The Marion-Franklin High School boys basketball team won its first district championship in 20 years, defeating DeSales 56-34 in a Division II district final March 8 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
Powered by an effective transition game, the 11th-seeded Red Devils (14-12) raced to a 15-5 lead in the first five minutes and led 21-8 after the first quarter. Junior guard Dametrius Walker had five first-quarter steals that led to nine points and helped set the pace.
Marion-Franklin, which had lost four consecutive games and seven of its last eight before the postseason, hadn’t won a district title since 1993, when the Red Devils were in Division I.
“A big reason we won this game was the belief our kids have in the program,” Marion-Franklin coach Scott Williams said. “They’re well-coached. They’re in shape. It’s more mental now. Everybody’s good now.”
Senior guard Dominique Cartier and junior guard John Montgomery each had 11 points to lead Marion-Franklin, which led 43-20 late in the third quarter before 13th-seeded DeSales (13-12) ripped off a 14-3 run. The Red Devils closed the game with a 10-0 run.
Senior guard Josh Jordan had eight points to lead DeSales, which upset third-seeded Granville 36-34 in the second round Feb. 27 and eighth-seeded Centennial 55-52 in a district semifinal March 6 to reach a district final for the first time since 2010.
Marion-Franklin will play Kettering Alter in a regional semifinal at 5:30 p.m. March 14 at Kettering Fairmont.