By The Associated Press
COLUMBUS — Seldom is a girls team as quick as Columbus Africentric also so careful with the basketball.
The Nubians paired a lethal trapping defense with the ability to hold onto the ball for good shots to beat Versailles, 49-37, on Saturday night in the Division III state championship game.
Sierra Harley had 14 points off the bench and Alexa Hart set the tone with six blocked shots in the first seven minutes as the Nubians (27-2), who lost in the title game last year after winning it in 2012, captured their fourth title. They became just the eighth school to have won at least four state championships.
Second-team All-Ohioan Christa Puthoff and Emily Harman both had nine points for ninth-ranked Versailles.
Versailles was seeking its second state championship, after winning the biggest trophy in 2008. This was the Tigers’ sixth trip to the state final four.
WEST HOLMES 62
KETTERING ALTER 45
COLUMBUS — Paiten Strother scored 18 points and Emily Molnar 15 to lead top-ranked Millersburg West Holmes back from a poor start on Saturday to a 62-45 victory over No. 2 Kettering Alter in the Division II girls’ state championship game.
The title was the fourth for West Holmes (29-0) but first since its winning streak from 1984-86.
Alter (29-1) led 7-0 almost 4 minutes into the game, but behind Strother and Molnar, West Holmes scored 23 of the next 27 points and was never headed.
Libby Bazelak had 16 points for Alter, which hadn’t really been tested all season until a narrow win in the state semis. Alter started two freshmen, two sophomores and a junior.
Reedsville Eastern 49
Zanes. Rosecrans 38
COLUMBUS — Jenna Burdette scored 20 of her 24 points in the second half — accounting for all but seven of her team’s points over that span — to carry top-ranked Reedsville Eastern past No. 3 Zanesville Rosecrans 49-38 in the Division IV girls state title game.
Burdette, an Associated Press first-team All-Ohioan and co-player of the year in the division, time and again made big shots and big plays as Eastern (27-1) got redemption for a semifinal loss a year ago in the school’s only previous appearance at the state tournament.
In the final 1:01, three teammates hit five free throws to keep Rosecrans (27-2) at bay.
Molly Nash had 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Bishops.
Cincinnati Princeton 61
North Canton Hoover 55
COLUMBUS — Associated Press Ms. Basketball Kelsey Mitchell scored 30 points and Carlie Pogue added 17 points and 14 rebounds to lead top-ranked Cincinnati Princeton to its second big-school championship with a 61-55 victory over North Canton Hoover on Saturday night.
Princeton (28-2) improved to 2 for 2 in the state tournament, also winning the title in its only other appearance in 1987.
Mitchell scored 15 points in the first quarter and then became less of an offensive force as her team never trailed after she fueled a 9-2 start. She also had four rebounds and three assists.
Kaylee Stroemple had 19 points and 12 rebounds for fifth-ranked Hoover (26-3).
Down as many as 14, Hoover cut the lead to four with 17 seconds left.