The 11th-seeded Mount Vernon High School boys basketball team rallied in the second half to defeat 12th-seeded Westerville Central 39-36 in the second round of the Division I district tournament Saturday at New Albany.

The 11th-seeded Mount Vernon High School boys basketball team rallied in the second half to defeat 12th-seeded Westerville Central 39-36 in the second round of the Division I district tournament Saturday at New Albany.

The Yellow Jackets improved to 16-6 and will play third-seeded Grove City in a district semifinal Saturday at the Fairgrounds Coliseum. The Warhawks finished 16-6.

Central led 29-18 late in the third quarter and 29-21 heading into the fourth quarter. The Yellow Jackets took the lead for good at 37-36 on Ben Severns' shot in the lane with 15.5 seconds remaining. Severns finished with 15 points.

After a turnover by Central, Joe Scott helped seal the win with two free throws with a second left. Max VanMeter's shot from midcourt bounced off the backboard as time expired.

"We talked about keeping it close," Mount Vernon coach Kurt Kaufman said. "With our experience we hoped that we could keep it close and find a way to do it in the end, and that's what our guys did.

Mount Vernon's comeback was aided by Central's 14 turnovers and 8-for-14 shooting from the free-throw line, including 1-for-6 in the final quarter. The Yellow Jackets connected on all seven free throws in the final quarter.

VanMeter led the Warhawks with nine points followed by Solomon Brown with eight and Jerrell Fernandez with seven.

"It was definitely a physical game on the interior," Central coach Todd Minney said. "I thought we rebounded the ball extremely well in the first half. We did a bad job in the second half. They were the aggressors in the second half with contact and boxing out. You have to give credit to them for getting in there and battling. We didn't make shots on the interior, they hit foul shots at the end and we didn't."