Cincinnati LaSalle and Columbus Northland to collide in Division I final

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Cincinnati LaSalle will play in the state championship game for the first time since 1996 on Saturday. (Gary Housteau)

The 89th annual Ohio High School Boys Basketball
State Tournament wrapped Day 2 with the Division I semifinals. In
the first game Cincinnati LaSalle and Toledo Central Catholic traded
punches in a nail-bitter, while in the second game Columbus Northland
and Garfield Heights squared off in a contest overloaded with talent.
Here’s how it went down…


The 89th annual Ohio High School Boys Basketball
State Tournament wrapped Day 2 with the Division I semifinals. In
the first game Cincinnati LaSalle and Toledo Central Catholic traded punches in a nail-bitter, while in the second game Columbus Northland and Garfield Heights squared off in a contest overloaded with talent. Here’s how it went down…

Cincinnati LaSalle 48. Toledo Central Catholic 46

Photo Gallery Below

Cincinnati La Salle and Toledo Central Catholic needed 31 minutes and 57 seconds to decide their Division I semifinal Friday night inside Value City Arena.

With the game knotted at 46, Cincinnati La Salle ran an isolation play for senior Brandon Neel. The lengthy 6-4 Neel caught the ball near the right block but lost his footing and threw the ball up on the back board. The wild attempt missed badly, but senior Matt Woeste flew in from the left side and laid in the miss giving the Lancers a 48-46 victory.

The shot made by Woeste sent the La Salle faithful into frenzy and put the Lancers in Saturday night’s Division 1 state championship game against powerful Columbus Northland.

La Salle jumped out to a 9-8 leaf after one despite a very slow start and extended its lead to 22-12 at half.

The Lancers opened up a 14-point lead in the third period before Toledo Central Catholic head coach Jim Welling decided to go with a younger line up.

Sophomores Cliff Bussey and Deontae Cole each knocked big shots sparking the Irish to a furious rally. Central Catholic cut the lead to 31-29 after 24 minutes and eventually took the lead in the fourth quarter.

The contest went back-and-forth down the stretch with Neel making difficult shots for the winners and Central Catholic getting big hoops from a number of kids. A game which lacked much excitement for the majority of the game turned into one of the best the weekend had to offer.

Senior Drew Lehman led Central Catholic with 13 points and Bussey added 11.

Senior Ryan Fleming tallied 11 for the Lancers and Woested added seven.

*Player of the Game:
Brandon Neel (La Salle) had 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting.

*Stat of the Game: Toledo Central Catholic shot 54 percent in the first half and was down 10 points.

Columbus Northland 67, Garfield Heights 59

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Friday night’s finale featuring Columbus Northland and Garfield Heights had plenty of side stories attached to it, but in the end the only story which mattered was the Vikings 67-59 triumph. The win sends Northland to its second state championship in the past three years where they will meet Cincinnati La Salle.

Northland used a strong inside game from 6-8 juniors Devon Scott and Jalen Robinson along with some big play from “big game” Jordan Potts to secure its 26th win of the season.

The Vikings led 14-8 after eight minutes and 31-22 at recess thanks to 13 points and six rebounds from Scott and eight tallies from Potts.

Garfield held a slight 15-14 edge in the third period in large part to Division 1 Co-Player of the Year Trey Lewis and his eight points.

Trailing 45-37 heading into the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs let the contest get away from them allowing the Vikings to open up 55-39 lead with 4:02 to play in the game.

Garfield waited too long, but did manage to make a bevy of shots late in the game eventually cutting the lead to 61-55. Lewis had 13 points in the quarter, but it was too little too late as Northland was nearly spotless from the line when it mattered.

Northland (26-1) got 16 points and four assists from Potts and 15 by Trey Burke despite a poor 4-of-17 shooting night. Burke was the second half of the Division 1 Co-Player of the Year duo.

Robinson added seven points and eight rebounds and Ke’Chaun Lewis chipped in seven and six.

Lewis paced the Bulldogs (25-2) with 33 points on 11-of-21 shooting including eight triples and six rebounds and sophomore Tony Farmer was good for 11 points and eight caroms. Junior Mike Davis added nine counters.

*Player of the Game:
Devon Scott (Northland) had 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting and 10 rebounds along with three blocks.

*Stat of the Game: Northland’s bench scored 22 points compared to just nine for Garfield.

D-I SEMIFINAL PHOTO GALLERY (By Gary Housteau)

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