In a game featuring the co-players of the year in Ohio's Division III, Adolphus Washington and Taft's full-court pressure were too much for Anton Grady and Central Catholic in the Senators' OHSAA title-winning 95-52 victory on Saturday at Value City Arena in Columbus.
The 95 points by Taft set a Division III title game record, breaking the mark of 90 set in 2006. The 43-point margin of victory set a state record for a championship game.
Taft (26-1), only the second Cincinnati public school to win a state championship in basketball, took control of the game early, leading 16-6 after the first quarter.
Central Catholic (19-8), of Cleveland, wasn't able to handle the Senators' pressure defense, shooting 20 percent in the first quarter after seeing its star player, the Cleveland State-commit Anton Grady, head to the bench with two quick fouls. Grady set a tournament record with 22 rebounds in the semifinals and finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds despite his foul trouble.
Playing for its second title in three years, Central Catholic was unable to respond in the second quarter, as Taft took a 46-16 lead into halftime on 62 percent shooting (64 percent from beyond the arc), while turning Central Catholic turnovers into 19 points.
The future for Taft looks bright as well, as the team will return five of its top six players next season.
Adolphus Washington, a top national defensive end recruit in the 2012 class, led Taft with 19 points. Eleven players for Taft scored.