The defending Division III state champion Africentric Early College girls basketball team will make its fifth state tournament appearance after beating Archbold 60-42 in a regional final March 9 at Lexington.
The Nubians trailed 14-6 late in the opening quarter, but went on a 15-2 run to gain control. Archbold finished with 21 turnovers.
“I think (Archbold) just ran out of gas,” Africentric coach Will McKinney said. “We were playing straight full-court man and in the second half we switched it to a run-and-jump.”
Africentric improves to 21-5 and will play Beverly Fort Frye in a state semifinal at 1 p.m. March 14 at Ohio State.
Last season, the Nubians beat Fort Frye 66-54 in a regional semifinal on their way to winning their third state title.
Senior post player Marley Hill had 14 points, 14 rebounds and six blocked shots for Africentric. Junior guard/forward Ayrielle Stith had 12 points, six rebounds and five steals, junior guard Alexis Parks had 13 points, four assists and two steals and junior guard Sierra Harley added 11 points.
Archbold, which was third in the final state poll, finished 25-2. Africentric was sixth in the final state poll.
The Africentric-Fort Frye winner will play Anna or Orrville for the state title at 10:45 a.m. on March 16. Africentric beat Anna 70-66 in overtime in last year’s final.