Springfield wins in OT; Northmont, Centerville fall in district finals

Springfield’s Michael Wallace mugs for Lazarus Toliver. Springfield defeated Oak Hills 46-42 in OT in a boys high school basketball D-I district final at UD Arena on Saturday, March 11, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

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Springfield’s Michael Wallace mugs for Lazarus Toliver. Springfield defeated Oak Hills 46-42 in OT in a boys high school basketball D-I district final at UD Arena on Saturday, March 11, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Michael McKay’s deep 3-pointer and Leonard Taylor’s free throws in the final minute of overtime were the difference as Springfield prevented a sweep of Greater Western Ohio Conference teams by beating Cincinnati Oak Hills 46-42 in a boys high school basketball Division I district final Saturday night at UD Arena.

That was the last of four D-I district finals that saw Northmont and Centerville both eliminated.

BOYS SCHEDULE: District finals, regional pairings

The season-defining win sends Springfield (23-3) into a D-I regional semifinal against Cincinnati LaSalle (23-3) at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Wright State University’s Nutter Center. Unbeaten Moeller (25-0) will play Mason (21-2) in the other semi at 6:15 p.m.

Moeller eliminated Walnut Hills 57-44 in Saturday’s opener. Mason did the same to Centerville 44-38 and LaSalle overwhelmed Northmont 62-33.

GIRLS SCHEDULE: Regional results, state final four pairings

It was the second straight OT win for Springfield, which also dodged Xenia 73-72 in last week’s sectional final.

Taylor poked the ball away from Oak Hills, which led to Michael Wallace securing the win with two free throws with 8.2 seconds left for the final margin.

That set off a jubilant celebration by Wildcats players and cheerleaders that covered much of the arena floor.

Danny Davis ignited a late Springfield fourth-quarter charge with a deep 3-pointer. He also led the Wildcats with 16 points. Taylor was a force, adding 15 points, nine rebounds, five steals and four assists.

Oak Hills (22-4), winner of the Greater Miami Conference, was paced by Ryan Batte’s 15 points.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Northmont senior Vincent Walker addresses a season-ending 62-33 loss to LaSalle in a boys high school basketball D-I district final at UD Arena on Saturday, March 11, 2017.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

LaSalle 62, Northmont 33: A record-setting season for Northmont came to a decisive close as the Thunderbolts were overwhelmed.

Northmont (20-5) couldn’t get any consistent offense together, going 1 for 17 in 3-pointers. Vinson Walker and Anthony Dorsey led the T-Bolts with six points apiece. It was the first time Northmont had played for a district championship since 2010. It also was the second-most wins in program history. Northmont hasn’t won a district title since 1962.

“It’s a special group and it was a great season,” Northmont coach Collin Abels said. “It’s hard not to be sad, but we’re going to celebrate. They obviously paved the way for the future.

“You have groups who are really good but you don’t enjoy coaching. This is a group that was really good and you really enjoy coaching them. Our practice (Friday) was as good as the first week of the season. It just makes me proud to be their coach.”

Tre Crigler led LaSalle (23-3) with 17 points.

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Elks’ Keegan Saben (middle). Mason defeated Centerville 44-38 in a boys high school basketball D-I district final at UD Arena on Saturday, March 11, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Elks’ Keegan Saben (middle). Mason defeated Centerville 44-38 in a boys high school basketball D-I district final at UD Arena on Saturday, March 11, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

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Elks’ Keegan Saben (middle). Mason defeated Centerville 44-38 in a boys high school basketball D-I district final at UD Arena on Saturday, March 11, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Mason 44, Centerville 38: The Elks (17-9) couldn't maintain a halftime advantage and had a five-game season-ending win streak snapped, which included two defeats of GWOC National East rival Wayne. Junior guard Donnie Shelton led Centerville with 13 points and Keegan Saben added 12.

It marked the third straight season Centerville had played in a district final. Last season Centerville lost to Wilmington in a regional final.

“Our seniors were incredible this year,” Centerville coach Brook Cupps said. “They were very unselfish and accepting of the roles we asked them to fill. A lot of this is the seniors and driving the culture of what we want to do. It was important for those guys and they cared about each other.”

Mason (21-2) was led by Edward Puisis’ 21 points.

Moeller 57, Cin. Walnut Hills 44: Riley Voss paced a balanced scoring attack for the unbeaten Crusaders with 14 points and nine rebounds. Walnut Hills (18-7) was led by Jordan Henderson's 15 points.

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