Harvest Prep earns shot to match girls; Berlin Hiland awaits in D-IV Final

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Harvest Prep has a chance Saturday to match the D-IV state title its girls won last week. (Gary Housteau)

The 89th annual Ohio High School Boys Basketball State Tournament wrapped up its first day of action Thursday with the Division IV semifinals. In one match-up, Harvest Prep tried to match its girls, while Houston tried to give the SCL another finalist. In the other match-up Berlin Hiland’s height tangled with Continental’s quickness…


The 89th annual Ohio High School Boys Basketball State Tournament wrapped up its first day of action Thursday with the Division IV semifinals. In one match-up, Harvest Prep tried to match its girls, while Houston tried to give the SCL another finalist. In the other match-up Berlin Hiland’s height tangled with Continental’s quickness…

Canal Winchester Harvest Prep 54, Houston 39

Photo Gallery Below

In the first Division IV semifinal, Harvest Prep used its superior athleticism and quickness to run out to a 27-14 halftime lead virtually overwhelming the Wildcats. The Warriors used a strong defensive effort in the second half to complete a 54-39 victory.

For most of the evening Houston looked in awe of the entire situation and its shooting added to the theory. The Wildcats shot just 14-of-45 from the field and a brisk 10-23 from the free throw line.

Meanwhile, Harvest Prep used its relentless defensive pressure and constant attacking of the offensive glass to earn the big lead. Prep scored 40 points in the paint compared to 24 from Houston and held a 32-11 advantage in terms of bench points.

To Houston’s defense they were down a starter in Jacob Monnier due to illness, but its top three scorers went just 7-of-26 from the floor.

Shakir Dunning scored 10 points for Prep (22-5) and Eric Brown came off the bench to tally nine points and snare eight boards. Dunning was just 5-of-16 from the field.

Houston (20-6) got eight points apiece from seniors Josh Redd and Derek Estes and seven from classmate Jacob Benanzer.

Player of the Game:
Grant Harris (Harvest Prep) scored 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting and added five rebounds.

Stat of the Game: Houston was 6-of-19 from the charity stripe in the 4th quarter.

Berlin Hiland 70, Continental 56

The Hiland Hawks were just too big for the Continental Pirates in Thursday night’s Division 4 night cap. The Hawks were able to use their size and versatility for a  70-56 victory.

Hiland’s bigs are very versatile, which makes it very tough for the opponent. The Hawks started two kids 6-5 and 6-7, while bringing 6-7 and 6-6 off the bench. By the way, the 6-7 kid off the bench just happens to be a Division 1 college prospect in Seger Bonifant.

The Hawks raced out to a 15-9 advantage after one period of play, and extended the lead to 32-22 at the break.

The Pirates would hang tough in the 3rd quarter behind some quality play from John Spitnale, Brock Homier, Auston Sharp, and Dylan Geckle. Continental was able to inch a little closer trailing 53-44 after the third quarter.

Continental scored the first five points of the final stanza to cut the lead to just four points.

With Hiland (26-1) clinging to a 53-49 and Continental owning the possession, Seger Bonifant came up with a big block and Dylan Kaufman scored at the other end. Kaufman followed the next Continental possession with a block of his own and then scored again at the other end.

Kaufman later found senior Jalen Miller on a pretty pass and finish to extend the lead to 59-51 and all but seal the deal. Noah Boyd and Miller would score again on fast break lay ups to virtually put it out of reach at 64-53 with 1:45 to play in the contest.

Jalen Miller scored 13 points for the winners and Kaufman and Boyd both added nine. Kaufman didn’t make a field until 30 seconds remaining in the third quarter, but did manage nine rebounds and four assists. 6-6 junior Neil Gingerich added 10 points.

Continental (21-4) got 15 points from Spitnale on 7-of-9 shooting and six rebounds. Geckle chipped in 14, Sharp tossed in 13, and Homier had 12 before fouling out.

Player of the Game:
Seger Bonifant (Berlin Hiland) scored 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting using a variety of face up and back to the basket moves.

Stat of the Game: Hiland’s bench out scored Continental’s pine, 33-2 thanks to Bonifant and Gingerich.

D-IV SEMIFINAL PHOTO GALLERY (By Gary Housteau)

 

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