The La Salle (Cincinnati)
basketball team will continue its emotional journey by going north on Interstate 71 this weekend.
The Lancers will return to the state final four in Columbus for the first time since 1996, according to the Community Press. La Salle defeated Moeller 46-35 in a Division I regional final Friday night at the Cintas Center.
The Lancers won without their head coach Dan Fleming, who sat out a second game due to his recovery from a heart attack he suffered a few weeks ago. (Pat Goedde has served as interim coach).
"These guys really deserve to go to Columbus," Fleming told the Community Press. "They've worked their tails off for three years. I'm just so happy for them."
La Salle will be led by several seniors when they make their trip up to Columbus on Thursday. Those players include Ryan Fleming
(Dan's son), Trey Casey
, Matthew Woeste
and Brandon Neel
La Salle plays Central Catholic (Toledo)
at 5:15 p.m. Friday. If La Salle wins, the state final is 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Ohio State.Taft (Cincinnati)
is the second Cincinnati-area team that will appear at state this weekend. The Senators defeated Summit Country Day to win the Division III regional final this past weekend. Taft (24-1) plays Africentric Early College (Columbus)
(18-7) at 10:45 a.m. Friday. This past Sunday, Taft coach Mark Mitchell said he felt "euphoric" about reaching the state final four. The state final is 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
Taft has been led senior center Adolphus Washington
, who scored 15 points in the regional final, according to the Enquirer. Washington is considered by some observers to be the state's top-ranked college football prospect in the 2012 class. MaxPreps Ohio boys basketball playoff bracketsANNA WINS GIRLS STATE TITLEAnna
defeated Oak Hill 50-32 in the Division III state girls' basketball championship on Saturday at Ohio State University. Anna, ranked No. 3 in the final Associated Press poll, won the school's second state girls basketball title and the first since 1981. Anna (27-1) was led by senior Megan Fogt
, who had 16 points and 17 rebounds. Sophomore Natalie Billing
had 21 points, four rebounds and two steals. It was the first state final four appearance for Anna since 1982. KETTERING FAIRMONT GIRLS FINISH SECOND
The Fairmont (Kettering)
girls basketball team completed its season as the Division I state runner-up as it lost to Twinsburg
55-42 on Saturday. Twinsburg rallied from seven points down at halftime to defeat Fairmont (26-2). Fairmont was led by freshman Kathryn Westbeld
, who had 15 points and 11 rebounds. It was the first state runner-up finishfor Fairmont, which made it to the final for the first time since 2007. TRAVIS TRICE WINS GATORADE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Huber Heights Wayne senior guard Travis Trice
has been named the Gatorade Ohio Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Trice, who has signed with Michigan State, averaged 24.4 points, 7.2 assists, 4.5 steals and 3.3 rebounds this season to lead the Warriors to the Division I district final. He concluded his career at Wayne with 1,555 points. He scored 38 points against Winton Woods in a double-overtime loss in the district final at the University of Dayton. TOP STANDOUTS * Josh Davenport, Moeller boys basketball:
The sophomore guard had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Crusaders past Withrow 68-58 in a Division I regional semifinal at Xavier University, according to the Enquirer. * Adolphus Washington , Taft boys basketball:
The junior center had 27 points to lead the Senators past Clark Montessori 90-72 in the Division III regional semifinal, according to the Enquirer. * Antonio Woods, Summit Country Day:
The freshman had 20 points to lead Summit Country Day past Heath 67-51 in a Division III regional semifinal, according to the Enquirer. UPCOMING SCHEDULE * Taft vs. Columbus Africentric Early College boys basketball, Friday:
Taft plays in a Division III state semifinal at 10:45 a.m. Taft, which was ranked No. 1 in the final AP state poll, enters the game with a 24-1 record. Columbus Africentric is 18-7. The state final is 4:30 p.m. Saturday.* La Salle vs. Toledo Central Catholic boys basketball, Friday:
These two teams play in a Division I state semifinal at 5:15 p.m. at Ohio State's Value City Arena. La Salle (24-2) defeated Moeller in the regional final. Toledo Central Catholic enters the game with a 20-3 record.RANDOM THOUGHTS
The track and field season opens Saturday around the state of Ohio . … Longtime baseball manager/coach Don Zimmer won't attend the Cincinnati Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame induction April 12 because of a prior commitment, reports the Enquirer. Zimmer is a 1949 graduate of Western Hills High School . … St. Xavier (Cincinnati)
football coach Steve Specht has been named to the USA Football's Football and Wellness Committee. Specht coached the gold-medal-winning U.S. Under-19 national team in 2009. … The Ohio High School Athletic Association will honor former NBA player/executive Wayne Embry, former NFL player Jim Houston and Baseball Hall of Famer Phil Niekro and former NBA player John Havlicek at the state boys basketball tournament this week in Columbus.
(Information from the Ohio High School Athletic Association was used in this report).