Early deficit can’t keep Versailles out of state finals

COLUMBUS – Versailles erased a 10-point first-quarter deficit and had three players score in double digits Friday in a 67-60 Division III state semifinal win over Proctorville Fairland.

The win moves the Tigers (24-3) into today’s 5:15 p.m. finals against Columbus Africentric, which doubled up Smithville 44-22 in the other semifinal.

Fairland (22-4) used a 10-0 run to grab a 12-2 lead by the 2:45 mark of the first quarter, but the Tigers rallied to cut the gap to 14-10 by the end of the quarter before entering halftime clinging to a 26-25 lead.

Versailles led 45-41 by the end of the third quarter and pushed the lead to 47-41 on Christa Puthoff’s layup a little more than a minute into the fourth and never led by fewer than five points after that.

Puthoff finished with 15 points and six rebounds, Katie Heckman tallied 13 points and seven boards and Lauren Burns netted 10 points. Amanda Wenner added seven rebounds and Brooke Pothast chipped in eight points and five assists.

The Dragons got 15 points and four assists from Caitlin Stone, 13 points from Taylor Perry and 11 points, eight boards and three blocks from Terra Stapleton.

Nubians double up Smithies

COLUMBUS – Columbus Africentric broke away in the second quarter and used a big surge in the fourth to seal the win Thursday in a 44-22 Division II state semifinal win over Smithville.

The Nubians (24-2) advance to play Versailles, which defeated Proctorville Fairland 67-60 in the other semifinal, in today’s 5:15 state championship game.

The Smithies (26-3) led 9-7 at the first stop, but Africentric outscored Smithville 10-2 in the second period to gain momentum.

Both teams netted seven points in the third period, but the Nubians raced off 20-4 in the fourth to lock up the berth in the finals.

Ayrielle Stith gave the Nubians 11 points and three assists. Alexa Hart added eight points and 11 blocks, and Darianne Seward turned in eight points, four assists and three steals.

Smithville’s Olivia Besancon scored nine points and Natalie Indermuhle had eight points and nine rebounds.

Vikings steamroll Coffman

COLUMBUS – North Canton Hoover led by 10 at the first stop and only let the lead dip below nine points once after that Friday in a 61-44 Division I state semifinal win over Dublin Coffman.

The win propels the Vikings (26-2) into today’s 8:30 p.m. finals against Cincinnati Princeton, which beat Toledo Notre Dame 60-52 in the other semifinal.

Coffman’s only lead came early, when Christine Szabo nailed a 3-pointer on her team’s first shot for a 3-2 advantage at the 6:54 mark of the first quarter.

Hoover countered with a 17-6 run over the rest of the period and never saw its lead get under 10 points until Kamerine Taylor’s 3-pointer with 5:32 left in the third quarter cut the deficit to 34-25.

The Shamrocks (22-7) only got within seven points once after that, but Hoover ended the third with a 45-33 lead and added to it from there.

Kaylee Stroemple’s 18 points and eight rebounds keyed the Vikings. Julie Worley chipped in 16 points, Marquia Turner had 14 points and three assist and Kelsey Lensman added nine points and three steals.

Taylor tallied 17 points for the Shamrocks, Szabo scored 11 points and Sade Olatoye had seven points, eight boards and three assists.

Kelsey Mitchell leads Princeton past Notre Dame

COLUMBUS (AP) – Ms. Basketball Kelsey Mitchell scored 23 points and top-ranked Cincinnati Princeton beat Toledo Notre Dame Academy 60-52 Saturday night in a Division I girls state semifinal at Ohio State’s Value City Arena.

Carlie Pogue added 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Lady Vikings (27-2), who shoot for their second big-school state title in Saturday’s final.

Mitchell also had six assists, four rebounds and a steal.

Tierra Floyd, like Mitchell a first-team all-stater, had 21 points for the seventh-ranked Eagles (24-4), with Kaayla Mcintyre adding 16.

Princeton outscored Notre Dame 12-5 in the third quarter and then hung on by hitting 7 of 10 free throws in the last 1:03 – three by Mitchell, who is headed to Ohio State along with her twin sister, Chelsea.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.