D-II & I State Semifinals: West Holmes rallies, Hathaway Brown makes its sixth straight final


Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown advanced to its sixth straight D-II state final Friday. (Photo by Nick Falzerano)

The 37th annual OHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournaments continued at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on Friday with the Division II and I state semifinals. Here’s how things played out and who punched tickets to the Finals…


The Division II state semifinals tipped off the second day of the 37th annual OHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament on Friday at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center. Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown was trying to earn its sixth state final berth in a row, while three public schools rounded out the field. Here’s how things played out…

Millersburg West Holmes 35, Lima Bath 29

West Holmes survived a six point first half and advanced to its fifth state final (first since 1993) with a 35-29 come-from-behind win over Lima Bath. The Lady Knights (24-3), ranked No. 8 in the Final OGBR/JJHuddle D-II Power Poll, trailed 14-6 at halftime but outscored No. 7 Lima Bath (24-2) 14-5 in the fourth quarter to earn the win.

West Holmes took the lead for good on a lay-in by Mallori Vess with 3:38 to go.

The Lady Knights shot 62.5-perent (10-of-16) in the second half. Sophomore Laina Snyder led West Holmes with 10 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

Junior Emily Ruhe led Lima Bath with 10 points.

* Player of the Game: Laina Snyder, sophomore, West Holmes…Snyder scored six fourth quarter points, including four of West Holmes final six to complete the Lady Knights comeback. She also posted game-highs in points (10), rebounds (nine) and assists (four).

* Stat of the Game: Lima Bath scored two points in the final six and half minutes of the game and had one field goal in the fourth quarter.

Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown 48, Bellbrook 34

Led by its length, No. 1 Hathaway Brown earned a berth in its sixth straight state final with a 48-34 win over unranked Bellbrook. The Blazers (21-5) – with four girls 6-foot or taller in the starting line-up – held Bellbrook (22-5) to just 12-of-66 shooting from the floor (18-percent) and used a 14-1 fourth quarter run to separate itself.

HB will look to win its fourth straight D-II championship in Saturday’s final.

Bellbrook, playing in its first state tournament since 1976, trailed just 34-30 with four minutes left but missed 22 straight shots before making a 3-pointer with 35 seconds to go.

Hathaway Brown put three scorers in double-figures, led by sophomore Beth Brzozowski (14 points). Junior posts Nia Marshall and Stephanie Poland each added 11. Junior wing Vanessa Smith contributed 11 rebounds, nine points, three assists and three blocks.

Bellbrook was led by sophomore Chea Taylor who had team-highs in points (11) and rebounds (11).

Bellbrook forced 25 HB turnovers but faltered offensively.

* Player of the Game: Beth Brzozowski, sophomore, Hatahaway Brown…Guard entered the state tournament averaging 5.6 points but scored a team-high 14, including five in a row in a crucial stretch of the fourth quarter which extended HB’s lead from 34-30 to 39-30.

* Stat of the Game: Bellbrook shot 12.2-percent from the floor in the second half (5-of-41). Leading scorers Leisha Crawford and Erin Dorn were a combined 2-of-28 for seven points for the game. They came in averaging 23.  

D-II Final: West Holmes vs Hathaway Brown, 5:15 p.m.

LISTEN LIVE: State Final (OHSAA Radio Network)



The Division I state semifinals capped the second day 37th annual OHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament on Friday at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center. Two nationally-ranked teams did battle and another was looking to make it back to its second straight state final. Here’s how things played out…

Kettering Fairmont 54, Toledo Notre Dame 45

No. 3 Fairmont – playing in its third straight D-I state tournament – advanced to its second straight final with a 54-45 win over unranked Notre Dame (22-5).

Despite holding a slim 25-21 lead at the half, Fairmont (24-3) used its inside play to pull away. The Firebirds, led by 6-2 sophomores Makayla Waterman and Kathryn Westbald – outscored Notre Dame 26-14 in the paint and held a 26-22 edge in rebounding. Westbald scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Waterman had 13 and six, respectively. Junior guard Chelsea Welch chipped in 16 points and five rebounds for Fairmont.

Senior guard Demy Whitaker led Notre Dame with a game-high 20 points. Senior forward Ashley Kynard chipped in 10.

* Player of the Game: Kathryn Westbald, sophomore, Fairmont…Forward was dominant in the post. She had 16 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three blocks.

* Stat of the Game:
Notre Dame committed 22 team fouls, while Fairmont was whistled for eight – the entire game (four each half). Fairmont made 26-of-32 free throws.

Twinsburg 49, Reynoldsburg 41

In a match-up of nationally-ranked teams, Twinsburg (ranked No. 2 in Ohio and No. 18 in the country by MaxPreps) beat Reynoldsburg (No. 1 and No. 11, respectively) 49-41. With the game tied 32-32 after three quarters, Twinsburg made enough clutch plays down the stretch to earn a chance at defending its state title.

The Twinsburg guard combo of Ashley Morrissette and Leah Fechko combined for 33 points and hit 11-of-12 free throws, including 8-of-8 in the fourth quarter, to lead the Tigers (24-3).

Maryland recruit and Twinsburg senior Malina Howard rebounded from a subpar first half (four points and four rebounds) to finish with 13 points, 19 rebounds and three blocks.

Led by Adesuwa Aideyman’s team-high 12 points, Reynoldsburg rallied from a nine-point deficit (42-33) with 2:29 to go to cut the lead to 44-41 with a minute left but got no closer.

The win was Twinsburg’s 45th straight against Ohio competition dating back to a March 2010 loss to Canton McKinley in the regional semifinals. This season the Tigers losses have come against No. 8 (MaxPreps) Bolingbrook (Ill.), No. 16 DuPont Manual (Louisville) and Memphis Central (Tenn.).

Saturday, Twinsburg faces Fairmont in a rematch of last year’s D-I final, which the Tigers won 55-42.

Reynoldsburg finishes 26-1.

* Player of the Game:
Ashley Morrissette, junior, Twinsburg…A Top 50 prospect nationally, Morrissette scored a game-high 19 points. She had nine in the first quarter and then went 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the final 70 seconds.

* Stat of the Game: Twinsburg – led by Howard’s 19 boards – controlled the glass. The Tigers outrebounded the Raiders 34-22.

D-I Final: Fairmont vs Twinsburg, 8:30 p.m.

LISTEN LIVE: State Final (OHSAA Radio Network)


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