Berlin Hiland wins Eastern District’s first boys basketball state title since 1995


Berlin HIland captured the D-IV title with a 63-48 win over Harvest Prep. (Gary Housteau)

Berlin Hiland owns eight trips to the boys basketball small school state tournament and Saturday the Hawks added title No. 2. Hiland downed Harvest Prep, 63-48, at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center to win their first Division IV state title since 1992.



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The Berlin Hiland Hawks once again used their superior size to overpower a worthy opponent and this time it was Harvest Prep in the Division IV State Championship Saturday at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center. The Hawks outscored the Warriors 26-11 in the fourth quarter to run away with a 63-48 victory thanks in large part to junior Seger Bonifant.

The 6-foot-7 Bonifant again came off the bench and proved he was the most dominant player on the floor. The Strasburg-Franklin transfer went to work in the paint in the final eight minutes scoring over his left shoulder on several jump hooks demoralizing the smaller Prep defenders.

Hiland led by one after one (8-7), but fell behind at halftime as the Warriors were getting several easy buckets in the lane in the second quarter.

Trailing 22-20 heading into the third quarter, the Hawks were able to tie the game at 37 by the quarter’s close. Harvest Prep’s Grant Harris knocked down a long range bomb from the left wing to bring the Warriors even at 37.

In the fourth quarter, it was the Bonifant show. Hiland was able to run a version of the Princeton offense to perfection and it allowed them several easy inside buckets.

Following a Shakir Dunning 3-poiner that made it 47-44, Hiland would score 16 of the next 20 points.

Lost in the Bonifant and Dylan Kaufman hype was the ultimate x-factor Jalen Miller. The 6-2 senior scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds. The lefty scored several buckets near the rim with his left hand and played solid defense all weekend.

Kaufman tallied 19 points on just 5-of-18 shooting, but managed to go 8-of-8 at the free throw line and grab eight boards. 6-7 senior Noah Boyd added eight points and chased down six strays.

Harvest Prep got 17 points from Dunning, a hard working senior. Junior Grant Harris chipped in 14.

Hiland was a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe.

*Player of the Game: Seger Bonifant (Berlin Hiland) had 21 points on 9-of-17 shooting and seven rebounds.

*Stat of the Game: Hiland scored 23 points off turnovers compared to just seven by the Prep, which is certainly a role reversal for the Warriors.
Seger Bonifant, Berlin Hiland (MVP)
Dylan Kaufman, Berlin Hiland
Jalen Miller, Berlin Hiland
Grant Harris, Harvest Prep
Shakir Dunning, Harvest Prep
John Spitnale, Continental

(By Gary Housteau)

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