Saturday in Columbus, the Ohio state basketball finals kick off at 10:30 with the Division II title game featuring St. Vincent-St. Mary of Akron (18-9) versus Thurgood Marshall of Dayton (22-5).
Junior Lorenzo Cugini led St. Vincent-St. Mary in scoring with 14 points, nearly matching his season average of 14.8. Leading scorer Devonte Beard struggled in the semifinal, but led the team in scoring at 17.8 points per game this season. Beard is currently being recruited by Boston College, along with a number of other division one mid-major programs.
Four Thurgood Marshall players registered double-digit scoring totals in the semifinal led by Mark Alstork with 18. The semifinal victory was impressive considering the team played without leading scorer Jordan Watson (18 ppg) who was suspended for the game.
In the Division IV finals, Harvest Preparatory of Canal Winchester (22-5) against Hiland of Berlin (26-1).
In their semifinal matchup, Harvest Preparatory took an eight point lead at the end of one quarter and cruised to victory behind a team leading 14 points by Grant Harris in only 17 minutes of action. Leading scorer Shakir Dunning struggled with 10 points on 5-16 shooting, but leads the team in scoring on the season at 18.2 points per game.
A big contribution off of the bench by Seger Bonifant (23 points in 20 minutes) paced Berlin in its 14 point semifinal victory. Berlin’s leading scorer, junior Dylan Kaufman (14.2 ppg) was held to nine points in the semifinal.
Division III features a David versus Goliath matchup as top ranked Taft of Cincinnati (24-1) squares off against unranked Cleveland Central Catholic (19-8).
Taft is led by two sport star Adolphus Washington whose 22 points in the semifinal on 7-8 shooting paced the Senators. Just a junior, Washington is receiving division one interest in both football and basketball and is considered one of the better defensive end prospects in the country heading into the fall.
For Cleveland Central Catholic, 6-foot-8 senior center Anton Grady continued his impressive senior season by posting 26 points and 22 rebounds in the semifinal. Grady, a Cleveland State recruit, is averaging 21.1 points per game on the season.
The final championship game of the day pits Northland of Columbus (26-1) versus LaSalle of Cincinnati (25-2). The teams are ranked numbers two and three in the state respectively.
Michigan recruit Trey Burke leads Northland at 24.3 points per game including 15 in the semifinal on 4-17 shooting. 6-foot-8 junior Devon Scott posted 17 points on 8-11 shooting and 10 rebounds in the semifinal win to raise his scoring average to 11.5 points per game on the season.
LaSalle features a more balanced scoring attack led by senior Brandon Neal with 14.7 points per game. In the semifinal, Neal paced LaSalle with 23 points on 10-16 shooting.
Ohio at a Glance - All Games ET
Saturday, March 26 @ Value City Arena, Columbus
Division II Finals
10:30 a.m. - St. Vincent-St. Mary of Akron (18-9) vs. Thurgood Marshall of Dayton (22-5)
Division IV Finals
1:30 p.m. - Harvest Preparatory of Canal Winchester (22-5) vs. Hiland of Berlin (26-1)
Division III Finals
4:30 p.m. - Taft of Cincinnati (25-1) vs. Central Catholic of Cleveland (19-8)
Division I Finals
8:30 p.m. - LaSalle of Cincinnati (25-2) vs. Northland of Columbus (26-1)