The Northland High School boys basketball team responded during a Division I district final March 9 in the Fairgrounds Coliseum the same way it did every other time it has trailed or been behind this season — by winning.
Facing third-seeded Olentangy Liberty, the top-ranked and No. 1-seeded Vikings trailed by two at halftime and gave up the lead once during the fourth quarter, but came away with a 52-48 victory.
The win moves Northland into a regional semifinal against Canton Timken or Barberton at 7 p.m. March 13 at the Fairgrounds.
Northland improved to 26-0 and Liberty finished 23-2.
“We were down by seven at halftime against Mansfield Senior (in a 59-52 win Jan. 26) and we were down 11 to Brookhaven (in a 63-61 win Jan. 8),” Northland coach Sean Taylor said. “We’ve been here and all we can do is fight.”
Northland built a 20-11 lead with 7 minutes, 20 seconds left in the first half, but Liberty rallied to take a 26-24 lead by halftime.
In the fourth, Liberty got three 3-pointers from senior guard Nick Nossaman, but the Vikings made 10 of 12 free throws.
Tucker finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds and freshman forward Seth Towns had 10 points and nine rebounds. The Vikings outrebounded Liberty 34-21.
The Patriots were led by Nossaman (17 points, five rebounds) and senior forward Alex Radkiewicz (14 points, five rebounds)
It marked the fifth district title in seven seasons for Northland the second district championship for Taylor, who led Eastmoor Academy to a Division II title in 2008.