Central Ohio had mixed results as the winter sports season ended with the state boys basketball championships. Northland pulled out a Division I win over Cincinnati Princeton to win its first state title in school history. Logan Elm and DeSales both lost in Division II state semifinal games. Now the focus begins to shift to baseball, softball, tennis, track and field, lacrosse and boys volleyball for spring sports.
Central Ohio had mixed results as the winter sports season ended with the state boys basketball championships at the Schottenstein Center. Northland pulled out a Division I win over Cincinnati Princeton to win its first state title in school history. Logan Elm and DeSales both lost in Division II state semifinal games.
Now with the weather moderating, the focus begins to shift to baseball, softball, tennis, track and field, lacrosse and boys volleyball for spring sports. The track season started over last weekend and the rest of the spring slate gets underway this week.
Team of the week
Northland Boys Basketball: Tied with Cincinnati Princeton with 7.5 seconds in a Division I state championship, Jared Sullinger had a simple message for his teammates and father/coach Satch Sullinger.
“I knew at the end of the game I was going to get the ball,” Jared Sullinger said. “I went over there and said ‘Fellas give me the ball. I’ll get it done for us.”
Sullinger took the inbound and drove to the top of the key, where the Northland junior drew a foul with 2.7 seconds left. Sullinger then drained two of three free throws to give Northland a 60-58 win and a state title.
Northland appeared in control of the contest with a six-point lead with 49.5 seconds left, but Princeton battled back to force the 58-58 tie.
J.D. Weatherspoon led Northland with 18 points. Sullinger chipped in 15 points and pulled down a dozen boards.
The state title is the first for the Northland boys basketball program, and the first for a Columbus City League school since Brookhaven in 2002.
Player of the week
J.D. Weatherspoon, Northland boys basketball: Weatherspoon, a Xavier commit, had a big weekend at the state tournament. The smooth Northland junior, who wowed the crowd with several highlight film dunks, had 25 points and eight rebounds in a 73-59 Division I state semifinal win over Warren Harding. Weatherspoon added 18 points in a 60-58 state championship game win for the Vikings over Cincinnati Princeton.
News, Notes and Nuggets
DeSales Struggles: Two stats tell the tale of the first half of DeSale’s Division II state semifinal game. The Stallions had nine turnovers and made 9-of-24 shots. The result: A 39-20 halftime deficit to Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.
DeSales did make an impressive comeback, cutting down SVSM’s lead to 54-48 on a layup by Nick Kellogg with 6:23 remaining in regulation, but time ran out down the stretch as the Irish did enough to claim a 75-61 victory.
Kellogg finished the game with 25 points for the Stallions, while Ike Ariguzo had 13 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
The Stallions were making their first state tournament appearance since 2006.
A Little Short:
Logan Elm seemed to have everything going its way when Logan Hauserman banked in a jumper before the third quarter buzzer and Brandon Amann hit two free throws to put the Braves up 44-32 in the opening minute of the fourth period of the Division II state semifinal match up with Dayton Thurgood Marshall.
“We had our game working,” Hauserman said. “We got stops and rebounds out of our 2-3 zone; we ran our offense; and we attacked the basket.”
Then, the pace changed.
Marshall turned up its full-court pressure, translating six Logan Elm turnovers into nine points to climb back into the game. The Braves had chances to hold off Marshall, but missed all six field goals it attempted in the fourth quarter and hit just 2-of-4 free throws in the closing minute.
Thurgood Marshall’s Shawn Robinson completed the comeback with a three-pointer with nine seconds left to force overtime, which the Cougars dominated 14-5 en route to a 62-53 win to advance to the state championship game.
“They did a great job of taking us out of our game,” Hauserman said. “We got too caught up in their pace and lost control.”
Logan Elm senior Tim Congrove closed an outstanding career with 18 points and three treys to finish his career with 229 long range bombs. Amann chipped in 17 and Hauserman had 13.
The Braves were playing in their first boys state Final Four game in history. The appearance was the first for a Pickaway County boys team since Ashville High School in 1945.
Canal Ready: With nine starters returning from a Division II state runners-up baseball team, Canal Winchester baseball coach Jason Vest likes the base of his team.
“I really enjoy the experience level we return as a team, our ability to play hard, and the ability to buy into our team concepts offensively and defensively,” Vest said. “We also have a bunch of young players that are eager to make an impact. We return two of our top three pitchers from last year’s team but building some depth on the mound behind those two will be important.”
Returning starters include Aaron Barber (1B/OF), Matt Romanowski (1B/OF/P); Michael Romanowski (CF); Wes White (SS/P); Cory Spelman (C); Ryan Rose (LF); Grant Dosch (DH); Drew Dosch (2B/P) and Tyler Steube (3B).
Eye On Granville: In a loaded Mid-State League Ohio Division that includes Division III defending softball state champion Hebron Lakewood, the Granville Blue Aces return six starters off a team that won the school’s first district title in history last season.
“The No. 1 strength of this team is the battery returning,” Granville coach Susie Harrison said. “They are returning for their third year as the (pitcher/cather) combo. Both off them are showing great leadership qualities.”
The Blue Aces return a strong battery of captains wtih Amanda Barker in the pitching circle and Athena Burkett behind the plate. Granville also has returning: Meghan Morrison (LF), Courtney Moyer (3B/C), Katie Wade (1B) and Bailey Schmidt (2B).
“We do have some speed on the bases, but will have to get the ball in play to allow these girls to run,” Harrison said.
Grove City at Lancaster softball, today
Marion Harding at Marion Pleasant, softball, today
Canal Winchester at DeSales baseball, Thursday
Upper Arlington at Hilliard Darby, boys volleyball, Thursday
Whitehall at Teays Valley softball, Friday
Dublin Scioto at Olentangy baseball, Friday
Washington Court House at Madison-Plains baseball, Friday
Circleville Kiwanis Relays, Saturday