D-I Final: Third quarter run propels Mentor past Toledo Rogers

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Mentor won its first D-I boys basketball title. (Gary Housteau)

Mentor head coach Bob Krizancic has won 334 games with the Cardinals. The latest – Saturday – secured the school’s first basketball state title. It was Krizancic’s second…How it happened (& PHOTOS).


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Ohio HS Boys Basketball State Tournament

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Division I Final

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*Mentor 76, Toledo Rogers 67 (Box Score)

COLUMBUS – Toledo Rogers held a 37-34 advantage coming out of halftime, and had to feel pretty good about the situation considering leading scorer Tony Kynard had just two points. However, circumstances quickly changed in the third quarter as the Mentor Cardinals used a suffocating 16-0 run to gain control. In all, the 29-9 third period margin helped the Cardinals earn the school’s first boy’s basketball state championship thanks to a 76-67 triumph.

For Mentor head coach, Bob Krizancic, it was a long time coming. In his 20th season on the Cardinals’ bench, Krizancic was able to lead his team to a state gold after 334 wins at the school. Krizancic won a state championship at Girard in 1993, and started his quest at Mentor the following season.

The Cardinals (25-5), who were a state tournament entrant in 2010, overcame a sensational first half by Rogers’ DeVonte Pratt. The 6-foot-1 senior scored 12 points in the opening quarter to help Rogers to a, 22-20, advantage, and added nine points in the second quarter allowing the Toledo-based school to secure a three-point lead at the break.

Pratt was 9-of-11 of from the field scoring 21 points and adding five rebounds. Kynard didn’t score his first points until cashing in a pair of freebies with 6.9 seconds to play in the half. Rogers and Mentor combined for nine triples in the initial stanza and 12 for the half.

Senior Jeff Foreman kept Mentor in the game with 11 points, junior Conner Krizancic chipped in with nine counters. Junior Caleb Potter, who was blanked in the semis, scored eight points in the half.

The aforementioned third quarter was typical Mentor basketball. The Cardinals wore down the Rams (21-8) with their relentless pressure and superior conditioning. The passes Rogers was deflecting in the first half were not being touched in the third quarter. The Rogers players were struggling to get its arms in the air as Mentor continued to skip the ball around and cash in shot-after-shot.

Potter scored eight points in the period, Foreman totaled seven, senior Brody Nelson added six counters, and Krizancic netted five. Mentor finished the game with 10 three-pointers, which all came through three chapters. For Rogers, Pratt was 0-of-4 in the quarter and was held scoreless. Kynard was shutout as well.

Give Toledo Rogers a lot of credit, trailing (63-46) heading into the final frame, it would have been easy to quit and let the score get out-of-control. However, the Rams continued to fight and battle using an 11-2 run to draw the score to 65-57, but their effort to end Toledo’s 23-year streak without a state title came up a bit short. Rogers never got any closer than eight points.

Potter paced Mentor with 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting and collected five rebounds. Foreman tallied 19 points and five rebounds, and Krizancic added 16 points. Two kids that made huge plays throughout the weekend were junior Brandon Fritts and Nelson. Fritts chipped in nine points and a game-high 15 rebounds, and Nelson added eight points and 10 rebounds.

Rogers got 23 points and seven rebounds from Pratt, and senior Clemmye Owens netted 12 points on just 5-of-20 shooting and Kynard meshed eight points on 3-of-13 action shots. Fadil Robinson battled inside scoring 10 points and pulling down seven rebounds. Tribune Dailey Jr. collected nine rebounds.

Mentor was 20-of-26 at the charity stripe, while Rogers converted just 8-of-17 freebies. 

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Photo Gallery

Photos by Gary Housteau (JJHuddle.com)

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Coming…2013 High School Football

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