From the onset of the season, Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph was the favorite to win the Division IV state title. Saturday they did it…How it happened (& PHOTOS).
Ohio HS Boys Basketball State Tournament
Division IV Final
*Cleveland VASJ 87, Leipsic 63 (Box Score)
COLUMBUS – For two and half quarter the Leipsic Vikings proved it was game in Saturday’s Division IV state title contest. Trailing by just two points, Cleveland VASJ’s superior talent began to take over helping the Vikings to a 23-8 run, which led to an 87-63 triumph giving VASJ its fifth state championship.
Cleveland VASJ raced out to an 8-0 start and eventually held a 13-6 advantage at the first TV timeout (3:33).
The Vikings continued to get easy buckets on the interior, but Leipsic cashed in two three-point goals (Zach Kuhlman and Derek Steffan) to close out the quarter making the count, 20-12.
Duane Gibson Jr. scored six points in the opener for VASJ, and sophomores Brian Parker (5 points) and Derek Pardon (4 points) combined for nine points.
A Devin Mangas three-point goal closed the gap to (22-17) with 6:15 to play in the half. Moments later Kuhlman hit a pull-up jumper to cut the deficit to (24-21).
Simon Texidor’s rebound stick back as the halftime buzzer sounded gave the Vikings a 40-32 lead.
Leipsic cut the lead to (41-37) following a Kuhlman triple and Mangas inside hoop. Austin Brown canned two free throws to slice the margin to two, but Texidor answered with consecutive triples starting a mini-spurt for VASJ.
The Cleveland-based school upped the lead to 59-45 following a ridiculous reverse dunk by Demonte Flannigan off a lob pass. In all, the Vikings closed the quarter on a 23-8 run giving the state’s top team a 64-47 cushion.
The final quarter turned into show time for Gibson Jr. and Flannigan. Gibson Jr. continued to drive to the basket and finish with the greatest of ease. Finally, a Texidor bonus goal sent the crowd to the exits with VASJ holding a more than comfortable 82-57 advantage with 3:37 to play.
Gibson Jr. was sensational finishing with 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting, and added eight rebounds and eight assists. Flannigan struggled from the field, but did manage to net 15 points and collect 11 rebounds. Parker chipped in 15 points and six rebounds, Texidor added 11 counters, and sophomore Carlton Bragg meshed 10 points and pulled down six boards. Sophomore Derek Pardon also enjoyed a solid afternoon scoring nine points and grabbing six boards.
Mangas paced Leipsic with 18 points. Brown was solid in defeat with 16 points and nine rebounds. Caleb Barrera finished in doubles with 10 points and Kuhlman chipped in eight.
VASJ shot just over 52 percent for the game, while Leipsic was just under 35 percent.
Photos by Gary Housteau (JJHuddle.com)
Coming…2013 High School Football