head back to their home in Jackson County with the 2009 Division IV State Championship.
Thursday’s semifinal game came just one week after the Lady Oaks advanced all the way to the Division III title game. Oak Hill’s boys advanced with a 55-46 win over Ada in the semifinal.
In the final, the Oaks trailed by three at the end of regulation, but Ryan Borden’s late triple sent the game to overtime. As the game’s extra four minutes started to tick away, the two teams found themselves in the same situation – Kalida up three with Oak Hill in possession, and again, it was Borden dialing up from long distance to force a second overtime.
In the second overtime, it was Oak Hill now playing out in front as the clock moved under a minute, and the Oaks forced a Kalida turnover to help clinch the first ever state championship in school history.
In the championship win for the 25-2 Oaks, Borden scored 13 points sharing the team-high honor with Westen Hale. J.D. Hale scored eight points and Kyle Ondera, who scored 20 points in the semifinal win, scored six points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
In terms of southeast representation, Oak Hill was not alone this week in Columbus.
Jeff Lisath and is Piketon Redstreaks from Division III and Doug Stiverson’s Logan Elm Braves from Division II also reached this year’ s Final Four. The experience for these two southeast members didn’t go as well as it did for this week’s Team of the Week, and I will tell you all about it in our New, Notes, and Nuggets.
Finally, the spring is On Tap as student-athletes take to the diamond and the track sooner than you think.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Oak Hill, Boys Basketball
Easy choice this week as the Southeast Huddle congratulates the 2009 Division IV State Champions. Coach Norm Persin’s Oaks raise the ultimate prize for the first time in school history. After wins over Leesburg and Waterford in the districts and Racine Southern and Newark Catholic in the regional, the Oaks defeated Ada in the semifinal and Kalida in the title game.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ryan Borden, Oak Hill
With the season on the line, Oak Hill’s Ryan Borden delivered not once, but twice. Borden hit triples at the end of both regulation and the first overtime with his team trailing by three in both instances. This set the table for a thrilling, double-overtime win for the Oaks. Borden finished with 13 points – a total that shared team-high honors.
New, Notes, & Nuggets
Poor start for Piketon:
The inaugural appearance for the Piketon Redstreaks in the Final Four didn’t get started as planned. Cleveland Central Catholic turned up the heat early limiting Piketon to just two first-quarter field goals and only 14 total first half points. Trailing by 20 coming out of intermission, Piketon did score the first 10 points, but that is as close as it would get. Piketon fell 76-52 to finish the season at 24-3.
In the loss, Cody Smith led the Redstreaks with 17 points. Jordan Brabson added 15 points.
Persin & Stiverson named state’s best:
Oak Hill head coach Norm Persin and Logan Elm’s Doug Stiverson were both named Coach of the Year in Division IV and Division II this week, respectively.
Nightmare on Elm Street:
The Logan Elm Braves enjoyed a double-digit lead early in the fourth-quarter in Friday morning’s Division II semifinal match-up against Dayton Thurgood Marshall. However, a nightmare final 7:36 saw Logan Elm not score a field goal. The Braves were outscored by 12 including a last second triple to force overtime. The extra period was more of the same as Thurgood Marshall eliminated the Braves 62-53.
In the loss, Logan Elm sharp-shooter Tim Congrove knocked down three triples on his way to an 18 point performance while Brandon Amann scored 17 points. Junior Logan Hauserman added 13 points.
1,000 point classmates:
Piketon’s Cody Smith and Jordan Brabson both had their careers come to an end Thursday evening in Columbus. The Piketon pair both are members of the 1,000 point club as Smith unofficially finishes with 1,252 points while Brabson finishes with 1,091 points.
All-Ohio from the southeast:
The southeast players named to the All-Ohio list are as follows:
Brandon Amann, Logan Elm (First-Team), Thomas Norris, Cambridge (Second-Team), Tim Congrove, Logan Elm, Eastin Lewellen, Maysville, and Caleb Knights, Chillicothe (Third-Team)
Kraig Unger, North Adams and Joby Barr, Belmont Union Local (First-Team), Cody Smith, Piketon and Cody Johnson, Shenandoah (Second-Team), Blake Justice, Peebles and Kyle Webb, Chesapeake (Third-Team)
D.J. Cunningham, Waterford (First-Team), Josh Agin, Zanesville Rosecrans and Oak Hill’s J.D. Hale (Second-Team), Chad Harvey, Ironton St. Joes & Vince Shanks, Western Latham (Third-Team)
Monday, March 30, Sheridan at New Lexington, Softball and Baseball (5 p.m.): The Muskingum Valley League gets started on opening night.
Tuesday, March 31, Wheelersburg at South Webster, Baseball (5 p.m.):
The always tough Pirates of Wheelersburg get started with a Southern Ohio Conference match-up against the Jeeps of South Webster.
Tuesday, March 31, Fort Frye at Belpre, Baseball (5 p.m.):
A great rivalry game before these two schools enter league play later in the week.
Thursday, April 2, Jackson at Vinton County, Tennis (4:30 p.m.):
The nearby rivals get the season underway in McArthur.
Friday, April 3, Zane Trace Invitational, Track & Field (4:30 p.m.):
Many of the top boys and girls programs from around the southeast will go head-to-head.
Friday, April 3, Southeastern at Zane Trace, Softball (5 p.m.):
The Lady Pioneers open Scioto Valley Conference play with a 43-game conference winning streak on the line.