37th Annual Girls Basketball State Tourney: Teams, Schedule, Broadcasts, Previews & More…

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Girls Basketball State Tournament

The 37th annual OHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournaments return to Value
City Arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center for the twelfth
consecutive year this Thursday afternoon. Here everything you need to know: Players, Teams, Schedule, Live Broadcasts, News, Notes, Rankings and more…


SCHEDULE, PAIRINGS & LIVE BROADCASTS

Division I
Value City Arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center
Semifinal, Friday, 6 p.m.
No. 3 Kettering Fairmont (23-3) vs. Toledo Notre Dame Academy (22-4)
Semifinal, Friday, 8 p.m.
No. 1 Reynoldsburg (26-0) vs. No. 2 Twinsburg (23-3)
Championship: Saturday, March 17, 8:30 p.m.

LISTEN LIVE: Semifinals & Final (OHSAA Radio Network)

Division II
Value City Arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center
Semifinal, Friday, 1 p.m.
No. 8 Millersburg West Holmes (23-3) vs. No. 7 Lima Bath (23-2)
Semifinal, Friday, 3 p.m.
No. 1 Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown (20-5) vs. Bellbrook (22-4)
Championship: Saturday, March 17, 5:15 p.m.

LISTEN LIVE: Semifinals & Final (OHSAA Radio Network)

Division III
Value City Arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center
Semifinal, Thursday, 6 p.m.
No. 2 Smithville vs. No. 4 Columbus Africentric Early College (21-4)
Semifinal, Thursday, 8 p.m.
No. 6 Findlay Liberty-Benton (23-2) vs. No. 1 Anna (26-0)
Championship: Saturday, March 17, 2:00 p.m.

LISTEN LIVE: Semifinals & Final (OHSAA Radio Network)

Division IV
Value City Arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center
Semifinal, Thursday, 1 p.m.
No. 10 Arlington (25-1) vs. No. 7 Mansfield St. Peter’s (21-4)
Semifinal, Thursday, 3 p.m.
Berlin Hiland (18-8) vs. No. 2 New Madison Tri-Village (25-1)
Championship: Saturday, March 17, 10:45 a.m.

LISTEN LIVE: Semifinals & Final (OHSAA Radio Network)

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OGBR TOURNAMENT HIGHLIGHTS & OVERVIEW

(Ohio Girls Basketball Report)

OVERVIEW

•There are 4 teams returning from last year’s Final Fours: (D-I) Twinsburg & Kettering Fairmont, (D-II) Hathaway Brown, and (D-III) Anna 

•There are 3 reigning state champions returning to this year’s Final Fours  (D-I) Twinsburg; (D-II) Hathaway Brown, and; (D-III) Anna

•There are 12 new teams out of the 16 teams in the State Final Fours from last year. 

•Only 3 of the 16 teams in this year’s state Final Four(s) are making their school’s first ever appearance in the Final Four. (D-I) Toledo Notre Dame; (D-IV) Arlington, and (D-IV) New Madison Tri-Village.

•There are 3 undefeated teams among this year’s Final Four(s): D-I Reynoldsburg; D-III Anna & D-III Smithville.

Notes:
-Reigning D-III State Champion, Anna is currently on a 49 game winning streak.
-Reigning D-I State Champion, Twinsburg has not lost to an Ohio team since March 2010. (Canton McKinley – 2010 Regional Semis). Twinsburg is on a 44-0 run against Ohio teams. 

•This is the 3rd consecutive year a team from the Greater Cincinnati metropolitan area has not appeared in any of the State Final Fours. Prior to this 3-year drought it had been since 1993 (17 years) when there has not been a team from the Greater Cincinnati metropolitan area in any of the four division Final Fours.

•To date this year in Ohio there have been 62 NCAA D-I College commitments/signees. Only 7 of those 62 are competing in this year’s Final Fours.(see commitment list)

•There are 23 underclassmen who are legit NCAA D-I prospects competing in this year’s Final Four(s).

Source(s): Dan Olson, Collegiate Girls Basketball Report; Mark Lewis, Blue Star Media; Tom Jenkins, Ohio Girls Basketball Report       

HISTORICAL NOTES & OTHER FACTS

1. Head Coach Paul Barlow (Hathaway Brown – D-II) becomes the 1st head coach to compete in 6 consecutive state Final Fours over the 37 year history of the Ohio High School State Tournament.

2. Hathaway Brown has won 27 consecutive tournament games. Their last tournament loss was in March 2008 against Kettering Alter in the D-II Championship Game.

3. Hathaway Brown is looking to become the 3rd school in Ohio High School Basketball history to win 4 consecutive state titles. (The other 2 are Cincinnati Mt. Notre Dame and South Euclid Regina)

4. Berlin Hiland and Mansfield St. Peter’s with this trip have made more Final Four appearances than any other Ohio schools in the 37 year history of the OHSAA state tournament with 12 Final Four appearance each.

5. Head Coach Dave Schlabach (Berlin Hiland – DIV) is making his 10th trip to the State Final Four which is the 2nd most of any active coach in the state. (Dave Butcher (Pickerington & Pickerington North) is 1st of all active coaches with12 Final Fours) 

6. Berlin Hiland and Millersburg West Holmes are the only 2 OHSAA member schools in Holmes County. These 2 schools have a combined 18 Final Four appearances in the tournament’s 37 year history. This is the 1st year that both schools have been to the Final Four in the same year.

7. West Holmes Head Coach Lisa Patterson played at West Holmes during the school’s record setting 108 consecutive game win streak otherwise known as “The Lisa Cline Years” (1983 – 1987)  (Lisa Cline played collegiately at Ohio State)

8. Of the 798 current OHSAA member schools playing girls basketball, Bellbrook has fielded a team the longest. Bellbrook has fielded a high school girls basketball team since 1925.

9. Of the 16 teams competing in this year’s Final Four, only 2 schools are in the Top 10 in All-Time Wins: D-II Lima Bath (2nd), and D-IV Berlin Hiland (6th)

10. Reigning D-I Head Coach Julie Solis (Twinsburg) last year became 1 of 4 coaches in the state to take 2 different school districts to the State Final Four. (Solon in 2006 losing to Cincinnati Mt. Notre Dame in the D-I championship game). {Ironically Twinsburg beat Solon in this year’s regional final to get back the State Final Four}

The other 3 are Coach Pam Davis (Barberton & Canton McKinley), Coach Nann Stechshulte (Cincinnati Oak Hills & Minster) and Coach Pat Diulus (Garfield Trinity & Regina).

11.  Twinsburg Head Coach Julie Solis interned for Reynoldsburg Head Coach Jack Purtell when Coach Jack Purtell was the head boys coach at Doylestown Chippewa. Coach Purtell and Coach Solis will face each other in this year’s D-I semifinal.

12.  Twinsburg senior Malina Howard (University of Maryland) is the only Ohio player this year to be named as a McDonald’s All-American. She also was the only Ohio player to be named WBCA All-American and was selected as Ohio’s Gatorade Player of the Year. Additionally she is the only Ohio player who has been a member of the USA 18u and 19u World Championship Gold Medal Teams. {WBCA = Women’s Basketball Coaches Association}

13.  Twinsburg senior Malina Howard (University of Maryland) and Reynoldsburg sophomore Alyssa Rice are both ranked the #1 post     player in their respective classes by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. They will match up against each other in the D-I Final Four. Both Howard and Rice were AAU Club teammates on Sports City U.

14. Reynoldsburg is only 1 of 2 teams in Ohio this year that start 5 NCAA D-I college prospects. The other is Toledo Rogers.

STATE POLLS

AP Top 10 Final State Poll
10 of the 16 teams in this year’s Final Fours were ranked in the AP’s Top 10 Final Poll

D-I: Reynoldsburg(#1); Twinsburg(#2); Kettering Fairmont(#10);   
D-II: Lima Bath(#6); Hathaway Brown(#7)
D-III: Anna(#1); Smithville(#3); Liberty Benton(#7); Africentric(#10)
D-IV: Arlington (#2)

2 of the 4 teams ranked #1 and were crowned AP Poll State Champions     are in this year’s Final Fours (D-I Reynoldsburg & D-III Anna)

OGBR/JJHuddle Top 10 Final State Poll
13 of the 16 teams in this year’s Final Fours were ranked in the OGBR/JJ Huddle Top 10 Final Poll

D-I: Reynoldsburg(#1); Twinsburg(#2); Kettering Fairmont (#3)
D-II: Hathaway Brown(#1); Lima Bath(#7); West Holmes(#8)
D-III: Anna(#1); Smithville(#2); Africentric(#4); Liberty Benton(#6)
D-IV: New Madison Tri Village (#2); Mansfield St. Peter’s (#7); Arlington (#10)

3 of the 4 teams ranked #1 and were crowned OGBR/JJ Huddle Poll State     Champions are in this year’s Final Fours (D-I Reynoldsburg; D-II Hathaway Brown; D-III Anna)

National Polls (as of March 12, 2012)

USA Today Super 25: Twinsburg  #17
ESPN/Rise Powerade Fab 50: Twinsburg #12; Kettering Fairmont #33   
MaxPreps Xcellent 25: Reynoldsburg #15; Twinsburg #21

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TEAMS

(Ohio Girls Basketball Report/JJHuddle/OHSAA Reports)

DIVISION I

Kettering Fairmont (22-2)
Nickname: Firebirds
Girls Enrollment: 877
Final OGBR/JJHuddle 2012 Ranking (Final AP Ranking): No. 3 (No. 10)
State Appearances: 2012, 2011, 2010
Head Coach: Tim Cogan 217-75 (12 yrs.)
PPG: 58.1; OPP: 37.8
G 12 Danielle Newell, 5-9 So., ppg
F 20 Shea Morgan, 5-9, Fr., ppg
G 22 Chelsea Welch, 5-9, Jr., ppg
F 32 Alona Skipper, 5-8, Jr., ppg
C 33 Kathryn Westbeld, 6-2, So., ppg

OGBR Extra Buckets…
• 3rd consecutive State Final Four appearance
• 2010 was 1st ever Final Four appearance in school’s history
• Beat 1 Top 10 ranked team to get to the Final Four this year (Cincinnati Princeton: AP #9; OGBR/JJ Huddle #8)
• National Polls: ESPN/Rise Powerade Fab 50 (#33)
• AP Poll #10; OGBR/JJ Huddle Poll #3
• 2 of the 3 losses came against Top 10 ranked D-I teams: Lost to Twinsburg @ Classic in the Country & to Pickerington North in championship game @ Pickerington North’s Key Bank Holiday Classic…3rd loss was to area rival Fairborn
• Return 4 starters from a year ago; Junior point guard Chelsea Welch has started at all 3 Final Fours; No seniors on this year’s roster and only 2 juniors
• Have the best 2-player frontcourt combination in the state and maybe the nation in Westbeld & Waterman
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Toledo Notre Dame Academy (22-4)
Nickname: Eagles
Girls Enrollment: 465
Final OGBR/JJHuddle 2012 Ranking (Final AP Ranking): Not Ranked (Not Ranked)
State Appearances: 2012
Head Coach: Travis Galloway 66-24 (4 yrs.)
PPG: 66.3; OPP: 37.1
G 24 Cat Wells, 5-4, Sr., 11.7 ppg
W 12 Demy Whitaker, 5-8, Sr., 10.2 ppg
P 32 Michelle Holmes, 6-0, Sr., 12.3 ppg
W 23 Ashley Kynard, 5-10, Sr., 6.7 ppg
P 10 Jayda Worthy, 5-1 So., 7.1 ppg

OGBR Extra Buckets…
• 1st State Final Four appearance in school’s history
• Only D-I team at the Final Four that was not ranked in the AP Top 10 Final Poll or in the OGBR/JJ Huddle Top 10 Final Poll
• Only D-I Final Four team that did not face nor have to beat a Top 10 ranked team to get to the Final Four this year
{Toledo – Team / Coach Notes continued}
• 3 of their 4 losses came against Top 10 ranked D-I teams: Lost to Reynoldsburg, Midpark and Hathaway Brown; 4th loss was against Wadsworth @ Classic in the Country who they beat in the     regional final to get to Columbus
• Coach Travis Galloway in his 4th year has compiled a 66-24 record
• Return 4 starters from a year ago; all 4 are seniors this year
• Have the best rebounder in the state in 6’2 Michelle Holmes who has posted multiple 20+ rebound games…averages double double  _______________________________________________________________

Reynoldsburg (26-0)
Nickname: Raiders
Girls Enrollment: 668
Final OGBR/JJHuddle 2012 Ranking (Final AP Ranking): No. 1 (No. 1)
State Appearances: 2012, 2010
Head Coach: Jack Purtell 181-58 (10 yrs.)
PPG: 62.0; OPP: 34.7 
G 12 Yamonie Jenkins, 5-7, Jr., 5.8 ppg
G 15 Aliyah Zantt, 5-7, Sr., 11.4 ppg
G 33 Shiloh Murphy, 5-9, Jr., 6.4 ppg
P 42 Destini Cooper, 6-0, Jr., 10.2 ppg
P 45 Alyssa Rice, 6-3, So., 12.3 ppg

OGBR Extra Buckets…
• 2nd State Final Four appearance in 3 years
• Return 2 starters and 4 of the top 7 players from 2010 Final Four appearance.
• Only 2 seniors in this year’s 6 player rotation (start 1 senior, 3 juniors & 1 sophomore)
• Reynoldsburg is 1 of 2 teams in Ohio that start 5 NCAA D-I prospects. {Toledo Rogers is the other one}
• Beat 2 Top 10 ranked teams to get to the Final Four this year: Canton McKinley: AP #6; OGBR/JJ Huddle #10; Columbus Northland: OGBR/JJ Huddle #9
• When Coach Jack Purtell was the head boys coach at Doylestown Chippewa Coach Julie Solis interned under him. Coach Purtell and Coach Solis will face each other in this year’s D-I semifinal.
• Reynoldsburg sophomore Alyssa Rice and Twinsburg senior Malina Howard (University of Maryland) are both ranked the #1 post player in their respective classes by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. They will match up against each other in the D-I Final Four. Both Howard and Rice were AAU Club teammates on Sports City U.

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Twinsburg (23-3)
Nickname: Tigers
Girls Enrollment: 523
Final OGBR/JJHuddle 2012 Ranking (Final AP Ranking):  No. 2 (No. 2)
State Appearances: 2012, 2011
Head Coach: Julie Solis 66-24 (4 yrs.)
PPG: 65.9; OPP: 39.6
C 5 Malina Howard, 6-4, Sr., 19.0ppg
G 1 Ashley Morrissette, 5-9, Jr., 15.0 ppg
G 12 Leah Fechko, 5-8, Sr., 12.0 ppg
F 14 LaShawna Gatewood, 5-10, Sr., 6.0 ppg
G 15 Nichole Mabry, 5-6, Sr., 6.0 ppg

OGBR Extra Buckets…
• Reigning D-I State Champion
• 2nd State Final Four appearance in school history
• National Polls: USA Today Super 25 (#17); MaxPreps Xcellent 25 (#21); ESPN/Rise Powerade Fab 50 (#12); USA Today Regional (#7 Midwest)  
• AP Poll #2; OGBR/JJ Huddle Poll #2
• Beat 1 Top 10 ranked team to get to the Final Four this year (Midpark: AP #8; OGBR/JJ Huddle #7)
• 44 consecutive wins against Ohio teams (last loss to Ohio team was March 2010 vs. Canton McKinley in the regional semis 43-45)
• 3 losses this year were to nationally ranked out-of-state teamS{Bolingbrooke (IL); Memphis Central (TN), and; DuPont Manual (KY)}
• 2 of their 23 wins this year were against nationally ranked out-of-state teams. {Shabazz NJ) and Detroit Country Day (MI)}
• Head coach Julie Solis last year became 1 of 4 coaches in the state to take 2 different school districts to the State Final Four. (Solon in 2006 losing to Cin. Mt. Notre Dame in championship game; Twinsburg in 2011 winning state title; Twinsburg again this year..ironically she has to beat Solon this year in the regional finals to get back to Columbus.
• Head Coach Julie Solis interned for Reynoldsburg Head Coach Jack Purtell when Coach Purtell was the head boys coach at Doylestown Chippewa. Coach Purtell and Coach Solis face each other in this year’s D-I semifinal.
• Twinsburg senior Malina Howard (University of Maryland) and Reynoldsburg sophomore Alyssa Rice are both ranked the #1 post  player in their respective classes by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. They will match up against each other in the D-I Final Four. Both Howard and Rice were AAU Club teammates on Sports City U.

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DIVISION II

Millersburg West Holmes (23-3)
Nickname: Lady Knights
Girls Enrollment: 302
Final OGBR/JJHuddle 2012 Ranking (Final AP Ranking): No. 8 (Not Ranked)
State Appearances: 2012, 1995, 1993, 1986, 1985, 1984
Head Coach: Lisa Patterson 119-28 (6 yrs.)
PPG: 52.4; OPP: 38.0
G 2 Emily Molnar, 5-6, So., 5.3 ppg
G 10 Paiten Strother, 5-8, So., 9.6 ppg
P 22 Mallori Vess, 5-9, Jr., 4.5 ppg
G 24 Laina Snyder, 6-1, So., 15.4 ppg
G 31 Rachelle Morrison, 5-7, Jr., 8.5 ppg

OGBR Extra Buckets…
• 6th State Final Four appearance in school’s history; 1st Final Four appearance under Head Coach Lisa Patterson; last appearance 1995
• West Holmes holds the record for Most Consecutive Wins with 108 under Hall of Fame Coach Jack Van Reeth from 1983-1987;  
• West Holmes Head Coach Lisa Patterson played at West Holmes during the school’s record setting 108 consecutive game win streak otherwise known as “The Lisa Cline Years” (1983 – 1987)    (Lisa Cline played collegiately at Ohio State)
• AP Poll #N/R; OGBR/JJ Huddle Poll #8
• 1 of 2  D-II Final Four teams that did not face nor have to beat a Top 10 ranked team to get to the Final Four this year (Hathaway Brown the other)
• 2 of 3 losses this year (both @ Classic in the Country) were against in-state Top 10 ranked teams: Columbus Northland (D-I): OGBR/JJ Huddle #9; Hathaway Brown (D-II): AP #7; OGBR/JJ Huddle #1; 3rd loss was to D-I Wooster (7th game of the year)
• On a roll as they have won 13 straight since 4 point loss to reigning D-II     State Champion Hathaway Brown

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Lima Bath (23-2)
Nickname: Wildkittens
Girls Enrollment: 479
Final OGBR/JJHuddle 2012 Ranking (Final AP Ranking): No. 7 (No. 6)
State Appearances: 2012, 2008, 02002, 1999, 1996, 1987
Head Coach: Greg Mauk 261-72 (14 yrs.)
PPG: 52.4; OPP: 38.0
G 3 Jess Johns, 5-8, Sr., 8.0 ppg
F 24 Maddie Clark, 5-7, Sr., 4.3 ppg
C 31 Emily Ruhe, 6-0, Jr., 14.0 ppg
G 33 Taylor Dackin, 5-8, Jr., 8.2 ppg
F 44 Kaitlin Singhaus, 6-1, Jr., 8.0 ppg

OGBR Extra Buckets…
• 6th State Final Four appearance in school’s history; 4th Final Four appearance under Head Coach Greg Mauk; last appearance 2008
• Lima Bath is 2nd in All-Time Wins in Ohio girls high school basketball history;  
• AP Poll #6; OGBR/JJ Huddle Poll #7
• Beat 2 Top 10 ranked team to get to the Final Four this year: Toledo Rogers: OGBR/JJ Huddle #6; Clyde: AP #3; OGBR/JJ Huddle #4
• Both losses this year were against in-state Top 10 ranked teams: Dayton Carroll (D-II): AP #4; OGBR/JJ Huddle #3; Ottoville (D-IV): AP #1; OGBR/JJ Huddle #1
• With 14 years as head coach at Lima Bath, Coach Greg Mauk is the 3rd longest tenured coach in this year’s Final Four(s). Dave Schalabach of Berlin Hiland (21 years) and Mike Miller of Smithville (16 years)

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Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown (22-2)
Nickname: Blazers
Girls Enrollment: 247
Final OGBR/JJHuddle 2012 Ranking (Final AP Ranking): No. 1 (No. 7)
State Appearances: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007
Head Coach: Paul Barlow 208-86 (12 yrs.)
PPG: 51.2; OPP: 42.7
W 1 Vanessa Smith, 6-1, Jr., 16.6 ppg
W 3 Stephanie Solano, 6-4, Jr., 5.4 ppg
G 4 Beth Brosowski, 5-7, So., 5.6 ppg
P 10 Stephanie Poland, 6-4, Jr., 9.6 ppg
W 24 Nia Marshall, 6-0, Jr., 12.6 ppg

OGBR Extra Buckets…
• Reigning D-II State Champion – have won 3 straight titles and made 6 consecutive appearances in the Final Four.
• Head Coach Paul Barlow (Hathaway Brown – D-II) becomes the 1st head coach to compete in 6 consecutive state Final Fours over the 37 year history of the Ohio High School State Tournament.
• Hathaway Brown has won 27 consecutive tournament games. Their last tournament loss was in March 2008 against Kettering Alter in the D-II Championship Game. {since 2007 they are 41-2 in tournament games}
• Hathaway Brown is looking to become the 3rd school in Ohio High School Basketball history to win 4 consecutive state titles. (The other 2 are Cincinnati Mt. Notre Dame and South Euclid Regina)
• AP Poll #7; OGBR/JJ Huddle Poll #1
• 1 of 2  D-II Final Four teams that did not face nor have to beat a Top 10 ranked team to get to the Final Four this year (West Holmes the other)
• 4 of the  5 losses this year were to either nationally ranked out-of-state teams or in-state D-I Top 10 teams:{Shabazz (NJ); Oak Hill (VA); Canton McKinley, and Twinsburg}
• 3 of their 20 wins this year were against other State Final Four teams. {D-I Toledo Notre Dame; D-II West Holmes; D-III Columbus Africentirc}
• Year-in-year-out Hathaway Brown plays the toughest schedule in Ohio
• Coach Paul Barlow is also the Assistant Athletic Director and golf coach winning the 2010 Division II State Golf Championship
• Ivy League connection with Hathaway Brown program:
2008 Angela Groves to Princeton
2011 Sarah Poland to Cornell
2013 Vanessa Smith committed to Princeton
2013 Nia Marshall recruited by Brown, Cornell & Dartmouth
2013 Stephanie Poland recruited by Dartmouth

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Bellbrook (22-4)
Nickname: Golden Eagles
Girls Enrollment: 326
Final OGBR/JJHuddle 2012 Ranking (Final AP Ranking): No. 11 (Not Ranked)
State Appearances: 2012, 1976
Head Coach: Jason Tincher 133-49 (8 yrs.)
PPG: 60.9; OPP: 36.8
G 5 G. Etter, 5-10, Jr., 8.0 ppg
F 21 Shelby Sigman, 5-10, Sr., 7.0 ppg
G 23 Leisha Crawford, 5-8, Sr., 11.0 ppg
C 31 Chea Taylor, 6-0, So., 8.0 ppg
F 34 Erin Dorn, 5-11, Jr., 12.0 ppg

OGBR Extra Buckets…
• 2nd State Final Four appearance in school’s history; 1st appearance was in the 1st year of the OHSAA tournament in 1976
• Of the 798 current OHSAA member schools playing girls basketball, Bellbrook has fielded a team the longest. Bellbrook has fielded a high school girls basketball team since 1925.
• Only D-II team at the Final Four that was not ranked in the AP Top 10 Final Poll or in the OGBR/JJ Huddle Top 10 Final Poll
• Beat 2 Top 10 ranked team to get to the Final Four this year: Chaminade Julienne: AP #5; OGBR/JJ Huddle #2; Dayton Carroll: AP #4; OGBR/JJ Huddle #3
• 2 of their 4 losses came against nationally ranked out of state teams:{Potter’s House Academy (FL) & White Station (TN)}Another of their regular season losses came against Dayton Carroll (AP #4; OGBR/JJ Huddle #3), the team they had to beat in the regional finals to get to Columbus

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DIVISION III

Smithville (26-0)
Nickname: Smithies
Girls Enrollment: 139
Final OGBR/JJHuddle 2012 Ranking (Final AP Ranking): No. 2 (No. 3)
State Appearances: 2012, 2010, 2004, 1978
Head Coach: Mike Miller 285-53 (16 yrs.)
PPG: 57.9; OPP: 30.1
G 14 Adriana Fike, 5-4, So., 6.7 ppg
G 20 Kelsey Kallenborn, 5-5, Sr., 3.5 ppg
F 23 Olivia Besancon, 5-6, So., 4.5 ppg
F 32 Kylie Frizell, 5-10, Jr., 12.8 ppg
C 44 Tara Schaffer, 6-1, Sr., 17.0 ppg

OGBR Extra Buckets…
• 4th Appearance in the State Final Four.
• 3 of their 4 appearances have been under head Coach Mike Miller. (last appearance 2010)
• With 16 years as head coach at Smithville, Coach Mike Miller is the 2nd longest tenured coach in this year’s Final Four(s). (Dave Schalabach of Berlin Hiland has the longest tenure with 21 years)
• 1 of 2 D-III Final Four teams that are undefeated (Anna is the other)
• 1 of 2  D-III Final Four teams that did not face nor have to beat a Top 10 ranked team to get to the Final Four this year (Anna is the other)
• AP Poll #3; OGBR/JJ Huddle Poll #2
• Average margin of victory has been over 25 points a game
• Only allow opponents 30 points per game

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Columbus Africentric Early College (21.4)
Nickname: Nubians
Girls Enrollment: 153
Final OGBR/JJHuddle 2012 Ranking (Final AP Ranking): No. 4 (10th
State Appearances: 2012, 2009, 2008, 2007
Head Coach: William McKinney 186-43 (9 yrs.)
PPG: 76.0; OPP: 37.7
G 4 Darianne Seward, 5-5, So., 11.2 ppg
G 34 Kiyanna Black, 5-5, Sr., 15.7 ppg
G 23 Sierra Harley, 5-8, So., 7.3 ppg
G 2 Kyra Jones, 5-8, So., 3.4 ppg
C 33 Marley Hill, 6-2, Jr., 12.9 ppg

OGBR Extra Buckets…
• 4th State Final Four appearance in school’s history; last appearance 2009
• Head Coach Wil McKinney is in his 9th year and is the only head girls basketball coach Africentric has had since its inception;  
• This is Africentric’s 1st appearance in Division III; the other 4 appearances and 2 state titles were in Division IV
• AP Poll #10; OGBR/JJ Huddle Poll #4
• Beat 2 Top 10 ranked team to get to the Final Four this year: Fort Frye: AP #6; OGBR/JJ Huddle #7; Oak Hill: AP #8; OGBR/JJ Huddle #5
• All 4 losses this year were against in-state Top 10 ranked teams: Olentangy Orange (D-I): AP#7 (1st game of the year); Hathaway Brown (D-II): AP #7; OGBR/JJ Huddle #1 (2nd game of year); Lima Bath (D-II): AP #6; OGBR/JJ Huddle #7 (@Classic in the Country); Columbus Northland (D-I): OGBR/JJ Huddle #9 (City Championship)
• Post player Marley Hill, per her dad Eric, was named after deceased legendary reggae icon, Bob Marley.

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Findlay Liberty-Benton (23-2)
Nickname: Eagles
Girls Enrollment: 163
Final OGBR/JJHuddle 2012 Ranking (Final AP Ranking): 7th
State Appearances: 2012, 2012, 2009
Head Coach: Nate Irwin 143-40 (8 yrs.)
PPG: 56.1; OPP: 37.1
F 5 Samantha Rhodes, 5-8, Sr., 3.8 ppg
G 11 Rachel Myers, 5-7, So., 13.8 ppg
G 15 Cait Craft, 5-8, Sr., 21.7 ppg
F 22 Katie Simon, 6-0, Fr., 8.0 ppg
G 25 Carrie Reynolds, 5-7, So., 5.1 ppg

OGBR Extra Buckets…
• 3rd State Final Four appearance in school’s history; 3 Final Four appearances in 4 years all under Head Coach Nate Irwin. (D-III State Champons in 2010)
• AP Poll #7; OGBR/JJ Huddle Poll #6
• Beat 1 Top 10 ranked team to get to the Final Four this year: Archbold: AP #2; OGBR/JJ Huddle #8
• 2-1 during the regular season against in-state Top 10 ranked teams: beat Arlington(D-IV): AP #2; OGBR/JJ Huddle #10 (3rd game of season); beat Ft. Frye(D-III): AP#6; OGBR/JJ Huddle#7 (@Classic in the Country); lost Lima Bath(D-II): AP #6; OGBR/JJ Huddle #7 (16th game of season); Both losses were late in the season{other loss was to unranked Miller City in 18th game of season}
• 4-year starting guard Catie Craft is the younger sister of Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft. (Final Four 3 of her 4 years)

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Anna (26-0)
Nickname: Rockets
Girls Enrollment: 128
Final OGBR/JJHuddle 2012 Ranking (Final AP Ranking): 1st
State Appearances: 2012, 2011, 1982, 1981
Head Coach: Jack Billing 90-12 (4 yrs.)
PPG: 70.0; OPP: 35.6
F 23 Natalie Billing, 5-11, Jr., 17.1 ppg
F 25 Cayla Bensman, 5-7, Fr., 9.2 ppg
C 31 Ashley Frohne, 6-0, Sr., 11.9 ppg
G 11 Morgan Huelskamp, 5-9, Sr., 12.5 ppg
G 5 Erica Huber, 5-5, Jr., 8.3 ppg

OGBR Extra Buckets…
• Reigning D-III State Champion
• 4th Appearance in the State Final Four.
• 2 of their 4 appearances have been under Head Coach Jack Billing.
• Anna is currently riding a 49 game winning streak.
• 1 of 2 D-III Final Four teams that are undefeated (Smithville is the other)
• 1 of 2  D-III Final Four teams that did not face nor have to beat a Top 10 ranked team to get to the Final Four this year (Smithville is the other)
• AP Poll #1; OGBR/JJ Huddle Poll #1
• Star player Natalie Billing is the daughter of Head Coach Jack Billing

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DIVISION IV

Arlington (25-1)
Nickname: Red Devils
Girls Enrollment: 75
Final OGBR/JJHuddle 2012 Ranking (Final AP Ranking): 2nd
State Appearances: 2012
Head Coach: Seth Newlove 87-10 (4 yrs.)
PPG: 59.5; OPP: 35.2
F 3 Alivia Recker, 5-8, Sr., 10.7 ppg
G 12 Jessica Hunter, 5-5, Sr., 10.1 ppg
G 22 Abby Solt, 5-5, Sr., 3.4 ppg
G 24 Joy Reamsnyder, 5-7, Sr., 3.8 ppg
F 40 Amelia Recker, 5-9, Sr., 19.1 ppg

OGBR Extra Buckets…
• 1st State Final Four appearance in school’s history
• AP Poll #2; OGBR/JJ Huddle Poll #10
• Beat 2 Top 10 ranked teams to get to the Final Four this year: Ottoville: AP #1; OGBR/JJ Huddle #1; New Riegel: AP #5; OGBR/JJ Huddle #N/R
• Only loss came against Top 10 ranked D-III Liberty Benton{2nd regular season game of the season}
• Currently on a 23 game winning streak
• Average margin of victory has been over 20 points a game
• Do not have a player on the roster above 5’10
• Have three players that average double figures
• Interestingly, the Recker girls are part of a set of quadruplets…Amelia, Alivia and Anessa are all on the girls roster; the 4th is their brother Thayne who was named Conference Player of the Year on the boys side.

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Mansfield St. Peter’s (21-4)
Nickname: Lady Spartans
Girls Enrollment: 70
Final OGBR/JJHuddle 2012 Ranking (Final AP Ranking): Not Ranked
State Appearances: 2012, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 1988, 1987, 1984, 1983, 1980, 1979, 1977
Head Coach: Bill Tomsich 137-54 (8 yrs.)
PPG: 64.1; OPP: 41.5
G 14 Randa Payne, 5-9, Jr., 23.0 ppg
G 12 Felicity Alt, 5-9, Jr., 7.3 ppg
G 20 Ann-Marie Lindsay, 5-6, Sr., 4.1 ppg
P 30 Sarad Schuerer, 5-9, Sr., 4.6 ppg
P 42 Shabree Rawls, 5-10, Sr., 16.0 ppg

OGBR Extra Buckets…
• 12th State Final Four appearance in school’s history; last appearance ws in 2005  which was under Head Coach Bill Tomsich.
• Coach Tomsich has made 6 Final Four appearances with St. Peter’s; 4 as an assistant coach and 2 as the head coach
• Mansfield St. Peter’s and Berlin Hiland with this trip have made more Final Four appearances than any other Ohio schools in the 37 year history of the OHSAA state tournament with 12 Final Four appearance each.
• AP Poll NR; OGBR/JJ Huddle Poll #7
• 1 of 2  D-IV Final Four teams that did not face nor have to beat a Top 10 ranked team to get to the Final Four this year (Tri-Village is the other)
• 4 losses were from in-state ranked or quality teams; Lexington (D-II); St. Vincent St. Mary’s (D-II); Waterford (D-IV AP#6 – OGBR/JJ #9) and Lake Ridge Academy
• Junior Ann Marie Lindsey’s older sister, Whitney starred for St. Peter’s on their Final Four run 2003 – 2005 and then went on to play at Indiana.
• Average margin of victory has been over 25 points a game

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Berlin Hiland (18-8)
Nickname: Hawks
Girls Enrollment: 92
Final OGBR/JJHuddle 2012 Ranking (Final AP Ranking): Not Ranked
State Appearances: 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2000, 1999, 19997, 1990, 1989
Head Coach: Dave Schlabach 455-73 (21 yrs.)
PPG: 57.5; OPP: 34.7
G 3 Emily Yoder, 5-5, So., 4.7 ppg
G 5 McKenzie Miller, 5-11, Sr., 13.1 ppg
G 12 Jenica Schrock, 5-5, So., 3.0 ppg
G 22 Meagan Hall, 5-10, Sr., 6.8ppg
P 40 Bria Coil, 6-0, Sr., 3.4 ppg

OGBR Extra Buckets…
• Berlin Hiland and Mansfield St. Peter’s with this trip have made more Final Four appearances than any other Ohio schools in the 37 year history of the OHSAA state tournament with 12 Final Four appearance each.
• Head Coach Dave Schlabach (Berlin Hiland – DIV) is making his 10th trip to the State Final Four which is the 2nd most of any active coach in the state. (Dave Butcher (Pickerington & Pickerington North) is 1st of all active coaches with12 Final Fours)  
• Only D-I team at the Final Four that was not ranked in the AP Top 10 Final Poll and/or in the OGBR/JJ Huddle Top 10 Final Poll
• Beat 2 Top 10 ranked teams to get to the Final Four this year: Zanesville Rosecrans: AP #8; OGBR/JJ Huddle #5; Shadyside: AP #N/R; OGBR/JJ Huddle #4
• 64-9 victory in the regional final this year was the largest margin of victory in a regional final.
• 2nd worst record at 18-8 Coach Schlabach has had in his 21 years at Berlin Hiland.
• Of the 8 losses, 6 came from upper division schools (D-I or D-II): Lost to D-Is:  Cincinnati Withrow North Canton Hoover, Wadsworth & Wooster; Lost to D-IIs: West Holmes & Akron St. Vincent St. Mary’s

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New Madison Tri-Village (25-1)
Nickname: Patriots
Girls Enrollment: 79
Final OGBR/JJHuddle 2012 Ranking (Final AP Ranking): Not Ranked
State Appearances: 2012
Head Coach: Brad Gray 108-35 (6 yrs.)
PPG: 68.5; OPP: 36.6
P 15 Krystal Falknor, 6-0, So., 9.3 ppg
W 20 Teha Richards, 5-7, Jr., 9.5 ppg
G 24 Shaye Thomas, 5-4, Jr., 9.3 ppg
W 44 Lexie Bruner, 5-6, So., 4.7 ppg
P 45 Kayla Linkous, 5-11, Sr., 25.7 ppg

OGBR Extra Buckets…
• 1st State Final Four appearance in school’s history
• AP Poll #N/R; OGBR/JJ Huddle Poll #2
• 1 of 2  D-IV Final Four teams that did not face nor have to beat a Top 10 ranked team to get to the Final Four this year (St. Peter’s is the other)
• Longest game in D-IV tourney so far with a 4OT win over New KNoxville in the District Semi-Final
• Average over 60 points per game and 20 steals per game
• Have four players who average more than 9 points per game
• Star Player Kayla Linkous set school single game scoring record last year putting up 61 points

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FINAL OGBR/JJHUDDLE POWER POLLS

Who finished where…CLICK HERE

Ohio’s Top 10 Teams in each division (through the regular season)

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2012 TOURNAMENT PREVIEW

By OHSAA

The 37th annual OHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournaments return to Value City Arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center for the twelfth consecutive year this Thursday afternoon.

The divisional rotation  schedule for this year is small schools to big schools, IV, III, II and I, with  the state championship games tipping off Saturday at 10:45 a.m. 2:00
p.m., 5:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., respectively. All four title games will be  televised live by SportsTime Ohio.

Beginning with Division IV, No. 2 (AP Poll) Arlington (25-1) is the only ranked team in the field and had to defeat No. 5 New Riegel and undefeated No. 1 Ottoville in regional play to gain its school’s first state tournament appearance. Arlington’s only blemish on the season came at the hands of Division III state semifinalist No. 7 Findlay Liberty-Benton. The Red Devils are led by the school’s all-time leading scorer, senior Amelia Recker, who averages 19.1 ppg and 7.6 rpg, and her sister, Aliva Recker (10.7 ppg). The duo makes up two of three quadruplets on the team. Their other sister, Anessa Recker, is a reserve off the bench and their brother, Thayne, is a top player for the Arlington boys team. The Lady Spartans from Mansfield St. Peter’s (21-4) will face the Red Devils in their school’s twelfth state tournament appearance but first since 2005. Head Coach Bill Tomsich will rely on junior Randa Payne (23.0 ppg) and senior Shabree Rawls (16.0 ppg) to lead the Lady Spartans’ offensive charge.

The other side of the bracket matches first time state qualifier New Madison Tri-Village (25-1) against Berlin Hiland (18-8), which is making its school’s twelfth state tournament appearance after three consecutive trips in ’10, ’09 and ’08. Tri-Village, which is led by senior Kayla Linkous (25.7 ppg; 11.6 rpg), will rely on its potent offensive attack that puts up 68.5 ppg, the third-highest scoring output of teams in the tournament and highest in Division IV. Twenty-one year veteran head coach Dave Schlabach’s squad will counter with a defense that is holding teams to 34.7 ppg, the second-lowest in the tournament field. He’ll look toward senior McKenzie Miller, who averages 13.1 ppg, to help his squad on the offensive end.

The Division III final four features all four teams with more than 20 wins, including two undefeated teams, and matchups that include No. 3 versus No. 10 and the No. 1 defending state champion versus No. 7.

Smithville (26-0), which also made the final four in 2010, comes into the tournament allowing the fewest points per game (31.0) and is led by senior Tara Schaffer (17.0 ppg) and junior Kylie Frizell (12.8 ppg). Sixteen year veteran head coach Mike Miller will rely on that combination to counter the Columbus Africentric Early College (21-4) offensive that puts up a tournament-best 76.0 ppg. The Nubians’ trio of Kiyanna Black (SR; 15.7 ppg), Marley Hill (JR; 12.9 ppg) and Darianne Seward (SO; 11.2 ppg) will be looking to help bring back the school’s third state title, with the previous two coming in ‘09 and ‘07.

Findlay Liberty-Benton (23-2), which is back in the state tournament for the third time in four years, will look to win its school’s second state title behind the play of senior Cait Craft (21.7 ppg) and Rachel Myers (18.8 ppg). The Eagles’ tournament resume includes two solid regional wins over then-undefeated No. 2 Archbold in the semis and Centerburg in the regional finals. Defending state champion Anna (26-0) will counter the Eagles attack with the father-daughter duo of head coach Jack Billing and junior Natalie Billing (17.1 ppg; 11.3 rpg). On the season, the Rockets have defeated teams by an average of 34.4 ppg, including a 40.7 point margin during their tournament run. A win this year would be the school’s third state title.

The Division II final four features two intriguing battles with Millersburg West Holmes (23-3) taking on No. 6 Lima Bath (23-2) and defending state champion No. 7 Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown (20-5) facing Bellbrook (22-4).

Led by sixth-year head coach Lisa Patterson, West Holmes is back in the state tournament for the sixth time in school history but the first since 1995. Many avid basketball fans remember the Knights for their storied back-to-back-to-back (1984-1986) undefeated state title runs under recent Hall-of-Famer Coach Jack Van Reeth. This current version of the Knights features two juniors and three sophomores in the starting line-up, including their leading scorer sophomore Laina Snyder (15.4 ppg; 10.8 rpg). No. 7 Lima Bath, whose only two regular season losses came to No. 4 Dayton Carroll and Div. IV No. 1 Ottoville, will rely on the experience of 14-year veteran head coach Greg Mauk and its junior center Emily Ruhe, who averages 14.0 ppg.

Three-time defending state champion Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown will look to make it four in a row when they take on unranked Bellbrook in the second semifinal game. Hathaway Brown has made the state tournament for six consecutive years and has made it to the championship game every year, with runner-up finishes in ’07 and ‘08. They are led by head coach Paul Barlow and the junior duo of Vanessa Smith (16.6 ppg) and Nia Marshall (12.6 ppg). Though only making its second state tournament appearance in school history, and first since 1976, the Golden Eagles of Bellbrook are certainly battle-tested heading into the final four after having had to defeat the No. 5 and No. 4 teams in the state to get here. The Golden Eagles will look to break the Blazers’ streak behind the play of junior Erin Dorn (12.0 ppg) and senior Leisha Crawford (11.0 ppg).

The Division I final four features four teams which have combined for eight state tournament appearances in the last three years.

No. 3 Kettering Fairmont (22-2), which was the 2011 state runner-up, enters the tournament after solid regional wins over No. 9 Cincinnati Sycamore and Mason. It’s the Firebirds’ third consecutive trip to the state tournament. Their opponent will be first time state qualifier Toledo Notre Dame Academy (22-4). The Eagles, coached by Travis Galloway, are led by the senior trio of Michele Holmes (12.3 ppg), Cat Wells (11.7 ppg) and Demy Whitaker (10.2 ppg).

The last semifinal matchup of the tournament has the most intrigue in terms of rankings as undefeated No 1. Reynoldsburg (26-0) faces off against the No. 2 defending state champion Twinsburg (23-3).

Reynoldsburg returns to the state tournament for the second time after a one year hiatus when they were knocked out in the regional finals in 2011. Ten-year head coach Jack Purtell will depend on his team’s 34.7 ppg defensive average, the best in Division I, and a starting five that features three double digit scorers (So. Alyssa Rice, 12.3 ppg; Sr. Aliyah Zantt, 11.4 ppg; Jr. Destini Cooper, 10.2 ppg) to knock off the Tigers. The defending state champion Tigers are led by their senior All-Ohioan Malina Howard, who averages 19.0 ppg. She’ll also receive plenty of help from junior Ashley Morrissette (15.0 ppg) and senior Leah Fechko (12.0 ppg).

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