Girls Basketball – Div. III District Final

Pressure defense propels Africentric past Johnstown


Marley Hill scored 21 points to lead four Africentric Early College girls basketball players in double figures and the Nubians defeated Johnstown 93-54 in a Division III district final March 3 at New Albany.

The 10th-ranked Nubians (19-4) won their eighth consecutive district title. They have won district championships in all but their opening season of 2003-04.

Africentric advanced to a regional semifinal against Beverly Fort Frye at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, at Ohio University. The sixth-ranked Cadets (22-2) defeated Zanesville West Muskingum 50-39 in a district final March 2 at Steubenville.

Johnstown and Africentric were tied at 14 midway through the first quarter when the Nubians started a turnover-fueled 11-0 run to seize control.

“(The Johnnies) played well in the first quarter, but I think our pressure got to them,” Africentric coach Will McKinney said. “We tried to give them a lot of looks (defensively) and tried to make sure we were playing a 94-foot game.”

The Johnnies (19-5) had 28 turnovers to 12 for the Nubians.

“We had a couple of turnovers early, but the biggest thing was getting into our offense,” Johnstown coach Carl Dufford said. “They were keeping us out of sync and they really are a good, well-rounded team. We might have just been beaten by the state championship team.”

Sierra Harley scored 18 points, Darianne Seward had 15, Kyanna Black had 14 and Ayrielle Stith added seven for the Nubians.

Sarah Thomas led the Johnnies with 16 points and made 14 of 16 free throws. Natalie Carpenter scored 12 points and Paige Cannon added 11.