The final moments of a Division IV state semifinal game against Jackson Center on March 22 at Ohio State were tough to swallow for senior Fuquan Tucker of the Africentric Early College boys basketball team.

The final moments of a Division IV state semifinal game against Jackson Center on March 22 at Ohio State were tough to swallow for senior Fuquan Tucker of the Africentric Early College boys basketball team.

A first-team all-district selection who helped the Nubians make their second consecutive state appearance, Tucker and junior Trevon Saunders each missed what would have been tying 3-pointers during the closing seconds of the 53-50 loss to the Tigers.

Tucker plans to grow from the experience.

"When you go into the locker room as a player, you don't like to hear the talk like, 'We had a good season,'" he said. "When I put that shot up, I was just thinking I've got to hit that for my team. When I missed it, my heart dropped, but our coaches just said that you're going to go through moments like that in life and you've got to be a man about it and step up."

Africentric, which led 16-4 late in the first quarter and 28-13 midway through the second quarter, never trailed until midway through the fourth quarter. The Nubians, who finished 22-4, struggled late in the first and third quarters.

Jackson Center, which lost to Berlin Hiland 68-36 in the state final March 24 to finish 27-1, scored the final six points of the opening quarter and closed the third quarter on a 7-0 run.

The Tigers' Andy Hoying, who was state co-Player of the Year, scored 11 of his 15 points during the second half. Teammate Alex Meyer had 16 points, including going 4-for-7 from 3-point range.

The Nubians shot 20-for-38 from the field and 5-for-12 from 3-point range but were just 5-for-11 from the free-throw line.

Tucker had 10 points and seven rebounds and was one of five seniors along with starters Hosie Smith and Justin Miller and backups DelQuan Black and Cameron Waddy.

Smith had 19 points, going 9-for-11 from the field, and seven rebounds.

Junior Kenny Robinson and Saunders were the other starters. Robinson made three of four 3-pointers and had 13 points.

It marked the second consecutive season that Africentric lost in a state semifinal. Last season, the Nubians fell to Cincinnati Taft 63-50 in Division III.

"The big thing for me is that they get the whole experience of being here," coach Michael Bates said. "There are only 16 teams that get the treatment of being here. It's a reward for a season-long effort of being in open gyms and working in practice. Getting here is very satisfying."

The Nubians finished second in the City League-South Division at 12-2, behind Walnut Ridge (14-0), but earned the top seed for the district tournament.

After opening the postseason with wins over Columbus International (97-25 on Feb. 25), Gilead Christian (93-39 on Feb. 28) and Northside Christian (81-27 on March 5), Africentric defeated Millersport 71-34 to win a district title March 7 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.

The Nubians then beat Newark Catholic 54-38 on March 13 and Beaver Eastern 78-43 on March 16 at the regional tournament to reach state.

Tucker made first-team all-district and Robinson made the third team, and both were first-team all-league. Making honorable mention all-league were Miller, Smith and freshman JaQuan Harrison.

CCS club lacrosse team set to begin third season

The Columbus City Schools (CCS) club boys lacrosse team kicks off its third season Friday, March 30, against visiting Columbus Academy. The squad plays its home games at Walden Park.

The Fighting Terrapins' opening opponent is coached by J.B. Jones, who coached CCS last season before taking over Academy's first-year program during the offseason.

Now heading the CCS program are Cy McKinney, who had been an assistant with the Terrapins, and Robert Corby.

CCS competes in the Club Central Region along with Big Walnut, Delaware, Marysville and Legend Lacrosse from Licking County.

"It's been going well so far," said Corby, a 1992 Dublin graduate who played one year of club lacrosse at the University of Cincinnati. "We keep adding new players all of the time. We've been having great weather, so there have been a lot of productive practices."

CCS has athletes from several City League schools.

Senior Alex Ashline attends Downtown High School and is expected to be at goalkeeper.

Ashline is one of four captains along with senior Suding Seiter (attacker) and juniors Eddie McGlynn (defender) and Malik McGill (midfielder). Seiter and McGlynn go to Whetstone and McGill attends Brookhaven.

Northland junior Julian Henderson (midfielder) should be another key player.

CCS split its schedule between junior varsity and varsity opponents in 2010 and earned its first two varsity wins.

The Terrapins went 7-7 last season. The squad opened the Club North Region tournament with a 14-2 victory over Clinton County before falling to Delaware 18-4 in the next round.

D'Angelo Cousar and Spencer Kidwell, who were seniors last season, each made first-team all-Club North. Seiter, McGlynn and Hart Wise, who now plays for Academy, made the second team.

Other seniors last season were Evan Campbell and Brian Tran from Whetstone, Nathan Hanes from Centennial and Carl Palumbo from Westland.

"They were 7-7 last year, and that was only the second year of the program," Corby said. "The most lacrosse that any of them have played is three years, so we're fairly inexperienced compared to those from Dublin or Worthington."