With the Ohio High School Athletic Association state basketball tournament coming up later this month, area teams will be gearing up for a postseason run.
Here is a look at seven of the region’s greatest boys basketball state champions from the last half century:
1. Springfield Catholic Central: 1996
After losing in the Division IV final in 1995, the Irish bounced back the next year for another shot and this time came away with the title. They beat a 26-0 Van Wert Lincolnview squad 75-52 to finish 24-3. Catholic Central made it back in 1997 despite a 12-13 record entering the state tournament, but lost in the semifinals.
2. Dayton Dunbar: 2012
Dunbar capped off its first perfect season at 28-0 with a thrilling 54-52 win over Elida to claim the Division II title in 2012. Andre Yates nailed a banker in the final seconds following a missed free throw and long outlet pass to give the Wolverines their fifth state title in program history. They also won in 2010 and collected back-to-back championships in 2006 and 2007 after a state semifinalist finish in 2005.
3. Alter: 1999
The Knights’ Division II state title in 1999 certainly didn’t come easily. Their 49-47 overtime win over Philo in the final was their fourth straight overtime game. Keith Waleskowski’s 5-foot jump shot with 1.1 seconds remaining in OT bounced a couple of times on the rim before dropping in for the game-winner.
Mark Borland hit a 3-pointer at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime. Alter also won the title in 2001 to finish 25-2, much more easily with a 62-48 win over Warrensville Heights.
4. Lakota: 1992
A year after losing the 1991 state final in overtime, Lakota wasn’t about to let it happen again. The Thunderbirds overcame a 21-point deficit over the final 11 minutes of regulation and outlasted Lima Senior 88-86 in overtime to win the Division I title in 1992.
Keith Gregor hit two free throws with 10.6 seconds left to make it a two-possession game, and Lima couldn’t get the ball back after hitting a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining. Lakota, now split into Lakota East and Lakota West, is the only Ohio school on any level to have gone to overtime in back-to-back state championship games.
5. Badin: 1988
Thirty years ago Gerry Weisgerber led the Rams to a perfect 28-0 finish, capped by a 68-63 win over Zoarville Tusky Valley in the Division III state final. Badin earned a 21-8 advantage over the last five minutes and turned in a record-setting 37-of-48 effort at the foul line. The Rams averaged 73.4 points and gave up an average of 53.5 per game that season.
6. St. Henry: 1990-1991
St. Henry won back-to-back titles in 1990 and 1991 and went 51-2 over those two seasons. The 1990 title came with a 71-60 win over Youngstown Liberty in the Division III final, and the Redskins made it look even easier the next year when they beat New Madison Tri-Village 71-45 in the Division IV championship. St. Henry also won a title in 1979 to finish 26-0.
7. Dayton Chaminade: 1970
Three years before merging with Julienne in 1973, the all-boys Chaminade High School etched its name in the record books with a 27-0 season. Chaminade won the Class AA title with a 69-47 win over Rossford, which had entered the game 25-0.
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