7 great state championship teams in the area’s boys basketball history

Dunbar takes on Elida Saturday, March 24, 2012 for the Division II boys high school state championship basketball game at the OSU Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio.

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Dunbar takes on Elida Saturday, March 24, 2012 for the Division II boys high school state championship basketball game at the OSU Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio.

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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