Sunday, March 29, 2015

Wayne captures first ever State Championship; Dunbar falls in final seconds; C-J loses in semis

With three teams up in Columbus battling for High School State Hoop supremacy, here's the results of all three teams and how they fared.

Wayne Train seizes first ever state title, defeats Westerville South

When speaking with Wayne coach Travis Trice before the trip, he seemed at peace with what his team had accomplished.

But he knew he had the team to win it all.

And they did just that with a 65-57 win over Westerville South as they sprinted out early, controlled the game and hit timely free throws late to grab the biggest win in the school history in front of over 10,600 people.

D'Mitrik Trice led the Warriors with 19 as four Warriors hit double figures. Xeryius Williams, Trey Landers, and Robert Caldwell all balled out as Wayne came out much different than in the classic Semifinal game vs Lakewood St Edward.
In the semifinals Wayne was tested to the max.

Lakewood came out firing, grabbed a early lead, and set the tone. Wayne responded in second half, pushed it to OT, then dominated Overtime to get to the final.
Remember, St. Edward was the team who beat the Wayne Train to win the OHSAA D-1 football championship, so the extra motivation was there.
This time the Warriors would get the job done.

Coach Trice felt like the players believed in each other, was prepared mentally, physically, and spiritually & the "play for the one to the left and right of you" mentality is what helped the Warriors win its first ever State Championship.

And with what the Warriors have coming back?

Could be a couple more "Wayne Train" stops in the Schottenstein Center in the near future.

All Aboard the Wayne Championship Train.
Salute the champs.

Dunbar loses in final seconds to Defiance in Semis

The Wolverines had a golden opportunity to get to the State Championship, but couldn't take advantage of a lead and a couple of missed chances cost Dunbar as they lost 46-45.

Defiance came out stong early and established the tone, but Dunbar quickly reversed those fortunes and grabbed the lead late in the first quarter.
The Wolverines were ahead for most part of the second quarter and although the game was tight, Dunbar seemed to have a slight edge, as Ohio State bound Amos "A.J." Harris led the team at half with 10 points & Terrance Landers had 6.

In the 2nd half Dunbar grabbed a lead and held it for most of the half until the final moments. Dunbar was ahead 44-39 midway through the 4th quarter and it looked as if they would pull away.
But Defiance kept battling, and eventually tied it up in the last minute. Terrance Landers was fouled and made 1 of the 2 free throws, which left the door open for Defiance.
Defiance then was fouled after missing two shots and grabbing two offensive rebounds.
They hit both free throws to take the final lead. Dunbar came down and tried to get a shot up, but was unable to get one off as Defiance stole the ball underneath and was fouled with 3 seconds.

They would miss the front end of 1 & 1 but Harris half court desperation heave was short, and Defiance was on to their first ever State Finals.
Dunbar was outscored 9-4 in the 4th quarter, which sealed their fate.
A.J. Harris led the Wolverines with 19, & was the only player in double figures.
Harris did say that "he loves playing in the Schottenstein Center" & that he feels that Dunbar "should get back to State" next year.

After the game, Head Coach Peter Pullen was very dissapointed with the outcome, but was proud of his team and knows they will be back.

Note: Defiance did go on to win State, in OT.

C-J falls in fourth, loses to Lima Central Catholic

C-J fell behind early and although they came back strong late, fell to Lima Central Catholic 55-50 in the D-3 OHSAA Semifinals.
Lima jumped out early, and the Eagles responded. Central Catholic held a lead at half which ballooned to 15 before a 15-2 run by the Eagles cut it to 3, 45-42.
The Eagles would get it to 2, but Catholic knocked down some key free throws to send the Eagles home.
Coach Staley felt like his boys played hard, but Jus didn't execute quite well enough against a top notch opponent.
This was the Eagles 7th trip to the State.

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