Upper Arlington, in its first regional final since 1942, clinched its first state tournament trip since 1939.
Kevin Vannatta and Harrison Heath of the Upper Arlington High School boys basketball team connected for a key layup with 1 minute, 42 seconds to play in a Division I regional final against Northland on March 15 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
Both of them credited a third person - team strength coach Brian Coleman - for the play even being possible.
"I caught the ball in the middle of the floor and I believe it was (Northland's) Seth Towns who was all over me," Vannatta said. "I have to give some credit to our strength coach because I had to put all my muscle on that pass. I had to give it everything I had to get through Seth to get the ball to Harrison."
"Everybody teases me about being the strong kid," Heath added. "But I didn't have to be on that play. I made sure no one was around me and just got the layup. I had the feeling that was it, that nothing would stop us from that point."
UA never trailed, finishing the game on a 12-2 run to beat Northland 50-36 and clinch its first state tournament trip since 1939. The Golden Bears (26-1), who were in their first regional final since 1942, held the Vikings to one field goal in the fourth quarter.
Vannatta had game-highs of 27 points and 19 rebounds, just two fewer than Northland as a team. He also was 14-for-16 from the foul line. Wes Davis added nine points and four rebounds for the Bears.
UA advances to play Trotwood-Madison in a state semifinal 8:30 p.m. March 21 at Ohio State.
UA also went to state in 1937, when it won the program's only state title, and 1938.
Northland (22-5) was within 32-31 after three quarters and 34-32 with 4:40 left, but Vannatta made a running layup, two free throws and assisted Heath to re-establish firm control.
Shemar Waugh scored 11 points to lead Northland.
"We missed shots that if we'd made them, I feel like we would have had control of the game," Northland coach Sean Taylor said. "But (UA) played great. They're so freaking tough and physical."