The 37th annual OHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournaments returned to Value
City Arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center for the twelfth
consecutive year Thursday with the Division III and IV state semifinals. Here’s how things played out and who punched tickets to the Finals…
DIVISION IV STATE SEMIFINALS
The Division IV state semifinals tipped off the 37th annual OHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament on Thursday at Ohio State Schottenstein Center. Mansfield St. Peter’s and Berlin Hiland each entered the semis tied atop the list of most state berths (12 each). Did they survive? Here’s how things played out…
Arlington 55, Mansfield St. Peter’s 44
Arlington forced 22 turnovers and advanced to its first state final by beating Mansfield St. Peter’s 55-44.
The Red Devils (26-1) never trailed by more than a point and last trailed 15-14 with 5:01 left in the second quarter. Arlington, ranked No. 10 in the Final OGBR/JJHuddle D-IV Power Poll, fittingly took the lead for good on No. 7 St. Peter’s (21-5) on a free throw by senior Amelia Recker. Recker led all scorers with 24 points. She also grabbed 10 rebounds and had three assists.
Alivia Recker added 14 points.
Arlington led 22-19 at half but outscored St. Peter’s 16-7 in the third quarter and twice built 16-point fourth quarter leads.
It was the Red Devils 24th straight win.
Sarah Scheurer led St. Peter’s with 11 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
* Player of the Game: Amelia Recker, senior, Arlington…The standout forward bested her average (19.1 points per game) and hit 12-of-13 free throws en route to a game-high 24 points. Recker, who played all 32 minutes, also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
* Stat of the Game: Combined, the teams went 3-of-27 from 3-point range. Arlington was 2-of-16, while St. Peter’s was 1-of-11.
Berlin Hiland 53, New Madison Tri-Village 47
Hiland advanced to its eighth state final and sixth in eight years with a 53-47 win over first-time semifinalist and No. 2 ranked Tri-Village.
The unranked Hawks (19-8) used an 8-0 run in the final two minutes of the first half to turn a 23-20 deficit into a 28-23 advantage. The key moment was a 5-point play by Hiland’s Regina Hochstetler who hit a 3-pointer and was fouled after the shot. She then hit two ensuing free throws. Hiland never trailed in the second half, although Tri-Village cut it to 47-45 with 1:15 left on a pair of Kayla Linkous free throws. Hiland hit 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch to seal it.
Linkous – one of three girls in state history with 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds – scored 19 points (all of which came in the second half) and grabbed 10 rebounds. She entered the game averaging 25.7 points per game this season and 22 ppg for her career.
It was just the third time all year Tri-Village (25-2) was held under 50 points.
McKenzie Miller led Hiland with 17 points and seven rebounds. Hochstetler added 14 points.
Hiland’s bench outscored Tri-Village 22-0.
The Hawks are going for their fifth state title.
* Player of the Game: McKenzie Miller, senior, Berlin Hiland…Hawks leading scorer (13.1 ppg) posted team-highs in points (17) rebounds (seven) and 3-pointers (4-of-10). Miller’s 3 at the first half buzzer was one of the game’s biggest shots.
* Stat of the Game: Hiland forced nine turnovers and scored 18 points off of them.
D-IV Final: Arlington vs Berlin Hiland Saturday, 10:45 a.m.
Smithville’s Adriana Fike drives past Africentric defenders Kiyanna Black (34) and Kyra Jones (2) Thursday night in the Division III semifinals of the OHSAA Girls State Basketball tournament at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus. Africentric defeated the Smithies 57-37. (Ben Barnes, ImpactActionPhotos.com)
DIVISION III STATE SEMIFINALS
The Division III state semifinals capped off the first day of the 37th annual OHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament on Thursday at Ohio State Schottenstein Center. Anna was looking to extend a remarkable win streak, while Smithville was looking to remain unbeaten too. Did they? Here’s how things played out.
Columbus Africentric 57, Smithville 37
Led by a stifling defense, No. 4 Africentric (22-4) advanced to its fourth state final in six years with a 57-37 win over No. 2 and previously unbeaten Smithville.
Africentric had 15 steals and forced 21 turnovers en route to the convincing win. The Nubians outscored Smithville 18-6 in bench points and 12-2 in fast break points.
The game only saw two lead changes, the last of which came with 3:23 left in the first quarter.
Kiyanna Black led Africentric with 16 points, while Darianne Seward and Ayrielle Stith chipped in 13 and 10, respectively. The Nubians hit 19-of-23 free throws.
Tara Schaffter led Smithville with 17 points.
* Player of the Game: Kiyanna Black, senior, Africentric: The Ohio University recruit played a team-high 25 minutes and had 16 points, four steals, three assists and two rebounds. She was 2-of-2 from the free throw line and 2-of-3 from 3-point range.
* Stat of the Game: Africentric outscored Smithville 28-5 in points off turnovers.
Anna 58, Findlay Liberty-Benton 41
Anna won its 50th straight game and moved a step closer to defending its state title with a 58-41 win over Findlay Liberty-Benton.
The No. 1 ranked Rockets (27-0) established their presence in the post and rode the inside tandem of Ashley Frohne and Natalie Billing. Frohne, a 6-foot senior, had 22 points, while Billing, a 5-11 junior, had 12. Anna outscored L-B 42-20 in the paint.
Anna guard Erica Huber had 12 points, five steals, four rebounds, three assists and two 3s.
L-B (23-3) trailed just 39-35 after three quarters but went cold in the fourth. The Eagles were outscored 19-6 in the quarter and went scoreless for nearly six minutes.
Ohio State recruit Caitie Craft led L-B with 15 points, nine rebounds and four steals. Rachel Myers added 14 points.
* Player of the Game: Ashley Frohne, senior, Anna…Dominated post play with 22 points, five rebounds and two blocks.
* Stat of the Game: The benches combined to score zero points. That’s right…none. The starter did all the scoring.
D-III Final: Columbus Africentric vs Anna Saturday, 2 p.m.