The dream of making the boy’s basketball state tournament is just 32 minutes away from becoming a reality for 16 of the remaining 32 teams in the 2012 OHSAA State Boy’s Basketball Tournament. The regional semifinals are all in the books and now just eight teams remain in the four respective divisions. Here is a preview of tonight and tomorrow’s action.
Toledo Whitmer (22-2) will meet upstart Medina (10-15) for a trip to Columbus. Whitmer erased previously unbeaten Norwalk, 40-32 despite junior Nigel Hayes not scoring his first point until 61 seconds remaining in the game. Medina got by Elyria 44-41 in overtime thanks to 23 points and 11 rebounds from Michigan State signee Kenny Kaminski. Mason Schreck had 14 and 12 boards for the Battling Bees.
Warren Harding (21-3) will face Lakewood St. Edward (17-7) in a rematch of a January 62-56 win for St. Ed’s. Harding, however, has won 14-straight and playing as well as anybody in the state. Harding defeated Mentor 57-54 to advance thanks to the inside play of Rashid Gaston (14 pts.) and Shaheed Davis (13 pts.). Ed’s handled a talented Shaker Heights team by getting 25 points from senior Myles Hamilton and 12 from Marsalis Hamilton. The Eagles overcame 26 points from Louisville signee, Terry Rozier.
Pickerington Central (23-2) will lock up with Canton McKinley (18-7). The Tigers are embarking on a rare feat by making the state football finals and now have the opportunity to take part in the state basketball final four. The Tigers are led by Ohio University signee Caris Levert. The senior scored 28 points including five treys in a 60-58 win over Olentangy Liberty. Sophomore Jae’Sean Tate counted for 12 and classmate Javon Bess added 10. McKinley won its 14th game in a row after starting the year 4-7. The Bulldogs got by Reynoldsburg 57-49 with Devaugntah Williams scoring 19 points.
Middletown (20-5) will meet Fairfield (20-5) with matching records and residing in the same conference (Greater Miami Conference). The Middies defeated traditional power Moeller, 41-37 behind 21 points from senior Geovonie McKnight and 12 by Ohio State football commit Jalin Marshall. Fairfield continued its storybook season with a 64-55 win over Withrow. Jeff Woods dropped 20 points followed by Kyle Smith (14 pts.) and Tim Fleming (10 pts.). The Middies beat Fairfield back on January 13th, 60-53.
Akron SVSM (16-9) and Mentor Lake Catholic (22-2) will tangle for Northeast Ohio supremacy. The Irish are certainly no stranger to regional play, while Lake Catholic has been known more as a football school. Make no mistake, Lake Catholic is legit on the hardwood. SVSM knocked off Akron East, 64-59 with senior DJ Blanks and Lorenzo Cugini each getting 18 points. Lake Catholic handled Struthers 68-39 behind junior Mark Baniewicz’s 21 points and seven rebounds. Joey Vuyancih added 13 points and 13 boards and Mike Whalen was good for 13 points as well. SVSM handed the Cougars one of their two losses during the regular season, 69-67. Lake Catholic held Struthers leading scorer Jake Jacubec (26.6 ppg.) to just two points.
Sandusky Perkins (23-2) will have a showdown with Elida (22-3). Perkins advanced via 67-61 triumph of Columbus Brookhaven, while Elida got it done with a 77-72 victory over Cleveland Benedictine. Perkins got 20 points and 12 rebounds from University of Toledo tight end commit Michael Ebert. Sophomore Nic Williams had 20 points and 12 rebounds as well and junior Brandon Smith added 15 points and eight rebounds. Elida got 41 points from its dynamic backcourt of Reggie McAdams/Akron signee (21 pts.) and sophomore Dakota Mathias (20 pts.). Aric Thompson contributed 16 points including four treys and Cory Royster netted 13 points and snared 11 boards.
St. Clairsville (22-2) will hook up with New Philadelphia (18-6) in a battle of East District teams. The Red Devils continued its dream season by defeating Chillicothe, 59-52. Junior Danny Monteroso led the way with 23 points and 15 rebounds. Juniors Jarid Marhefka (16 pts.) and Dylan Campbell (12 pts.) also came up big for the winners. New Philadelphia came from behind to take out Waverly, 50-48. Senior Ron Miller led the way with 22 counters.
Dayton Dunbar (25-0) will meet Cincinnati Taft (21-4) in arguably the game of the year. Dunbar handed Eastmoor a 52-35 loss with Gary Akbar and freshman AJ Harris each scoring 10 points. Taft got by a very good Thurgood Marshall team, 76-67 led by Adolphus Washington’s 26 points. Orlando Berry Jr. added 16 and Dwayne Stanford meshed 10.
Bedford Chanel (22-3) faces red-hot Burton Berkshire (19-6) for a trip to Columbus. Chanel handled New Middletown Springfield, 55-37 with junior Dan Bailey scoring 13 points. Berkshire outlasted Orrville 50-45 thanks to 6-8 senior Tim Goff’s 21 points. Berkshire is currently riding a 14-game winning streak after starting the year 5-6.
Bowling Green Regional:
Lima Central Catholic (22-2) will meet Ottawa-Glandorf (18-6) in a battle of two of Northwest Ohio’s small school powers. LCC defeated Worthington Christian, 57-40. Billy Taflinger and John Kidd each scored 11 points in the victory. O-G jumped out to a 15-0 lead over New London and never looked back en route to a 57-29 win. Michael Rosenbrock (11 pts.) and TJ Metzger (10 pts.) led the Titans. LCC defeated O-G back in December, 54-42.
Portsmouth (22-2) will lock horns with Ironton (19-5) in a battle for Southeast Ohio supremacy. The Trojans knocked off Chesapeake 53-45 for consecutive seasons in the regional. Senior Dion McKinley had 30 points and 12 boards. The Trojans have won 19-straight following a 3-2 start. Ironton escaped by the slimmest of margins with a 49-48 triumph of a game Coshocton squad. Junior guard Zac Carter tallied 21 points and classmate Trey Fletcher added 13. The two split a pair of regular season contests.
Cincinnati Summit Country Day (23-1) meets Roger Bacon (17-8). Summit, our No. 1 team in Division III throughout the course of the year, defeated Versailles 61-46. Kevin Johnson led with 21 points and Tommy Kreyenhagen (11 pts.) and Antonio Woods (10 pts.) were top support. Roger Bacon was able to come from behind to beat Columbus Academy, 58-52. Sophomore Carlas Jackson topped the scorers with 20 and classmate Austin Frentos tallied 12. Summit’s lone loss on the year came to Cincinnati Taft.
Richmond Heights (24-1) versus Berlin Hiland (24-1) may be the game of night in the state. Richmond Heights defeated Windham 73-46 winning its 48th game in its last 50 tries. 6-8 senior Tommy Scales scored 18 points, grabbed 11 boards, and blocked four shots. Ishaam Smith had 23 points and junior Rico Jones netted 12 points and dished out six assists. Hiland drubbed Mogadore 73-42 behind 27 points from Dylan Kaufman. The Findlay signee had 22 points by halftime. Hiland is trying to become the first repeat winner in DIV since Columbus Wehrle in 1988-1990.
Bowling Green Regional:
Edgerton (24-0) goes up against Arlington (22-3) in a quest to remain unbeaten and advance to the state tournament. Edgerton got by Colonel Crawford, 46-40 in the regional semis led by Jacob Adams with 12 points. Arlington ended Toledo MVCD’s long winning streak by defeating the Hawks (52-38). Senior Thayne Recker led Arlington with 19 points and 15 rebounds.
Columbus Africentric (21-3) faces Beaver Eastern (19-5) in hopes of returning to the Schottenstein Center for consecutive years. The Nubians handled Newark Catholic 54-38 in the regional semis behind 18 points from senior Hosie Smith. Nine players scored for Africentric. Beaver Eastern upset Manchester by the count of 55-41. Chad Lands led Eastern with 16 points and Aaron Satterfield notched 15. Tavares Pickett added 10 points and a game-high 17 boards. Eastern held Manchester’s Travis Combs (SE DIV POY) to just 3-of-10 shooting.
Jackson Center (25-0) versus Dayton Jefferson (21-4) should be a terrific match up Friday night at Kettering Fairmont High School. JC remained unbeaten with a hard-fought 37-30 win over St. Henry. 6-5 senior Andy Hoying tallied eight points and five rebounds, while Tyler Opperman cashed in nine points and six boards and Trey Eichert was good for eight points and six caroms. Jefferson defeated Lockland (68-63) in a repeat of a regular season victory over the Panthers. Senior Devin Foster paced Jefferson with 18 points.