prep girls tournament basketball Saturday’s state finals
Kettering Fairmont 52, Twinsburg 48
Makayla Waterman scored 24 points and hit a late clinching free throw and Kathryn Westbeld added 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead Kettering Fairmont over two-time defending big-school champion Twinsburg, ending the Tigers’ 42-game winning streak. The victory allowed the Firebirds (27-1) to atone for a 57-41 loss to Twinsburg in last year’s Division I state final. The title was the Firebirds’ first after coming up short in four trips to the state’s final four. Associated Press Ms. Basketball Ashley Morrissette had 27 points, including 15 of her team’s 17 in the fourth quarter, for Twinsburg (29-1), which lost to an Ohio school for the first time in 73 games.
Hathaway Brown 56, West Holmes 44
Second-team Associated Press All-Ohioan Nia Marshall scored 17 points and added 18 rebounds to lead Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown over Millersburg West Holmes, a record fifth consecutive state title. The Blazers (23-6) broke a deadlock with Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame and South Euclid Regina, which had each won four in a row. Marshall scored all five of Hathaway Brown’s points over the first 4-plus minutes of the final quarter, enabling it to play keep-away with both the lead and the ball. Rachelle Morrison had 13 points for West Holmes (28-2), which had beaten the Blazers on their home floor on Dec. 1.
Anna 67, Columbus Africentric 49
Cayla Bensman had 21 points, Natalie Billing 17 and Erica Huber 15 as Anna defeated Columbus Africentric to win its second girls Division III championship in three years. It was sweet revenge for Anna (26-4) against Africentric, which last year won its third title in six years with a 70-66 overtime win to snap the Rockets’ 50-game winning streak. Africentric (22-6) reduced a 13-point halftime deficit to 36-28 early in the third period but Anna pushed the lead to 50-34 at the end of the quarter. Marley Hill, the Associated Press co-player of the year for Division I, had 19 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks for Africentric.
Fort Loramie 57, Berlin Hiland 42
Second-team Associated Press All-Ohioan Darian Rose scored 19 points and seemed to be in the middle of every big play down the stretch, leading Fort Loramie past Berlin Hiland for its first state championship. Rose, a junior, hit all eight of her free throws and also had five rebounds and five assists as the Redskins (27-3) finally finished on top in their seventh trip to the state tournament. Regina Hochstetler poured in 23 points for Hiland (26-4), denied its fifth state title in a record 13 trips to the final four.