The Northland High School boys basketball team overcame a rare off night from senior Trey Burke and defeated Garfield Heights 67-59 on March 25 in a Division I state semifinal at Ohio State.
At 8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 26, the Vikings (26-1) will meet Cincinnati La Salle (25-2) for the state championship in what will be soon-to-be-retired coach Satch Sullinger's final game.
Burke, who was named Ohio's Mr. Basketball earlier this week, struggled to 4-for-17 shooting and was limited to 15 points but provided five assists and got a lift from junior post players Devon Scott and Jalen Robinson and junior guard Jordan Potts.
"They've taken me to the last possible game of my last year as coach," Sullinger said. "They played hard for me and it makes me really love them."
The Vikings led 9-0 before Garfield Heights scored its first point with 2 minutes, 20 seconds to go in the opening quarter. Northland was ahead 14-8 heading into the second period and built a 31-22 lead by halftime, even though Burke had just two points and three fouls during the opening two quarters.
Senior Trey Lewis, a first-team all-state player, made a pair of 3s in the third quarter to help the Bulldogs close to within 45-37, but Northland answered with a 10-2 run to begin the final period. Garfield Heights never got closer than six during the game's remainder.
From the free-throw line during the final three minutes, Burke went 6-for-6 and Potts was 4-for-4 to help seal the win.
Scott, who scored 13 first-half points, finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Potts scored 16 and Robinson added seven points and eight rebounds.
Lewis scored 33 points to lead Garfield Heights.
"Me and Jalen had to step up on defense," Scott said. "People say that I'm a high-motor player. I just feel like if I play hard all the time, I'll do something right."