Getting there wasn’t easy and Saturday won’t be either. But Shaker
Heights Hathaway Brown and Kettering Alter will meet again – and with
another state title on the line in Division II.
Getting there wasn’t easy and Saturday won’t be either. But Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown and Kettering Alter will meet again – and with another state title on the line in Division II.
The Blazers and Knights each escaped pesky semifinal foes Thursday at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus to set up their third meeting in as many years on the state stage.
In 2008 the Knights beat the Blazers in the D-II final. Last year Hathaway Brown returned the favor in the semifinals en route to its own state title.
Tip time is 2 p.m. Saturday.
“I’m excited for it, I love any challenge,” Hathaway Brown senior Mylan Woods said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a rival factor, but just the opportunity to play them again – it’s going to be exciting.”
Said Alter senior Ashley Christie: “I’m really excited for another chance to play them.”
Hathaway Brown did its part to set up the rematch by overcoming a six-point deficit in the fourth quarter against another rival Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit. The Blazers trailed 41-35 heading into the fourth quarter but outscored the Warriors 18-7 in the final stanza.
Senior Alexis Dobbs gave the Blazers their first lead of the game, 48-47, on a 3-pointer with 2:48 left. Dobbs’ heroics were followed by junior Alanna Guy who hit a 3 with 39 seconds to go to put Hathaway Brown in front 51-48. It was her only basket of the game.
Woods, a Northwestern recruit, led the Blazers with a game-high 15 points, while Dobbs, an American University recruit, chipped in 12.
Alter had to work for its state final berth as well. Despite holding several double-digit leads against Washington Court House Miami Trace, the Knights could never fully separate themselves. The Panthers – led by senior Jenna Cobb (Butler) who poured in 21 points – continually fought back to trim the lead but they could never take it. Alter finally escaped 57-46.
Junior Courtney Christie led the Knights with 13 points, while her sister – Ashley – added 12. Whitney Dabbelt and Kaila Howe had nine apiece.
“Hathaway Brown is loaded,” Alter co-head coach Chris Hart said. “They have one Division I player after another that they throw at you and they have so many different ways to hurt you. That will be our challenge defensively. Last year when we picked our poison, the poison hurt us. Our kids are such competitors though that they will come out and compete.”
“I’m thrilled with how are kids played and executed in the fourth quarter,” Hathaway Brown head coach Paul Barlow said. “For the fourth straight year we’re going to finish our season on the last day of they year.”
And for the second time in three years the Blazers will face Alter when they do it.