girls basketball team showed it not only can be dominating, but it also can play through adversity.
In a bid for its first Division I state championship last Saturday, the Tiger rallied from a 10-point deficit late in the third quarter to beat Fairmont (Kettering)
55-42 in Ohio State's Schottenstein Center.
Post player Malina Howard
, a first-team all-state player, finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds and Leah Fechko
added 11 points, four assists and two steals.
"We won a huge basketball game," Tigers coach Julie Solis told the Columbus Dispatch. "They went (undefeated) from a reason. They are fighters."
Twinsburg, which is ranked fifth in this week's Xcellent 25 Writers' Poll, finished with a 27-0 record.
The Tigers rallied to within 36-32 by the end of the third quarter when Katie Fox
picked up a loose ball and hit a 12-foot bank shot. Twinsburg kept the pressure up early in the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer by Fox and a runner by Ashley Morrissette
to take a 41-34 lead with 6:37 remaining.
Fairmont, which was a state semifinalist a year ago, finished with a 26-2 record.
Twinsburg beat Pickerington North (Pickerington) 57-44 in a state semifinal last Friday.
"It was the first time all year that we were down, and we were worried," Howard told the Dispatch. "We had to stay together. Then we got some baskets and we got the momentum going."GARFIELD HEIGHTS TO FACE NORTHLAND
The top two teams in the final Division I state boys basketball poll, Garfield Heights
and Northland (Columbus)
, will meet in a state semifinal at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Ohio State.MaxPreps Ohio boys basketball playoff brackets
It will be the first state tournament appearance since 1950 for the Bulldogs, who are 22-1. Northland won the 2009 state title before losing in a regional final last year and is 25-1.
The contest will match up Garfield Heights' Trey Lewis
with Northland's Trey Burke
, a pair of senior guards who have played together at the AAU level. Lewis averages 23 points and will play for Penn State while Burke averages 24.3 points and has signed with Michigan.
"They've got Trey Burke, (Jalen) Robinson, we could go on and on with that team," Bulldogs coach Sonny Johnson said. "I think they start five Division I prospects. When you've got a point guard that can control the game like Trey Burke can, you definitely better be ready. Trey Lewis is an unbelievable talent, our best player for sure. I know he says he hasn't talked as much lately (with Burke), but they've got an unbelievable bond and the same determination."HATHAWAY BROWN WINS ANOTHER TITLE
The Hathaway Brown (Shaker Heights)
girls basketball team entered the state tournament with nine losses and wasn't ranked in the top 10 in the final Division II state poll, but it still beat Carroll (Dayton)
54-51 for the state championship last Saturday at Ohio. It was the third consecutive title for the Blazers, who got 10 second-quarter points from Loyola of Chicago recruit Molly Crosby
and led 29-26 at the half after falling behind early. Crosby finished with 13 points and six rebounds and Tanisha Lawler
and Vanessa Smith
each scored 12 points.TOP PERFORMERS
* Trey Burke, Northland boys basketball:
On the way to helping the Vikings improve to 25-1 and advance to their second Division I state tournament in three seasons, Burke finished with 27 points during a 57-52 victory over Lincoln (Gahanna) on March 16 and 29 in an 80-62 win over Westerville South (Westerville) last Saturday.
* Anton Grady, Cleveland Central Catholic boys basketball:
Grady finished with 21 points and 17 rebounds to lead Cleveland Central Catholic to a 59-46 victory over Ursuline (Youngstown) in a regional final last Saturday. The win moved the Ironmen to the state tournament for the second time in three seasons.* Keith Towbridge, Toledo Central Catholic boys basketball:
Towbridge scored 18 points off the bench to lead Toledo Central Catholic to a 61-33 victory over Stow-Munroe-Falls in a Division I regional final last Saturday.COMING THIS WEEK
State boys basketball tournament, Thursday-Saturday:
Ohio State's Schottenstein Center will be host this weekend to the state boys basketball championships in Divisions I, II, III and IV, the final OHSAA state tournaments of the winter season.
None of last year's state finalists are back at the state tournament. In Division I in addition to Northland's semifinal matchup against Garfield Heights at 8:30 p.m. Friday, La Salle (Cincinnati)
will face Central Catholic (Toledo)
in a semifinal at 5:15 p.m. Friday.
Matchups in Division II state semifinals are Bishop Hartley (Columbus)
vs. St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron)
at 10:45 a.m. Thursday and Rogers (Toledo)
vs. Thurgood Marshall (Dayton)
at 2 p.m. Thursday. Also on Thursday, Houston
will face Harvest Prep (Canal Winchester)
at 5:15 p.m. and Hiland (Berlin)
will meet Continental
at 8:30 p.m. in Division IV.
In Division III games Friday, Africentric Early College (Columbus)
will play Taft (Cincinnati)
at 10:45 a.m. and Portsmouth
will meet Cleveland Central Catholic
at 2 p.m. BRIEFLYUpper Arlington (Columbus)
has named Derek Aspinall as its new field hockey coach, according to ThisWeekSPORTS.com. The news outlet also reports that Olentangy Liberty (Powell)
has named Lisa Saiben as its new girls soccer coach and St. Charles (Columbus)
has chosen Andy MacKinnon as its new boys golf coach. MacKinnon takes over a program that has won back-to-back Division I state championships. … Scott Dempsey, who led the Bexley girls soccer team to seven state girls soccer tournaments, was not presented with a new coaching contract despite an overwhelming show of support during a board of education meeting March 14. According to ThisWeekSPORTS.com, Dempsey's contract expires at the end of the current school year.Jarrod Ulrey covers Central and Northern Ohio for MaxPreps.com. He covers prep sports for
ThisWeekSPORTS.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.