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Nubians end Titans season

COLUMBUS, OH – Columbus Africentric outscored Ottawa Glandorf 27-16 in the second half of Thursday night’s Division 3 state semifinals and clinched their spot in the finals against Versailles 50-37 at Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center.

Ottawa Glandorf opened the game on a 5-0 run in the first minute and a half on a free throw by Erin Kaufman and layups by junior classmates Paige Sutter and Ashley Schroeder. Africentric’s first points of the ballgame came on their third possession as Jordan Horston connected on her first jump shot to make it a 5-2 Titan advantage. Horston’s last jump shot of the first quarter with 15 seconds left in the period pulled the OG lead to 13-11 heading to a stoppage.

In the games middle periods the Nubians held their Western Buckeye League counterparts to just 12 markers and outscored them 21-12 to lead heading into the last eight minutes of play 32-25.

A 12-0 run by Africentric and a span of nearly six minutes without a score spanning from the late third period to the middle of the fourth saw the Titans deficit fall from 7 to 19 with 2:27 left.

Throughout the course of the game OG’s all-time leading scorer Kadie Hempfling found herself saddled with fouls and on the Titans bench and saw the Nubians go on sustained runs. Hempfling ended the night with 7 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals but was forced into 7 turnovers and 4 fouls by Africentric.

Erin Kaufman who ended the Titans scoreless run with one of just three of her teams three pointers at the 2:13 mark to pull within 44-30. Kaufman ended the game as the OG leader in scoring on the floor at the Schott for the second time in three years as she tossed in a team high 14.

Africentric was led by Horston who finished with 18 as one of her teams three players in double figures and was joined by Arianna Smith (13 points), and Nyam Thornton (10). For the game the Nubians outscored OG in the paint 28-16 led by the aforementioned trio.

In the Saturday afternoon finals the Nubians would go on to defeat Versailles for their 6th State Championship 53-47.

Ottawa Glandorf’s fourth straight trip to Columbus ended with a 25-3 record. The Titans senior class of Carri Johnson, Kadie Hempfling, and Mackenzie Meyer ended their brilliant careers with a pair of final fours and runner up trophies and a 104-10 record which is the best in school history.

Box Score:

Africentric (50):

Nyam Thornton 10
Tearra Cook 3
Maliyah Johnson 4
Jordan Horston 18
Arianna Smith 13
Kazhmere Smith-Hopgood 2

FG: 20/50
3PT: 2/9 (Thornton)
FT: 8/11
REB: 40
TO: 20

Ottawa Glandorf (37):

Ashley Schroeder 6
Paige Sutter 2
Erin Kaufman 14
Kadie Hempfling 7
Kelsey Erford 3
Brianna Schimmoeller 2
Kasey Ellerbrock 3

FG: 11/45
3PT: 3/16
FT: 12/22
REB: 30
TO: 20

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Four schools earn state titles

COLUMBUS, OH – Hundreds of schools began the 2015-16 OHSAA boys basketball season with hopes of hoisting the State Championship trophy but only four were successful in their quest that ended inside the Value City Arena on Saturday.

The opening contest saw the Lima Central Catholic Thunderbirds (28-1) capture their 3rd state title in school history as they were victorious in the Division 3 Finals against Cleveland Villa Angela St Joseph 66-44.

In earning the crown this season the T-Birds avenged a loss to VASJ in last seasons final game and gave Head Coach Frank Kill his second championship as the teams mentor.

LCC Senior Tre Cobbs who finished just 2/9 and with 5 points in the loss to the Vikings last season accounted for 24 of his teams points this time around on 9/14 shooting (4/5 from 3), in addition to snagging 6 rebounds. Dantez Walton, a Senior headed to play at Northern Kentucky University pumped in 20 points and pulled down a game high 11 rebounds. Ethan O’Connor’s 11 points helped to pace the Thunderbirds against the VASJ attacking defense.

Gene Higgins was the lone scorer in double figures for Villa Angela (23-6) on the afternoon as he finished with 15 points on 5/14 shooting.

Complete box score: LCC vs VASJ

Game two of the afternoon session featured the Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Fighting Irish, ranked #3 in the final Associated Press poll of the season taking on the top ranked school New Concord John Glenn for the Division 2 title.

While SVSM was struggling to connect from the field in the first half, John Glenn continued to light up the Ohio State University scoreboard as they built a 15-7 lead after the opening stanza.

Things didn’t get much better for the Irish in the second quarter either as they finished the period 6/27 and limped into the lockerroom trailing 34-23 and with one of their leading scorers in Jayvon Graves 0-11 with just a pair of markers from the free throw line.

In the second half Graves would connect on 7/13 opportunities from the field and finish with 18 points on the night but it was not enough to counteract the John Glenn second half scoring output and the Irish would be defeated 76-72 despite making it a close game in the waning moments of the fourth quarter.

John Glenn, who was honored by the presence of their namesake before the contest finishes the season at 28-1 while SVSM ends at 26-4. The Muskies were led in scoring by Drew Rackley who finished with 25 points in the game.

Northwest Conference Champion Lincolnview, making their first State Finals appearance since 1997 took on Cornerstone Christian in the third game of the night and fell to the Patriots 74-52.

The Lancers fell behind early to the running game of Cornerstone Christian and trailed 19-12 at the end of the opening eight minutes of play. Lincolnview mustered just six points in the second quarter against a tenacious Patriots defense led by Michael Bothwell who finished with a team high 14 points.

Trailing by as much as 26 late in the 3rd quarter, the Lancers were able to cut their opponents lead down to 18 but not any further despite outscoring the Patriots 19-11 in the games final quarter.

Cornerstone Christan finished the year at 17-12 and with a title in their first trip to Columbus while the Lancers season came to an end at 27-2. Both Lincolnview losses on the season came to teams who finished as State Champions as their only other loss came to the Division 3 Champion LCC Thunderbirds.

Trevor Neate led all scorers in the game with 16 points for the Lancers while Bothwell and Jeremy Owens tallied 14 apiece for Cornerstone in the victory.

In one of the most anticipated matchups of the tournament the Lima Senior Spartans, making their 5th appearance in Columbus took on the Wildcats of Westerville South.

South jumped out to a 19-12 advantage after the first quarter as the Wildcats connected on a trio of triples. Lake Erie signee Jordan Humphrey gave his team a 22-12 lead in the opening moments of the second period with the fourth three point goal of the half.

Lima Senior would respond however in the second quarter behind Xavier Simpson, Rico Stafford and Ruben Flowers to cut the halftime lead to 31-28 with Flowers connecting on a putback as the buzzer sounded and the clock ran out.

With future OSU Buckeye Kaleb Wesson on the bench after committing his third foul of the game early in the third he was sent to the bench for South. In the time the 6’9 Junior was on the pine the Spartans took over behind Flowers and used a 15-14 scoring output to climb within two of the lead 45-43 heading to the final stanza of the season.

Through the first three quarter Ruben Flowers had connected on all seven of his shot attempts (5 field goals and 2/2 free throws).

Wesson picked up foul 4 early on in the fourth quarter and was again sent to the bench to not end his penultimate season by fouling out, but it was then his brother Andre who gave his team a 53-51 lead by connecting on a deep three pointer and forcing a Senior high timeout with 2:30 remaining.

Rico Stafford’s layup with :28 seconds remaining tied the game at 55-55, but Jordan Humphrey put Westerville South on top for good with a runner in the lane to procure a 57-55 victory and the State Championship in Division 1.

Lima Senior (29-1) was led in scoring by Mr. Basketball Xavier Simpson who finished with 17 points while Flowers (12) and Stafford (10) joined him in double figures.

Westerville South (26-5) was led in scoring by Humphrey who led all scorers with 19. Andre Wesson was the only other player in double figures for his team as he finished with 14 on 5/10 shooting.

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OG and Versailles advance to finals

COLUMBUS, OHIO – For one squad the game on Saturday will be about redemption from last season, for the other it will be about making history.

Ottawa Glandorf is now 26-2 on the season after dispatching the Fairland Dragons from the OHSAA Division 3 tournament with a 55-27 win on Thursday night in the semi-finals. The 26 wins by the Titans this season is the most by an OG squad in a single season and has the young ladies that fill up the roster hungry for the final piece of the puzzle, the schools first ever state championship in girls basketball.

The Lady Titans motto all season has been about getting hype and staying there, and that has never been on display than more during the tournament run where they have run off five wins by a combined 132 points.

Moments into last nights contest against Fairland the Titans began to utilize what they have all season long, their immense pressure on the ballhandlers of the opposing team. Erin Basinger got things going for OG at the free throw line as off of an Elissa Ellerbrock missed three pointer she grabbed the rebound and was fouled and was sent for a pair of charity tosses where she hit 1/2 and put her team up 1-0.

Off of a steal by Danielle Schroeder the Titans put up 3 more quick points this time around as Ellerbrock connected from behind the arc in the deep right corner of the Schott to go up 4-0. The final two points of the opening quarter run came seconds later following a missed triple from Schroeder, Ellerbrock kept the possession alive with an offensive rebound and a made jumper to go up 6-0 with 5:45 left in the opening period before Mackenzie Riley got the Dragons on the scoreboard with a layup at the 5:24 mark. OG would outscore Fairland the rest of the way in the quarter 7-1 and lead at the quarter stoppage 13-3.

Things wouldn’t get much better for Fairland in the second quarter either as the high pressure relentless attack of OG would connect for 7 points off of turnovers and head into the half with a 27-10 Titans advantage. Fairland was held to just 2/14 shooting from the perimeter and had to rely on their free throw shooting (6/10 in the half) to get their score into double digits.

Despite shooting just 9/22 in the second half, OG was able to stretch their lead to 40-17 heading into the final period as they utilized a 13-7 quarter and connected on a multitude of free throws. Ottawa Glandorf outscored Fairland 15-10 in the fourth quarter and advanced with a 55-27 win in front of 5,368 cheering fans in attendance.

Caitlin Stone, a 5’3 Senior headed to play for former OG Titan Haley Ducey at Urbana University was held to just 3 points in the contest on 1/10 shooting. Her lone made shot of the game came on a three pointer. Kelsey Riley, a 4 year starter and McDonalds All-American Game nominee for the Dragons was also held in check by the pressure defense employed by the Titans as she finished her career with 11 points on 4/7 shooting combined with 3/5 from the charity stripe.

Ottawa Glandorf was led in scoring by Elissa Ellerbrock with 11, and followed closely by Erin Basinger with 10. The Titans advance to Saturday afternoon at 2pm where they will play the Versailles Tigers, 54-43 winners over the previously unbeaten Doylestown Chippewa Lady Chipps in the early contest.

The Division 4 State Championship game can be heard live as it happens on www.zsportslive.com

Box Score:

OG (55):

Dani Ellerbrock 5
Elissa Ellerbrock 11
Anna Bellman 1
Erin Basinger 10
Danielle Schroeder 7
Devon Warnecke 2
Mackenzie Meyer 2
Kylie White 8
Lexi Schroeder 5
Kadie Hempfling 4

FG: 18/42 (42.9%)
3: 2/7 (28.6%) – D. Ellerbrock, E. Ellerbrock
FT: 17/26 (65.4%)
Reb: 36 (17 offensive – E. Ellerbrock 9)
Fouls: 16
Ast: 13 (D. Ellerbrock 5)
TO: 12
Blk: 0
Stl: 12 (E. Ellerbrock 3, Hempfling 3)
Points in paint: 28
Points off turnover: 24
2nd chance points: 18
Bench scoring: 21

Fairland (27):

Taylor Staten 4
Mackenzie Riley 4
Kelsey Riley 11
Caitlin Stone 3
Jenna Fulks 3
Emily Chapman 2

FG: 7/32 (21.9%)
3: 1/12 (10.0%) – Stone
FT: 12/20 (60.0%)
Reb: 23 (9 offensive – M. Riley 5)
Fouls: 20
Ast: 4 (M. Riley 2)
Blk: 2 (Fulks 2)
Stl: 5 (5 players with 1 each)
Points in paint: 12
Points off turnover: 10
2nd chance points: 1
Bench scoring: 2

Versailles (25-4) used their stellar defense and a big performance from Freshman phenom and Honorable Mention MAC selection Kami McEldowney who finished with a team high 13 points. Joining McEldowney in double figures for the Tigers were Seniors Lauren Bruns (headed to Dayton on a Volleyball scholarship), and Taylor Winner with 12 points apiece.

Division 3 All-Ohio 1st teamer and Player of the Year Ashley Richardson finished with a game high 18 points on 8/13 from the field, she also grabbed 11 rebounds. Outside of Richardson however the Lady Chipps finished just 4/26 from the field and could only muster 43 points to Versailles 54 in suffering their only loss of the season (finished 28-1).

One positive note however for Chippewa, their 28 wins is the most in a single season by a Lady Chipps squad and they will return two of their key players in Carly Koncz and Taylor Richards.

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