Division I Finals: LaSalle Spoils Final Game For Northland Coach Sullinger

Brandon Neel scored 22 points and LaSalle of Cincinnati won its first state title since 1996 on Saturday with a 59-40 victory over Northland of Columbus.

It was LaSalle's 14th straight victory, and it was the final game for Northland's retiring coach, Satch Sullinger, who won a state title at his Columbus school two seasons ago.

With seven players between 6-foot-1 and 6-foot-3 who can play inside and out, LaSalle (26-2) overwhelmed Northland (26-2) in the final three quarters, closing out the first quarter with an 8-0 run to tie the score and 12-12 and then taking a 28-22 lead at halftime and 43-31 lead following three quarters .

A 17-9 advantage for LaSalle in the fourth quarter accounted for the final margin of victory as LaSalle won going away.

A major difference in the game was the ability of LaSalle to protect the basketball and force turnovers, then convert those opportunities into made baskets. The Lancers forced 15 turnovers and committed only eight, while scoring 17 points off Northland mistakes.

Neel, who is receiving interest from several Division I programs, was LaSalle's top scorer.

Ryan Fleming, son of LaSalle coach Dan Fleming, scored 17 points.

Northland received only 10 points from Trey Burke on 4-of-14 shooting. Burke, a Michigan commit and Ohio's Mr. Basketball, had four assists but committed four turnovers. Northland had the height advantage with two 6-foot-8 juniors in Jalen Robinson and Devon Scott.

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