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Rams win first state title in Division II thriller

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Mar 24, 2019 at 1:05 AM

COLUMBUS — It had been a long time since Trotwood-Madison had been in trouble.

Trailing with under four minutes left, it marked the first time the Rams had trailed since a loss to Pickerington Central in Game No. 12 of the regular season.

Columbus South — ranked No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll in Division II — led the No. 1-ranked Rams by a 73-70 score with 3:45 to play. However, the Rams closed the game on a 7-0 run to claim a 77-73 win on Saturday in front of 9,881 fans at the Jerome Schottenstein Center.

Trotwood-Madison’s victory marked its first ever state championship in five trips to the state tournament. The Rams were Division I runners-up in 2006. The Rams' 77 points in the final caps a record-breaking season in which the Rams scored 3,015 points; the most in OHSAA history, breaking the record by nearly 400 points.

The Rams held a 22-21 lead over Columbus South (28-2) after the first quarter, but the Bulldogs came back and outscored Trotwood 39-32 through the second and third quarters and held a 68-60 advantage with 5:34 left in the game.

Over the next 1:32, Trotwood reeled off 10 straight points to hold a two-point advantage with four minutes left in the game. South responded with a 5-0 run of its own to regain the lead with 3:45 left; however, this is the last time that South was able to put points on the board, as Trotwood closed the game on a 7-0 run to give the Rams their four-point win.

“We felt like we were in better shape,” Trotwood-Madison head coach Rocky Rockhold said after the game when asked about the difference in the fourth quarter. “So, if we could keep it close or take a lead and have them chasing us late in the game, then we would be in a good position to win it.”

The Division II Player of the Year, Trotwood senior guard Amari Davis, put up a game-high 24 points. Junior guard Sammy Anderson scored 20 points and had seven rebounds, while junior Carl Blanton added 17 points of his own.

Junior guard Trevell Adams and junior center Samual Barton led Columbus South with 16 points each.

Columbus South is taking home its third boys basketball runner-up trophy in school history after qualifying for the state tournament for the seventh time and first time since 1986.



Harvest Prep 55, Lutheran East 42

COLUMBUS — For the first time in four tries in the title game, No. 1 Canal Winchester Harvest Preparatory won the state championship, as it defeated Cleveland Heights Lutheran East, 55-42, in front of 7,714 fans in the Div. III championship game.

It was a quick start for Harvest Prep (28-2), as the Warriors jumped out to a 16-8 lead after the first quarter. Defense was the key, as they held Lutheran East to 3-of-16 shooting in the opening quarter.

The Lutheran East offense was able to get on track in the second quarter, shooting 7-of-11 from the field, but Harvest Prep countered by hitting its final five shots of the half, taking a 10-point lead into the locker room. Harvest Prep senior, and Div. III Player of the Year, CJ Anthony paced the Warriors offense with 14 first-half points.

Even with a Harvest Prep scoring drought of nearly five minutes in the third quarter, Lutheran East (20-9) was unable to cut the lead to less than eight at any point in the second half.

Anthony finished with a game-high 21 points for the Warriors, while fellow senior guard Soul Hines added 13 points and senior Elijah Glenn contributed 14 points and five rebounds.

Lutheran East was led by junior forward Nehemiah Benson, who finished with team-highs in points and rebounds with 13 and nine, respectively. All-Ohio first team sophomore EJ Farmer struggled from the field for the Falcons, shooting 3-of-18 from the field. Overall, the Falcons shot 19-of-60 from the field and 2-of-26 from three.

This was Lutheran East's first runner-up finish after winning the title in its previous two state championship game appearances in 2005 and 2017.



Convoy Crestview 58, Berlin Hiland 38

COLUMBUS — No. 2 Convoy Crestview rolled past top-ranked Berlin Hiland by a 58-38 final score to win the Div. IV state title on Saturday in front of 9,105 in attendance.

The win marked Crestview’s second state title in four total state tournament appearances.

Crestview (28-1) started the game hot, as it jumped out to an early 10-0 lead, though Hiland (28-2) countered to tie the game at 19 with three minutes to go in the first half.

Unfazed by Hiland’s determination, Crestview's championship-defining moment came in the form of another 10-0 run to close the first half. The Knights’ 10-point halftime advantage was the closest Hiland would come for the remainder of the game.

Four Crestview players combined to score 56 of its 58 total points—senior Wade Sheets scored 21 points, sophomore Kalen Etzler scored 14 points, senior Derick Dealey scored 11 points and All-Ohio first team senior Javin Etzler finished with a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Senior Andy Miller led Hiland with a team-high 13 points. Junior Sam Haberger was the only other player to score in double digits for the Hawks, finishing with 12 points and a team-high five rebounds.

Hiland was making its second straight state tournament appearance and 11th overall.




Cin. Moeller 52, Akron SVSM 44

COLUMBUS — Unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller methodically pulled away from No. 7 Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in a 52-44 to win the Div. I state championship Saturday night in front of 8,675 fans at the Jerome Schottenstein Center.

Moeller's victory capped off the first undefeated season in Div. I boys history since Zanesville did in 1994-95. Dating back to last season, the Crusaders (29-0) have amassed 49-straight victories and back-to-back state titles.

After entering halftime tied at 17, the difference in the game came down to the fourth quarter, where Moeller outscored the Irish 21-14. To end the game, Moeller hit five of its last seven shots, while St. Vincent-St. Mary only hit two of its final 10 attempts.

The Crusaders were led by its two All-Ohio honorees, seniors Miles McBride, a first-teamer, and Alec Pfriem, a third-teamer. They combined to score 35 of the team's 52 points, while Pfriem also led the team in rebounding with eight.

Sophomore guard Seth Wilson was the lone double-digit scorer for St. Vincent-St. Mary with 19 points.

Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary was making its 16th trip to the state tournament and 12th appearance in the state title game. The Irish have an OHSAA-record eight state championships.