In a match-up of Ohio’s top teams, Berlin Hiland beat Jackson Center 68-36 in the Division IV final at the Schottenstein Center. Hiland is the first small school repeat champion since defunct Columbus Wehrle won three titles from 1988-1990. Photos, Stats and the D-IV All-Tournament Team…
DIVISION IV STATE FINAL
The Division IV state final kicked off the final day of the 90th
annual OHSAA Boys Basketball State Tournament on Saturday at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center. JJHuddle Power Poll No. 1 Berlin Hiland was looking for its second straight state title and third overall. Undefeated and AP Poll No. 1 Jackson Center was looking for its second state title and first since 1985. Here’s how things played
Berlin Hiland 68, Jackson Center 36
Hiland didn’t disappoint.
The Hawks wasted little time proving they’re again the best small school in Ohio with a 68-36 thrashing of Jackson Center to win back-to-back D-IV championships. Hiland used its superior size and length on both offense and defense along with 54-percent shooting to hammer Jackson Center (27-1). With the win, Hiland became just the second team since the four-division inception in 1988 to win consecutive small school titles joining Columbus Wehrle.
Senior Dylan Kaufman (6-5) started the game with a conventional three-point play followed by a Seger Bonifant jumper and the rout was on. The Hawks assumed a 15-5 lead after the first period. Bonfiant, a 6-7 senior, had seven points in the quarter.
Hiland (27-1) stretched its lead to 36-16 at half. Bonifant scored eight more points and Kaufman all but sealed the victory with a running 3-point goal as the buzzer sounded.
Kaufman added six more points in the third quarter as Hiland opened up a 51-24 advantage. Senior Chaise Gerber produced five points and 6-7 senior Neil Gingerich netted a pair of inside baskets.
The final stanza also belonged to the Hawks despite Jackson Center senior Andy Hoying’s eight points. Kaufman scored another bucket, Bonifant cashed in one more triple, and Gingerich converted on three more inside baskets.
Each team emptied the benches at the 2:35 mark with both coaches subbing one player at a time allowing each senior to come off the floor to a standing ovation.
Bonifant finished with 18 points and six rebounds and Kaufman capped off his stellar high school career with 17 points. Gingerich added 12 and seven. Gingerich also had six blocks. Gerber meshed eight points and point guard Jason Miller ended with five points, four boards, and four assists.
Hoying closed out his JC career with 15 points and snared four boards.
Hiland scored 24 points in the paint, while JC only was able to muster six. The Hawks also scored 14 points off turnovers compared to just a bucket for the Tigers.
*Player of the Game: Seger Bonifant had 18 points and six boards.
*Stat of the Game: Jackson Center shot just 24-percent from the field compared to 54 for Hiland.
DIVISION IV ALL-STATE TOURNAMENT TEAM
Photos by Gary Housteau (JJHuddle.com)