The Watterson High School boys basketball team defeated New Concord John Glenn 60-46 in a Division II regional final March 15 at Ohio University to capture its second regional title in program history.
The Eagles improved to 25-2 overall and advanced to face Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in a state semifinal, to be held 2 p.m. Thursday, March 20, at Ohio State.
John Glenn finished 22-4 overall.
Watterson captured its first regional and state titles last year, beating St. Vincent-St. Mary 55-52 in the state final.
“This championship is very special to us,” Watterson coach Vince Lombardo said. “This is a special group of players and I’m so proud of the way they were able to handle this season, with the pressure on trying to defend their state title, the way they have.”
With Watterson post players Joe DiOrio and Matt Hughes sitting on the bench in foul trouble for long stretches of the game, Matt Lehmann racked up a career-high 24 points, 12 rebounds and four steals.
DiOrio scored 12 points, Cody Calhoun had 10 points and three assists, Andy Grieser had eight points, five rebounds and three steals and Ryan Lewis had six rebounds for the Eagles, who led 22-20 at halftime before outscoring the Muskies 38-26 in the second half.
Drew Rackley had 22 points and six rebounds for the Muskies. John Glenn tied the score at 28 on a 3-point play by Rackley with 2 minutes, 38 seconds remaining in the third quarter before Lehmann scored five consecutive points to spark a 7-0 run for Watterson.
“I knew I had to step up because Matt and Joe are two of our better players and they were out of the game at times in foul trouble,” Lehmann said.