Clinging to a one-point halftime lead last Saturday against Notre Dame Academy (Toledo), the Start (Toledo)
girls basketball team turned up the heat defensively.
The result was a 22-4 run during the third period and an eventual 59-46 victory that gave the Spartans their second Toledo City League championship in three seasons. When Start won the 2009 City title, it went on to earn a Division I state runner-up finish.
The Spartans, who were ranked seventh in last week's state poll, have similar aspirations for the coming postseason.
"This feels great, especially with it being the last City Championship for our seniors," senior guard Maleeka Kynard told the Toledo Blade. "We just knew we had to pick up our defensive intensity. They were getting a lot of shots in the lane and they were getting to the basket and making shots."
Kynard, who has signed with Ohio State, finished with 14 points and four rebounds. Kentucky-bound senior Asia Bishop, a 6-foot-2 post player, fought through heavy defensive attention to contribute 13 points and 13 rebounds. Junior Jaymie Jackson had 16 points and grabbed five rebounds to lead Start, which improved to 18-2.
Notre Dame Academy, which also lost to Start 60-50 on Jan. 31, finished the regular season with a 16-4 record. The Eagles received 16 points from Demy Whitaker and 14 from Cat Wells.
During the third quarter, Start made eight of 10 shots from the floor and went 6-for-8 from the free-throw line and forced seven turnovers.
"I didn't know we did those things (statistically), but I knew we played well in the third quarter," coach Bob Brown told the Blade. "Those numbers are pretty amazing considering the talent of Notre Dame. They do a tremendous job of taking away your strengths."MaxPreps Ohio girls basketball playoff bracketsNORTHLAND BOYS WIN AGAIN
The Northland (Columbus)
boys basketball team made it five consecutive Columbus City League championships last Saturday when it beat Walnut Ridge (Columbus) 59-52.
The Vikings' Trey Burke
, a Michigan recruit, was held to 14 points, but junior guard Jordan Potts
made a pair of 3-pointers and finished with 15 points. Junior Devon Scott
scored 14 points and classmate Jalen Robinson
added 11 points as well for Northland, which improved to 19-1.
The Vikings were third in last week's Division I state poll and have gone 69-0 against City League-North Division opponents the last five seasons in addition to winning each of the conference finals.
"It means a lot," Northland coach Satch Sullinger said. "I think everybody sat around and wanted a pound of our flesh this year, and (this team) didn't let that happen."MaxPreps Ohio boys basketball playoff bracketsBUCHTEL BOYS DOWN FIRESTONE
Senior guard Jazel Garrett scored 10 of his game-high 18 points during the third quarter to lead the Buchtel (Akron)
boys basketball team past host Firestone (Akron) 63-53 last Saturday. It gave the Griffins their second consecutive Akron City series title. Buchtel, which is ranked third in the state in Division II, outscored the Falcons 27-12 in the third quarter to rally from a 32-26 halftime deficit.