Ottawa Hills faces top-ranked Newark Catholic In IV semiWritten by Scott Calhoun | | email@example.com
Ottawa Hills will battle the state’s top-ranked Division IV team Newark Catholic in an Ohio High School Athletic Association boys basketball state semifinal at 10:45 AM March 26 at Value City Arena in Columbus.
While both the Green Bears (24-1) and Green Wave (25-1) enter the contest with one loss each OH’s John Lindsay and Newark’s Drew Meister sharing AP DIV state Coach of the Year honors, the representatives from Northwest Ohio were never ranked in the AP polls this season.
Not an issue for the Green Bears, who have already illustrated this postseason that state-ranked teams present no intimidation factor for them.
After Miller City waxed ninth-ranked McComb 53-32 in a sectional final, Ottawa Hills pasted the Wildcats 57-44 in a regional semi at Bowling Green’s Anderson Arena. The Green Bears then put the clamps on tenth-ranked and defending state runner-up Kalida 41-33 to punch their ticket to Columbus.
Further, Ottawa Hills and Newark Catholic are sharing first time appearances in the state boys basketball Final Four.
The Green Bears may possess the veiled advantage with star senior 6’0” point guard Eliot Browarsky, who averages 19.1 points and earned All-Ohio second team accolades in IV after being tabbed the DIII Player of the Year in boys soccer in 2009.
Browarsky helped lead the Green Bears soccer team to its first DIII state championship in 2008. His state title experience has been and will continue to be a vital aspect of his well-publicized leadership for the Green Bears.
But the Green Wave bring in plenty of winning experience on the hardwood. They’ve compiled 45 victories over the past two seasons combined and much of that success leading up to this point has been engineered by a cast of five current seniors all manning spots in Meister’s starting lineup.
They’re led by All-Ohio first team 6’1” guard Matt Dawson and his 16.8 points per game, 6’4” forward Nate Adams (12.6 ppg) and guard James Moerman (11.2 ppg). Adams, an all-state honorable mention in hoops, is Youngstown State-bound on a football scholarship. Derek Adam and Kevin Cox have also produced double-digit point totals in games, with both recently scoring 13 in the team’s 57-37 regional title win over Tree of Life.
The Green Wave has averaged 67.8 points per tournament game this month, so the Green Bears will have their work cut out for them defensively. But defense is where Ottawa Hills has thrived, particularly in its own postseason endeavor. The Green Bears have allowed just 38.2 points per the five tournament contests won to reach Columbus.
Something will have to give.
And offensively OH figures to give the Green Wave’s defense its own fits to overcome. Junior 6’2” post Andrew Jamieson (11 ppg) and junior guard J.J. Buckey (10.9 ppg) present Newark Catholic three double-digit scoring threats to deal with.
The winner of the Friday morning contest will advance to the state championship game March 27 to face the winner of the other IV semi between Dayton Jefferson and Bedford St. Peter Chanel. The IV title game is slated for a 5:15 PM start and will be televised in HD by Sports Time Ohio.
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