Versailles pulls away to beat Labrae in D-III state semifinals

By TIM McDONOUGH mcdonough@crescent-news.com Published:

COLUMBUS -- Thursday's Division III boys state basketball semifinal showdown between Versailles and Leavittsburg Labrae proved to be a tale of two halves.

Labrae led 37-33 at halftime after hitting a sizzling 65 perfect of its shots from the field, but Versailles clamped down on the Vikings in the second half. The Tigers held Labrae to just 23 percent shooting and to just 15 points total in the final two quarters in pulling away to a 64-52 victory.

The Tigers (23-5) advance to Saturday's D-III state title tilt to face Ottawa-Glandorf, a 61-60 winner over Ironton in the early D-III semifinal.

"It was a tale of two halves," stated Labrae coach Chad Kiser. "We were able to turn the tempo around in the second quarter and we forced them to take contested shots. We knew they would come out in the second half and play that 2-3 zone, and they did a great job of keeping the ball out of Peyton's (Aldridge) hands. That really hurt us."

Damien Richard (6-3, junior, guard) and Kyle Ahrens (6-5, soph, guard) each finished with 21 points to power the Tigers, who shot 47 percent for the game, but 54.5 percent in the second half. Chad Winner added eight points and seven boards for Versailles, which finished as state runner-up in 2004 in its only other state appearance.

Peyton Aldridge (6-7, junior, forward) hit 10-of-15 shots, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, to finish with a game-high 23 points for the Vikings (24-4), with 16 coming in the first two quarters. Aldridge added a game-high nine boards, and was the only player in double digits for Labrae, which was making its state debut.

"Aldridge is a great player, he hit a lot of tough shots, said Versailles mentor Scott McEldowney. "We had to take the ball out of his hands, and fortunately in the second half we were able to do that."

Said Aldridge: "We played well the first half, but we got a little impatient in the second half and they capitalized."

BOX SCORE

LEAVITTSBURG LABRAE (24-4)

FG 3FG FT PTS

Chris Clevenger 3-5 1-2 0-0 7

Peyton Aldridge 10-15 3-5 0-4 23

Carl Brown 1-7 0-1 2-2 4

Nate Middleton 1-3 0-1 0-0 2

John Richards 2-9 2-8 0-0 6

James Hall 1-3 1-3 0-0 3

Justin Jenkins 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Tyler Shiamone 2-6 0-4 0-0 4

Marcel Richardson 1-1 0-0 1-2 3

Paul Zigmont 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Assists: 8. Rebounds: 26 (Aldridge 9). Blocked Shots: 4 (Aldridge 3). Turnovers: 13.

Labrae 14 23 8 7 - 52

Versailles 21 12 16 15 - 64

VERSAILLES (23-5)

FG 3FG FT PTS

Nick Campbell 2-4 0-0 0-1 4

Damien Richard 8-12 2-3 3-4 21

Chad Winner 3-11 2-8 0-0 8

Kyle Ahrens 8-17 2-5 3-3 21

Jacob Heitkamp 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Brett McEldowney 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Jace Barga 1-4 0-1 0-0 2

Kyle Rutschilling 0-0 0-0 2-2 2

Jacob Wenning 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Evan Phlipot 3-5 0-0 0-1 6

Zach Steinbrunner 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Tyler Drees 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Ryan Knapke 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Justin Marshall 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Assists: 17 (Winner 5). Rebounds: 35 (Winner 7). Blocked Shots: 0. Turnovers: 12.

D-II State Semifinals

Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 70, Vincent Warren 51

COLUMBUS -- The Fighting Irish of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary moved one step closer to winning their seventh state championship after rolling to a 70-51 victory over Vincent Warren in the Division II boys state basketball semifinals on Thursday at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus.

Nick Wells (6-6, senior, forward) led a trio of players in double figures for SVSM (20-9, No. 11 AP) with 18 points after finishing 7-of-8 from the floor and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. Wells also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. SVSM outscored Warren (26-2, No. 9 AP) in every quarter, breaking open a close game late in the second stanza.

"I thought we executed our gameplan pretty well," stated Akron SVSM coach Dru Joyce, who has led the Irish to four of the six crowns. "The second half our guys did the right things. We were patient for the most part, it was about defending and we defended well."

Said Vincent Warren mentor Blaine Maddox: ""They're long, and good, and fast, and can shoot. We're a full-court, half-court, trapping team. That wasn't a good match for us."

Freshman VJ King (6-7, guard) added 14 points and six boards, while Jalen Hudson (6-6, junior, guard) had 12 points for the Irish, who won state titles in 2011, 09, 03, 01, 00 and 1984. Three of those (03, 01, 00) were won with LeBron James on campus.

Reece Patton (6-3, junior, forward) scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed a team-high six boards for the Warriors. Michael Hall (6-5, soph, forward) had 15 points, and Evan French (6-3, junior, forward) was held to five points, 14 below his season average.

"They got into him (French) real well, and foul trouble was a little concern," concluded Maddox. "Reece and Hall stepped up, but we needed all three tonight."

BOX SCORE

VINCENT WARREN (26-2)

FG 3FG FT PTS

Dylan Leffingwell 1-4 1-2 0-0 3

Evan Yabs 0-3 0-2 0-0 0

Michael Hall 5-9 2-2 3-6 15

Evan French 2-8 1-5 0-0 5

Reece Patton 7-15 3-4 4-6 21

Adam Lang 0-1 0-0 1-2 1

Matt Drayer 1-2 0-0 0-0 2

Andrew Henthorn 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Corey Newlen 1-1 0-0 0-0 2

Danny Pannell 0-1 0-1 0-0 0

Collin Welch 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Marshall Church 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Andrew Drayer 1-1 0-0 0-0 2

Blake Kidder 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Aaron Mazurkiewicz 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Assists: 13. Rebounds: 22 (Patton 6). Blocked Shots: 2 (Patton 2). Turnovers: 11.

Warren 17 10 12 12 - 51

Akron SVSM 19 20 18 13 - 70

AKRON SVSM (20-9)

FG 3FG FT PTS

Jalen Hudson 4-11 0-5 4-7 12

Jordan Hargrove 4-4 0-0 0-2 8

VJ King 4-10 1-2 5-5 14

Joey Weber 1-1 0-0 0-0 2

Nick Wells 7-8 0-0 4-4 18

Jarel Woolridge 0-0 0-0 3-4 3

Johnnie Robinson 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Fransohn Bickley 2-4 1-3 0-3 5

Markus Hurd 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Parris Campbell 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Travonte Junius 2-2 0-0 0-0 4

Aaron Bushner 0-1 0-0 0-0 0

Dante Booker 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Henry Baddley 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Newman Williams 1-1 0-0 2-2 4

Assists: 14. Rebounds: 32 (Wells 7). Blocked Shots: 4 (Hudson 2). Turnovers: 9.

Bishop Watterson 53,

Kettering Alter 42

COLUMBUS -- Columbus Bishop Watterson entered Thursday's Division II state semifinal against Archbishop Kettering Alter riding a 21-game win streak. Watterson (27-1, No. 2 AP) pulled away from Alter (21-6, No. 7 AP) late to earn a 53-42 victory, their 22nd straight, and a date with Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in the Division-II state title game on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.. The Irish beat Warren 70-51 in the early semifinal.

"It's our first time here, and to get a win I'm thrilled," commented Watterson head coach Vince Lombardo. "We did an outstanding job of executing our plan. We didn't think they could guard us at all five positions and we were able to take advantage."

Matt Hughes (6-5, junior, post) finished with a double-double of 21 points and 10 board while adding three blocks. Matt Lehmann (6-4, junior, wing) had 14 points and Cody Calhoun (5-10, junior, guard) added nine points for the Eagles, who shot 55 percent from the field (11-of-20) in the second half and 45.5 percent (20-of-44) for the game.

Jaaron Simmons (6-2, senior, guard) was the lone player in double figures for Alter with 17 points. Michael Spencer (6-1, senior, guard), Michael Schwieterman (6-4, soph, forward) and Dean Lemon (6-3, soph, forward) each had six points for the Knights, who are coached by long-time mentor Joe Petrocelli.

Petrocelli, who announced his retirement during the season after 50 years in coaching, is the second winningest coach in Ohio high school boys basketball history behind Kalida's Dick Kortokrax (850 wins). He retires with a record of 831-305 and a trio of state championships (2001, 99, 78).

"We just did not execute very well for one reason or another, but that happens," Petrocelli said. "A lot of times you think this is the one you're going to win, but you don't, and when you don't think you have a chance, you win.

"I told the kids we had a magnificent season, one I will remember forever," he added.

BOX SCORE

BISHOP WATTERSON (27-1)

FG 3FG FT PTS

Bryan Jackson 0-4 0-1 3-4 3

Cody Calhoun 3-7 2-6 1-2 9

Tommy Geraghty 0-0 0-0 0-1 0

Matt Lehmann 6-8 2-4 0-0 14

Matt Hughes 10-18 0-0 1-2 21

Andy Grieser 1-5 0-4 1-2 3

Greg Jacknewitz 0-0 0-0 1-2 1

Ryan Lewis 0-2 0-2 2-2 2

Assists: 11. Rebounds: 32 (Hughes 10). Blocked Shots: 5 (Hughes 3). Turnovers: 9.

B. Watterson 11 14 12 16 - 53

Kettering Alter 11 8 13 10 - 42

KETTERING ALTER (21-6)

FG 3FG FT PTS

Jaaron Simmons 5-15 1-8 6-6 17

Michael Spencer 2-7 1-3 1-2 6

M. Schwieterman 2-9 0-5 2-2 6

Dean Lemon 3-6 0-0 0-0 6

Kraig Howe 2-4 0-0 0-0 4

Darius Miller 0-1 0-1 0-0 0

Nate Burger 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Ben Joseph 1-1 1-1 0-0 3

Reggie Henderson 0-0 0-0 0-0 0

Assists: 9. Rebounds: 24 (Spencer 6). Blocked Shots: 1. Turnovers: 9.

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