Kiyanna Black of the Africentric Early College girls basketball team downplayed her approach heading into the Division III state final March 17 at Ohio State against defending champion Anna.

Kiyanna Black of the Africentric Early College girls basketball team downplayed her approach heading into the Division III state final March 17 at Ohio State against defending champion Anna.

"It was just a regular day on the court," she said.

Few in attendance likely agreed with that assessment, considering what Black did while leading her team to a 70-66 overtime victory.

The Ohio University signee, who was joined in the starting lineup by three sophomores and a junior, had 27 points and 12 rebounds. She made nine of 10 free throws, including five of six in the final three minutes of regulation.

Anna converted a pair of three-point plays during the final 35 seconds of regulation to send the game into overtime tied at 57, but the Nubians took a 68-61 lead with 1:17 to go in the extra period and held on.

In overtime, Black had four points and three rebounds, sophomore Sierra Harley had five points and sophomore Ayrielle Stith made a pair of free throws with 1.8 seconds left to seal the outcome.

Anna, which finished 27-1, had won 50 games in a row.

Africentric, which finished 23-4, also won state titles in Division IV in 2007 and '09.

Junior Marley Hill had 11 points and 11 rebounds, Harley had 10 points and Stith added four points and eight rebounds for the Nubians.

Senior Jaren Francis, who helped Harvest Prep win the Division IV state title last season, came off the bench against Anna as well as in a 57-37 victory over Smithville in a state semifinal March 15.

The only other seniors on Africentric's roster were Jazmin Brooks, Quanita Fair and Asia Shouse.

Other key players for the Nubians were sophomores Kyrah Jones, Alexus Parks and Darianne Seward.

"We all knew that Anna had won 50 games in a row, so it was definitely in the back of our minds," Black said.

"I think Ohio U. got a steal in Kiyanna," coach Will McKinney said. "She played like a senior, like a big sister, like a grandma. When you have a person like (Black) on your team, you always have an opportunity."

Against Smithville, Black had 16 points, Seward scored 13 and Stith added 10. The Nubians led 27-19 at halftime and extended the lead by outscoring the Smithies 16-8 in the third quarter.

Smithville finished 26-1.

Africentric shot 18-for-25 from the free-throw line against Anna and 19-for-23 from the line against Smithville.

"We started shooting free throws well in (a 93-54 win over Johnstown in a district final on March 3)," McKinney said. "Lately, they've just been going in. They're excited to be (at state) and they (wanted) to win."

•NUBIANS BACK AT STATE - The Africentric boys basketball team is competing in its second consecutive state tournament after defeating Beaver Eastern 78-43 in a Division IV regional final March 16 at Logan.

Africentric, which lost to Cincinnati Taft 63-50 in a Division III state semifinal last season, plays Jackson Center in a semifinal at 10:45 a.m. Thursday, March 22, at Ohio State. The Nubians are 22-3 and Jackson Center is 26-0.

The winner meets Berlin Hiland (25-1) or Arlington (23-3) in the state final at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 24, at Ohio State.

Last season, Hiland beat Harvest Prep 63-48 for the state title. Kejuan Skinner-Byrd, who played for Harvest Prep a year ago, now plays for Africentric.

Andy Hoying scored 26 points to lead Jackson Center past Dayton Jefferson 50-37 in a regional final March 16 at Kettering Fairmont. Hoying is a 6-foot-5 forward and two-time Shelby County League Player of the Year.

The Tigers, who were ranked No. 1 in the final state poll, also feature Alex Meyer, Gavin Wildermuth and Troy Opperman.

The Nubians, who were ninth in the final state poll, got 14 points from Kenny Robinson, 12 from FuQuan Tucker and 10 from Delquan Black against Eastern.

"I saw (Jackson Center) play, and they're good," coach Michael Bates said. "They're solid offensively, they space the floor out well and they execute extremely well in the halfcourt. Their whole city will be out to watch them.

"It's never easy when you get to the final four. Last year we had to face the No. 1-ranked team in Cincinnati Taft. For us, it's not going to be an easy task."

Africentric beat Newark Catholic 54-38 in a regional semifinal March 13 at Ohio Dominican behind 18 points and 11 rebounds from Hosie Smith and nine points and eight rebounds from Tucker.

Hiland advanced to state by beating Richmond Heights 41-40 in a regional final March 16 in Canton, as Seger Bonifat made a 3-pointer with 0.4 of a second remaining.

Arlington beat Edgerton 56-33 in a regional final March 16 at Bowling Green State University. Among the Red Devils' top players is Thayne Recker, who has scored more than 1,000 career points.

Arlington's girls basketball team won the Division IV state title March 17.

•WARRIORS FALL TO DUNBAR - The Eastmoor Academy boys basketball team's fifth appearance in the regional tournament ended with a double-digit loss.

The Warriors lost to No. 1-ranked Dayton Dunbar 52-35 in a Division II regional semifinal on March 15 at Fairmont to finish 17-8.

Eastmoor, which was the seventh seed for the district tournament and upset top-seeded Jonathan Alder 44-35 in a district final March 9, was held to just two points in the second quarter.

On the positive side, the Warriors held a typically high-scoring Dunbar team to 20 first-half points before the Wolverines pulled away over the final two quarters.

"You hold a team that scores 81 points a game to 20 in the first half and you feel good there, but we just couldn't do anything offensively," said Jim Miranda, who completed his first season as coach.

"It was a good experience, and it showed the level that we have to get to. We will try to get Dunbar on our schedule for next year. I thought the guys worked hard and bought into what we wanted to accomplish."

The Warriors lose seven seniors, including Bryan Booker, Jalen Crosby, Khalil Hairston and Deshawn Marshall.

Junior John Draper, who made first-team all-district and first-team all-City League-South Division, should be the top returnee. Also eligible to return are juniors Daivon Barrow and Devon Edwards and sophomore Shamonty Manning.

Booker was second-team all-league and Barrow and Marshall both made honorable mention all-league.

Eastmoor went 9-5 in the City-South to tie Marion-Franklin for third behind Walnut Ridge (14-0) and Africentric (12-2).