Division II State Tournament Preview: Final Four teams own 24 trips to state


Benedictine’s Cameron Wright (Pitt) is the Bengals all-time leading scorer. (Photo by Nick Falzerano)

The 2010 OHSAA Division II Boy’s State Tournament will get underway
Thursday at 5:15 p.m. with Cleveland Benedictine (22-4) challenging
Dayton Dunbar (23-3) and Port Clinton (25-0) meeting Zanesville (17-7)
at 8:30 p.m. inside Value City Arena on the campus of Ohio State
University. Here’s what you need to know…

The 2010 OHSAA Division II Boy’s State Tournament will get underway Thursday at 5:15 p.m. with Cleveland Benedictine (22-4) challenging Dayton Dunbar (23-3) and Port Clinton (25-0) meeting Zanesville (17-7) at 8:30 p.m. inside Value City Arena on the campus of Ohio State University.

Here’s what you need to know…





Benedictine (22-4)
Nickname: Bengals
Boys Enrollment: 326
State Appearances: 2010, 1999, 1998, 1997
Head Coach: Rob Stircula
School Rec.: 82-43 (5 yrs.)
PPG: 69.8; OPP: 53.7
F 10 Nick Harney, 6-7, Sr., 15.5 ppg
F 40 Brian D’Amato, 6-6, Sr., 7.2 ppg
G 30 Desmond Ridenour, 6-0, So., 5.1 ppg
G 22 Cameron Wright, 6-5, Sr., 18.1 ppg
G 32 Derek Jackson, 6-1, Sr., 15.0 ppg

Cleveland Benedictine
has played some stiff competition that was specifically dialed up to prepare it for a D-II tournament run.  The Bengals lost in the regional finals two-straight years to Poland in 2007 and 2008 before losing to Akron East in a disappointing district final a year ago. Finally, in Year 4 of the Cam Wright/Derek Jackson Era, Benny is heading to Columbus.  Wright and Jackson were just seven years-old the last time Benedictine reached the final four.

Dunbar (23-3)
Location: Dayton
Nickname: Wolverines
Boys Enrollment: 302
State Appearances: 2010, 2007, 2006, 2005, 1987, 1984, 1971
Head Coach: Peter Pullen
School Rec.: 239-52 (12 yrs.)
PPG: 80.5; OPP: 57.6
F 3 Deontae Hawkins, 6-6, So., 10.2 ppg
C 2 Gary Akbar, 6-4, So., 6.5 ppg
G 22 Geron Johnson, 6-3, Sr., 16.0 ppg
G 33 Ryan Bass, 5-8, Sr., 12.2 ppg
G 24 Deon Stewart, 6-2, Sr., 10.5 ppg

Dayton Dunbar
is averaging 80.5 points per game, which is second most of the 16 teams remaining in Ohio. The Wolverines are getting just over 25 points per game from their bench, which registers as the highest bench scoring team in the tourney. Dunbar fired out of the gates with a 14-0 record culminating with a 98-76 pounding of nationally-ranked Chicago Whitney Young at the Flyin to the Hoop event in Kettering. The Wolverines won back-to-back state championships in 2006 and 2007 becoming only the third team to win consecutive titles in D-II since the start of the four-division alignment in 1988. Cleveland VASJ (94 and 95) and Benedictine (97 and 98) are the only others.  Dayton Dunbar is the home of Miami Heat guard Daequan Cook.

Port Clinton (25-0)
Location: Port Clinton
Nickname: Redskins
Boys Enrollment: 244
State Appearances: 2010
Head Coach: Troy Diels
School Rec.: 81-33 (5 yrs.)
PPG: 66.5; OPP: 47.5
F 25 Ryan Hicks, 6-6, Sr., 16.3 ppg
F 35 Josh Francis, 6-4, Sr., 16.2 ppg
G 21 Derek Colston, 6-3, Jr., 9.1 ppg
G 23 Allen Tigner, 6-2, Sr., 9.1 ppg
G 3 Cory Brown, 6-0, Sr., 8.9 ppg

Port Clinton
will be making its first trip to the state tournament. The Redskins accomplished a rare feat by moving up a division and making state. Last season, the ‘Skins were bounced in the D-III sectional final at Norwalk.  Interesting to note, Port Clinton’s outstanding senior class featuring Ryan Hicks, Josh Francis, Cory Brown and Allen Tigner is missing one individual in particular. Tory Horne, who transferred to Portsmouth, averaged nearly 26 points per game this season for the Trojans.

Zanesville (17-6)
Location: Zanesville
Nickname: Blue Devils
Boys Enrollment: 399
State Appearances: 2010, 1997, 1995, 1958, 1955, 1941, 1934, 1932, 1931, 1930, 1926, 1925
Head Coach: Scott Aronhalt
School Rec.: 311-147 (20 yrs.)
PPG: 52.0; OPP: 47.3
F 4 Raheem Forman, 6-1, Sr., 10.7 ppg
F 24 Al Harris, 6-4, Sr., 6.9 ppg
F 20 Cole Carpenter, 6-3, Jr., 7.8 ppg
G 30 Jordan Bouterse, 6-0, Sr., 7.6 ppg
P 10 Tanner Gibson, 6-1, Jr., 14.3 ppg

, which seems to be in the hunt for a title every season, is making its first state tournament appearance in 13 years. The Blue Devils needed a game-tieing 3-point shot by Tanner Gibson to escape a first round contest with Maysville. Zanesville eventually won by three in overtime. Zanesville is the alma mater of Houston Rockets guard Kevin Martin.

Cleveland Benedictine:
The Bengals are currently on a six-game winning streaK. In all, Benny has triumphed in 14 of its last 15 games only losing to D-I Cleveland St. Ignatius.
Dayton Dunbar: The Wolverines have won seven-straight. Dunbar started the season winning its first 14 games before losing 3-of-5 in late January to mid-February.
Port Clinton: The Redskins are undefeated and have not lost since March 6, 2009 when Castalia Margaretta dismissed them in the D-III Norwalk Sectional Final, 63-42.
Zanesville: The Blue Devils are riding a six-game winning streak despite losing seven of their first 18 games.

Cleveland Benedictine:
The Bengals are making their first state tournament appearance since 1999 when Frank Novak was leading the club. Benny made and won the D-II state championships in 1998 and 1997 in its only other visits.
Dayton Dunbar: The Wolverines are returning to the state tournament after a two-year absence. Dunbar cut the nets down in 2007 and 2006 after appearing in the 2005 state semis. Dunbar won it all in 1987 and finished runner-up in 1984 and 1971. The only other time (1984) Dunbar came into the state tournament with three losses they were defeated in the Class AAA Championship Game by Canton McKinley, 79-75, in overtime.
Port Clinton: The Redskins are making their first trip to the state tournament.
Zanesville: The Blue Devils will be participating in the state tournament for the first time since earning a runner-up finish in 1997. Big Blue won the title in 1995. Before 1995, the Blue Devils hadn’t made the state tournament since 1958. They won it in 1955 and 1925 while reaching the state tournament in 1941, 1934, 1932, 1931, 1930, and 1926.


Cleveland Benedictine (22-4)
Key Wins:
Richfield Revere, Cleveland Central Catholic, Columbus Brookhaven, Garfield Heights, Cincinnati Princeton, University School (2), and Akron SVSM (2).
Losses: Akron Buchtel, Lakewood St. Edward’s, Findlay Prep (NV), and Cleveland St. Ignatius.

Dayton Dunbar (23-3)
Key Wins:
Dayton Chaminade Julienne, Whitney Young (IL), Wilmington, Trotwood-Madison, Thurgood Marshall (3), Huron (MI), Kettering Alter, Cincinnati Indian Hill, and Columbus Bishop Watterson.
Losses: Canton Glen Oak, Akron Buchtel, and Dayton Jefferson.

Port Clinton (25-0)
Key Wins:
Clyde (2), Milan Edison (2), Sandusky Perkins (3), Norwalk, Bellevue (2), Tiffin Columbian, Mansfield Madison, Defiance, and Celina.
Losses: None.

Zanesville (17-7)
Key Wins:
Canal Winchester, Parkersburg South, Piketon, Reynoldsburg, Hilliard Davidson, Maysville, Dover, Carrollton, and Columbus DeSales.
Losses: Tri-Valley, Parkersburg South, Westerville Central, Upper Arlington, Massillon Washington, Warren Harding, and Wheeling Park (WV).

Cameron Wright (Cleveland Benedictine) Pitt
Derek Jackson (Cleveland Benedictine) Central Michigan
Ryan Bass (Dayton Dunbar) Oakland

Cameron Wright (6’5, Senior) Cleveland Benedictine
Derek Jackson (6’1, Senior) Cleveland Benedictine
Nick Harney (6’6, Senior) Cleveland Benedictine
Geron Johnson (6’3, Senior) Dayton Dunbar
Ryan Bass (5’9, Senior) Dayton Dunbar
Deon Stewart (6’3, Senior) Dayton Dunbar
Josh Francis (6’5, Senior) Port Clinton
Ryan Hicks (6’6, Senior) Port Clinton
Tanner Gibson (6’1, Senior) Zanesville
Raheem Forman (6’1, Senior) Zanesville

Desmond Ridenour (6’0) Cleveland Benedictine
Luke Heben (6’0) Cleveland Benedictine
Deontae “Teddy” Hawkins (6’6) Dayton Dunbar
Gary Akbar (6’4) Dayton Dunbar

Mark Williams (6’7) Cleveland Benedictine

Cameron Wright (Cleveland Benedictine)
Geron Johnson (Dayton Dunbar)
Ryan Bass (Dayton Dunbar)
Raheem Forman (Zanesville)

Cameron Wright (Cleveland Benedictine) 18.1 ppg.
Nick Harney (Cleveland Benedictine) 15.5 ppg.
Derek Jackson (Cleveland Benedictine) 15.0 ppg.
Geron Johnson (Dayton Dunbar) 16.0 ppg.
Ryan Bass (Dayton Dunbar) 12.2 ppg.
Deon Stewart (Dayton Dunbar) 10.5 ppg.
Deontae Hawkins (Dayton Dunbar) 10.2 ppg.
Ryan Hicks (Port Clinton) 16.3 ppg.
Josh Francis (Port Clinton) 16.2 ppg.
Tanner Gibson (Zanesville) 14.3 ppg.
Raheem Forman (Zanesville) 10.7 ppg.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *