TODAY’S GIRLS BASKETBALL STATE FINALS
At OSU’S Schottenstein Center
TV: Time Warner Cable Ch. 99
Anna (25-4) vs. Columbus Africentric (22-5), 10:45 a.m.
Notable: Unranked, Anna has rocked the D-III field by landing in its third straight state title game. Even better, it’s a rematch of the 2012 title game, which Africentric won 70-66 in OT. The Rockets crushed Orrville 80-59 in their semifinal on Thursday. Anna, the D-III 2011 state champ, is seeking its third title in five tries. Its other title was in 1981. Natalie Billing, a 5-11 senior, leads Anna in scoring (17.0). The Nubians beat Beverly Fort Frye 43-40 in their semi. Its starting lineup all average double scoring digits, led by 6-2 senior Marley Hill ( 17.2).
Fort Loramie (26-3) vs. Berlin Hiland (26-3), 5:15 p.m.
Notable: Loramie overcame No. 1 Ottoville 49-42 in OT in its semi on Friday. The Redskins have been to the final four seven times but are still looking for their first title. Twice they’ve been runner-up, the most recent in 2011. Darian Rose, Loramie’s 5-8 junior and leading scorer (18.0) put 22 points on Ottoville. Hiland dodged Reedsville Eastern 54-51 in its semi. The Hawks have made Columbus a frequent last stop, appearing in 11 final fours since 1997 and winning in 2008, ’06, ’05 and ‘00. Junior Regina Hochstetler averages 17.7 points.
TODAY’S BOYS BASKETBALL REGIONAL FINALS
Winners to state semifinals at OSU Schottenstein Center
At Fairmont’s Trent Arena
Alter (20-5) vs. Dunbar (21-6), 3 p.m.
Notable: Inspired by coach Joe Petrocelli’s announcement last month that he would retire after 49 seasons, the Knights are on a mission to delay his farewell. A 65-40 wipeout of Columbus Marion-Franklin in Thursday’s semifinal was Alter’s fourth postseason win. Senior guard Jaaron Simmons has scored 25 points or more in each of those games. Dunbar stunned loaded Cincinnati Hughes 69-62 in its semi after trailing by seven at halftime. The defending D-II state champs continue to get inspired play from 6-8 senior center Damarion Geter. He had 17 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks vs. Hughes. The teams have played many great playoff games since the early 1970s. The last was a 73-49 wipe out that Dunbar unloaded in the 2007 regional final. The Wolverines also won a state title that season.
Versailles (21-5) vs. Cin. Roger Bacon (24-3), 7 p.m.
Notable: The Tigers of the Midwest Athletic Conference humbled Worthington Christian 63-48 in its semi. Kyle Ahrens, a 6-5 sophomore, is Versailles’ go-to player, averaging 20.0 points. Bacon beat top-ranked and D-III defending state champ Cin. Summit Country Day 61-53 in its semi. Out of the GCL Central Division, the Spartans are led by 6-3 junior Carlas Jackson (15.5).
- Compiled by Staff Writer Marc Pendleton