The Africentric Early College boys basketball team will make its second consecutive appearance in the state tournament after defeating Beaver Eastern 78-43 in a Division IV regional final March 16 at Logan.
The Nubians, who lost a Division III state semifinal to eventual champion Cincinnati Taft 63-50 last season, play Jackson Center at 10:45 a.m. Thursday, March 22, in a Division IV state semifinal at Ohio State. Jackson Center, like Taft a year ago, entered the postseason ranked first in the state poll.
The Nubians are 22-3 and Jackson Center is 26-0. The winner will play Berlin Hiland or Arlington for the state title at 10:30 a.m. March 24.
“I saw (Jackson Center) play last week, and they’re good,” Africentric coach Michael Bates said.
Against Beaver Eastern, Bates’ team showed it is worthy of its accolades as well after entering the postseason ranked ninth in the state.
The Nubians took a 10-0 lead and were ahead 44-18 by halftime.
Kenny Robinson finished with 14 points, FuQuan Tucker scored 12, Delquan Black had 10 and Hosie Smith added nine for Africentric, which made eight 3-pointers.
Eastern’s Chad Lands, a first-team all-Southeast District selection who averages 17 points, was held to six. Teammate Aaron Satterfield, who averages 14 points, scored four.
“The kids came out and were just playing hard,” Bates said. “They were extremely focused and intense. We were able to speed (Eastern) up a little bit.”