Division III Girls Basketball State Tournament
State SemifinalFriday, 1 p.m.
Smithville (26-2, NR OGBR JJH/NR AP) vs Africentric (24-3, No. 1 OGBR JJH/No. 8 AP)
Friday, 3 p.m.
Versailles (23-3, No. 8 OGBR JJH/No. 9 AP) vs Fairland (22-3, NR OGBR JJH/NR AP)
Saturday, 5:15 p.m.
Unranked Smithville is back in the state tournament for the third time in the last five years and the fifth time overall. The Smithies fell in the semifinals in their previous four appearances. To advance they’ll have to beat the No. 1 ranked team in the OGBR JJHuddle Power Poll. Africentric (No. 8 in the final AP poll) was the state runner-up last year and has played in the state championship game all five times the Nubians have reached the state tournament. They’ve won three state championships. Africentric beat Archbold (No. 3 OGBR JJH/No. 4 AP) in the regional semifinals. Unranked Fairland is in the state tournament for the first time, while Versailles (No. 8 OGBR JJH/No. 9 AP) is back for the sixth time (first since 2009) and owns one state title (2008). The Tigers beat Miami East (No. 5 in both polls) in the regional semifinals. – OHSAA/EF
5 Players to Watch
1. Olivia Besancon, sr., Smithville: Wayne County Athletic League Player of the Year and second team All-Ohio. Averaging 14.8 points per game. Hit 3 at buzzer in regional final to send Smithies to state with 38-36 win.
2. Alexa Hart, sr., Africentric: Towering Ohio State recruit (6-2) is third team OGBR JJHuddle All-Ohio selection. Averaging 14.9 points per game. Also named AP Ohio Co-Player of the Year, first team AP All-Ohio and one of OGBR’s Top 25 Ohio Seniors.
3. Terra Stapleton, sr., Fairland: Imposing Michigan recruit (6-4) named AP Ohio Co-Player of the Year and first team AP All-Ohio. Averaging 17.8 points per game. One of OGBR’s Top 25 Ohio Seniors.
4. Christa Puthoff, jr. Versailles: Two-time first team All-Midwest Athletic Conference selection was named second team AP All-Ohio. Averaging 9.6 points per game.
5. Darianne Seward, sr., Africentric: Detroit recruit named second team All-Ohio. Averaging 10.2 points per game.