Middletown Madison says it doesn’t care who it plays in the Division
III state championship game Saturday. The Mohawks however are a little
torn that it won’t be South Euclid Regina.
Middletown Madison says it doesn’t care who it plays in the Division III state championship game Saturday. The Mohawks however are a little torn that it won’t be South Euclid Regina.
“It doesn’t matter who we play, because we’re in the state championship, but everyone knows Regina is a really good team,” Madison junior Ally Malott said. “I was looking forward to (Regina). It would definitely have been a challenge for us.”
Madison punched its ticket to its first state final in any sport Thursday with a 50-43 win over Ironton in the first of two D-III state semifinals at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus.
The Mohawks, one of only two unbeaten teams in Columbus this weekend (out of 16), put their perfect record (27-0) on the line Saturday at 10:45 a.m. against the tournament’s other unbeaten Findlay Liberty-Benton (26-0).
Madison won’t get a shot at reigning state champion and parochial power Regina, whose run at a seventh state title ended last week with a disqualification from the tournament for playing an ineligible player.
“Regina, Shamgenia…” Madison coach John Rossi said. “It really doesn’t matter who were playing. You hate to see that happen to teams – and especially the kids – but we’re going to take advantage of it and we’re playing for a state title on Saturday.”
If you think Madison wouldn’t match up against Regina think again.
The last time Regina played a public school team of Madison’s mold in the state tournament, it got beat – remember Versailles?
In 2008 the Tigers handed Regina its only loss ever at the state tournament – and they did it soundly. Behind the duo of Justine Raterman (Dayton) and Emily Bohman, Versailles powered past the shocked Royals 75-60. In that game Raterman and Bohman combined for 54 points.
Madison has similar hammers.
Malott is the No. 1 ranked junior in Ohio in her class and a Top 10 recruit nationally (No. 2 overall small forward). Senior Lindsey Hoskins is headed to Lehigh.
Against Ironton the duo delivered.
Malott and Hoskins combined for 22 (each had 11) of Madison’s 28 first half points as the Mohawks led 28-24 at the break. Madison opened up a 9-0 lead to start the game and never trailed. In the fourth quarter Ironton got as close as 37-36 but Madison responded with five straight points to separate itself.
Currently being courted by UConn, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Purdue, Vanderbilt and Dayton, Malott led all scorers with 18 points, while Hoskins chipped in 12. The tandem also combined for 15 rebounds, seven assists and five blocks.
“I’ve always said that if you’re going to go to a horse race you better have some horses,” Rossi said. “And we do.”
Regina has horses to, but they’ve been stabled.
“We actually played Regina at Akron (in a shootout) and we thought we played right with them,” Rossi said. “We’re just tickled to death to be in the final and we never even talked about meeting (Regina) in the championship. It’s just a situation where whoever we’re playing we’re going to bring our best shot.”
Saturday it won’t be the Royals receiving that blow.