GIRLS STATE FINALS
Alter 58, Hathaway Brown 41
COLUMBUS (AP) — The senior class of Kettering Archbishop Alter had the perfect ending.
Seniors Libby Bazelak and Braxtin Miller combined for 44 points as the Knights won their third straight girls Division II title with a 58-41 win Saturday against Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown at Value City Arena.
Miller had 23 points and Bazelak 21 while each had eight rebounds.
Alter (28-2) has six seniors, five of whom started, that have won 151 games the past four seasons and reached the state tournament all four years.
“All of us played together since we were in third grade,” Miller said. “This is something we dreamed about as kids.”
Alter led by 15 early in the fourth but Hathaway Brown (18-11) got to within 46-39 before Bazelak and Miller each scored four points down the stretch, and the Knights turned a close game into wider margin with several easy baskets at the end.
“It’s kind of hard to put into words what they mean, but what they did on the court kind of sums it up,” Alter co-coach Christina Hart said. “They played together. They looked for one another. They did it as a team. That’s what they’ve done for four years.”
Kaydan Lawson had 14 points and Dani Lawson 11 for Hathaway Brown.
Hathaway Brown was down double digits in the first half but pulled to 28-24 with 5:21 left in the third quarter when Bazelak and Miller took over to increase Alter’s lead to 40-27. Bazelak had seven points and Miller added five during the run.
Michael Coreno cited Alter’s experience in being able to hold off the Blazers’ rally.
“You could see that big-game experience and the fact they played together so long, it kind of wears you down,” he said.
The game was a meeting of Division II royalty.
In addition to Alter’s three straight titles, the Knights also were champs in 2008 and runner-up in 2010 and 2014, the latter being the freshmen year for this senor class.
Hathaway Brown won its five consecutive titles from 2009-13 and played for the title in the two years before the winning streak began.
Berlin Hiland 61, Waterford 41
COLUMBUS (AP) — Angela Troyer scored 20 points and Morgan McMillen had 17 for Hiland as it won its fifth state title with a 61-41 victory against defending champion Waterford in the Division IV final on Saturday at Value City Arena.
Troyer was the 2017 Associated Press Player of the Year in Division IV and made 4 of 5 3-pointers.
“The award was great, but ultimately winning a state championship in my senior year is all I wanted,” Troyer said.
McMillen had 10 of her points in the second half when the Hawks (29-1) outscored Waterford 18-9 in the third quarter to take a 49-30 lead.
“I felt like we had good control most of the game,” Hiland coach Dave Schlabach said.
Hiland also won titles in 2000, ’05, 06 and 08. The Hawks have been runner-up on five occasions, most recently in 2013.
Alli Kern had 17 points for Waterford (25-4), who was also runner-up in 2015.
Hiland took it largest lead of the first half, 27-16, with 4:10 left in the second quarter on the strength of hitting four straight 3-pointers over a two-minute stretch.
“We had a run in the second quarter where we had the speed we wanted,” Schlabach said.
Waterford scored the next five points but Hiland but missed several free throws to cut the deficit even more and Hiland scored the final four points of the half. Jessica Troyer scored a layup on the fast break and she added two free throws for a 31-21 lead.
“We could have been down three or four points but instead of 10,” Waterford coach Jerry Close said.
McMillen fueled the charge in the third when she scored seven points in the first 3 ¢ minute. The Hawks came out and made four of their first eight shots while Waterford missed all seven of its shots.
“We haven’t faced pressure like that all season,” Close said.
The hot shooting by Hiland was in contrast to the Hawks leading 9-6 after the first quarter despite hitting 4 of 14 shots, including 1 for 8 from 3-point range.
Gilmour Academy 56,
COLUMBUS (AP) — Naz Hillmon scored 24 points and grabbed 17 rebounds as Gates Mills Gilmour Academy held on for its first title with a 56-54 win against Versailles in the girls Division III final at Value City Arena on Saturday.
“Give credit to my teammates,” Hillmon said. “They got up and down the court whether it was on offense or defense.”
Hillmon, a 6-foot-2 junior, was named The Associated Press 2017 player of the year in Division III.
“She’s an amazing post player,” said Versailles forward Danielle Winner, who led the Tigers with 13 points.
Hillmon put Gilmour (24-6) on top 39-37 at the start of the fourth quarter Saturday. She then gave the Lancers their largest lead, 51-41, with 2:50 left in the game.
Gilmour led 56-50 with 16.8 seconds left but Versailles (26-4) got to within 56-52 on two free throws by Danielle Winner and Lindsey Winner’s put-back with 4.7 seconds left.
Versailles forced a forced a turnover and Kami McEldowney made it 56-54 with 2.5 seconds left but Versailles couldn’t get a shot off after intercepting an inbound pass.
“We didn’t have enough time,” Versailles coach Jacki Stonebraker said. “We needed more than two or three more seconds.
“These girls did a great job of staying together and coming back. I know everybody thought the game was over with a minute to go.”
The 37-37 score after three quarters was befitting the closeness of the game. Versailles led 26-23 to start the third quarter but Gilmour scored the next five points and took a 37-33 lead before Lindsey Winner and Danielle Winner hit field goals to tie the score.
The first half was tight with the score being tied for 5:10 of the 16 minutes and there were five lead changes.
Versailles eventually pulled away for its biggest lead with just 37 seconds left in the half when McEldowney hit a 3-pointer from the left corner for a 26-21 lead, but Hillmon picked up loose ball underneath the Gilmour basket and scored with 11 seconds left for the 26-23 score at the break.
The game remained in doubt until the end, but Gilmour coach Bob Beutel had confidence in his players.
“They really kept their focus and made the most of every lesson learned this season,” he said.
Mount Notre Dame 54,
Notre Dame Academy 44
COLUMBUS (AP) — Julia Hoefling scored 18 points, eight in the fourth quarter, to help Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame to its sixth title with a 54-44 win against Toledo Notre Dame Academy in a Division I final on Saturday.
The six titles tie Pickerington and South Euclid Regina for the most titles in the history of the girls tournament, which began in 1976.
“This one means a lot to me,” Mount Notre Dame coach Scott Rogers said. “I took this one in more than others. I’ve enjoyed the kids so much.
“To do what they’ve done is absolutely short of incredible. . This team is so young; to understand what it takes to get to this game is special.”
Mount Notre Dame’s most recent championship came in 2009 to cap a four-year reign. The Cougars also won in 2004.
It was more heartbreak for Toledo Notre Dame Academy, which has never won a title despite being in the state tournament five of the past six years with another runner-up finish in 2015.
“It’s horrible. It’s hard,” coach Travis Galloway said.
Mount Notre Dame (26-4) held a 42-31 lead with six minutes to play at Value City Arena. But a 3-pointer by Mariah Copeland and two quick scores by Bre Hampton-Bey made it 42-38 before Maria Pisciotta made a basket to put Mount Notre Dame ahead 44-38.
“Our goal wasn’t to just get here. Our goal was to win it,” Hoefling said. “We had to finish it off.”
Hampton-Bey had eight of her 22 points in the fourth quarter for Notre Dame Academy.
“We knew we had enough heart (to come back),” Hampton-Bey said. “We didn’t give up.”
Mount Notre Dame got 15 points from Abby Voss and 12 from Gabbie Marshall.
The Cougars trailed 11-4 after the first quarter and 17-10 early in the second, but held Notre Dame Academy without a point for more than four minutes. They went on an 11-0 run to move to a 21-17 advantage and took a 24-20 lead into halftime.
Marshall had two steals and two baskets in the opening 45 seconds of the third quarter to make it 28-20.
“That was the key,” Rogers said. “I told her at halftime, ‘Gabbie, don’t lose faith.’ She hadn’t been hitting shots but she had those two steals and we were off and running.”
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.