Saturday’s highly-anticipated match-up between Cincinnati Taft and Cleveland Central Catholic in the Division III state final never materialized. Taft dominated from start to finish. The Senators 95-52 win ties for the biggest margin of victory ever in state tournament history.
DIVISION III STATE FINAL
CINCINNATI TAFT 95, CLEVELAND CENTRAL CATHOLIC 52 (Box
Photo Gallery Below
Saturday’s highly-anticipated match-up between Cincinnati Taft and Cleveland Central Catholic in the Division III state final never materialized. Taft dominated from start to finish. The Senators 95-52 win inside Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center ties for the biggest margin of victory ever in state tournament history. Mariemont won the Class B title in 1953 by 43 points over Philo (87-44) as well.
The state championship is the first for any Taft program and it’s the first boys basketball state title by a Cincinnati Public School since 1988 (Woodward won D-I). Taft’s title was the first for any Cincinnati school since 2007.
The Senators (26-1) trailed 2-0 but then scored 74 of the games next 97 points to lead 74-25 after three quarters.
Junior standout Adolphus Washington led the Senators with another monster game. After scoring 22 in Taft’s semifinal victory over Columbus Africentric, Washington scored a team-high 18 and pulled down eight rebounds. Jalen and Chris Lowe added 15 and 12 points, respectively. Eleven players scored for Taft, which shot 54-percent from the floor (38-of-70). The Senators were 13-of-22 (59-percent) from 3s.
CCC (19-9) hit 16-of-50 shots from the floor but was a miserable 1-of-17 from 3-point range. Super senior Anton Grady (Cleveland State) had another double-double with 22 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks. In CCC’s semifinal win over Portsmouth, Grady had 26 points and tied an all-divisions state tournament record with 22 rebounds.
Taft outscored CCC 40-24 in the paint and 23-10 off turnovers.
*Player of the Game: Adolphus Washington (Taft) will be a Division I football player, but he stated his case this weekend as a standout hoops player. Washington had 40 points and 12 rebounds in two games.
*State of the Game: Taft’s bench outscored CCC’s 46-7.
D-III JJHUDDLE ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Adolphus Washington, Cincinnati Taft (MVP)
Anton Grady, Cleveland Central Catholic
Jalen Lowe, Cincinnati Taft
Marquice Taylor, Columbus Africentric
Andrew Bendolph, Portsmouth
D-III STATE FINAL PHOTO GALLERY
(By Gary Housteau)