Division II State Final: Hathaway Brown joins exclusive club, wins fourth straight state title


Junior Vanessa Smith had 19 points and nine rebounds in the D-II state final. (Photo by Nick Falzerano)

Rarely do teams accomplish what Hathaway Brown did Saturday. In fact, only two other schools ever have.


Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown 53, West Holmes 41

Rarely do teams accomplish what Hathaway Brown did Saturday. In fact, only two other schools ever have.

Joining an exclusive club that includes Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame and now defunct South Euclid Regina, Hathaway Brown became the third Ohio school ever to win four straight state championships in girls basketball. The Blazers beat West Holmes 53-41 in front of a crowd of 3,776 in the Division II final at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center.

Hathaway Brown shot a blistering 55-percent (22-of-40) from the field and defensively, continued its onslaught. In its two state tournament games, the Blazers held West Holmes and Bellbrook to 22-percent shooting (27-of-122) combined. The 41 points was West Holmes second lowest output of the season.

Offensively the Blazers were led by Vanessa Smith who had 19 points and nine rebounds. Nia Marshall added nine points and 10 rebounds.

West Holmes didn’t have any players reach double-figures but had two (Emily Molnar and Justice Wright) with nine each. Laina Snyder added eight points and 10 rebounds.

With the scored tied 19-19 with 2:37 left in the first half, Hathaway Brown scored the next nine points to take a 28-19 lead.

West Holmes cut the deficit to four (33-29) with 2:31 to go in the third quarter, but again the Blazers closed with an 8-0 run to take command 41-29. The advantage remained in double-digits throughout the fourth.

Hathaway Brown used its length – four starters 6-0 or taller – to its advantage. The Blazers outscored West Holmes 34-12 in the paint.

Both teams committed 12 turnovers, but Hathaway Brown outscored the Knights 18-9 in points off turnovers.

* Player of the Game:
Vanessa Smith, junior, Hathaway Brown…Highly-touted guard had 19 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block in 31 minutes.

* Stat of the Game: Hathaway Brown did not start a senior and has only one on its roster.


Photos by Nick Falzerano (Nicholas Studios)

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