Despite a double-digit deficit, the Africentric Early College boys basketball team didn’t wilt during the fourth quarter of a Division IV district championship game against Fairfield Christian on March 5 in the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
Led by a 17-point, six-rebound performance from Houston Smith, the Nubians rallied from a 42-30 deficit heading into the fourth quarter and won 49-46.
The Nubians are 15-10 and will play Peebles or Crown City South Gallia in a regional semifinal March 11 at Ohio University.
“That was definitely not the way we wanted it to go,” Nubians coach Michael Bates said. “We were down 15 but they were still believing. I said to just keep fighting.”
Africentric, which lost in a district final a year ago, overcame a 22-point performance by Fairfield Christian’s Steven Carpenter, the district’s Player of the Year. He made six 3-pointers and shot eight of 13 from the floor while adding seven rebounds.
Jaquan Harrison added 14 points for the Nubians, who trailed 25-16 at the half but outscored Fairfield Christian 19-4 in the fourth period.
Smith made eight of 11 from the free-throw line and Africentric shot 21 of 43 from the floor.
Fairfield Christian finishes 20-7.
Harvest Prep 56, Newark Catholic 50
After winning a combined 10 games over the past two seasons, the Harvest Prep boys basketball team is back in the regional tournament for the fourth time in program history.
The top-seeded Warriors, who also had a district championship in 2011 vacated because of using an ineligible player, beat second-seeded Newark Catholic 56-50 in a Division IV district final March 5 in the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
Harvest Prep will play South Webster, Bainbridge, Paint Valley, Leesburg Fairfield or Ironton St. Joseph Central in a regional semifinal March 11 at Ohio University.
The Green Wave led 14-11 at the end of the first quarter, but the Warriors outscored them 12-6 in the second period and 16-12 in the third.
Dana Coffman finished with 18 points, David Dennis Jr. had 15 and Rael Windley scored 13 for Harvest Prep, which improved to 24-1.
Newark Catholic got 27 points from Conor Keck. The Green Wave finished 20-6.
— Jarrod Ulrey