Despite competing in the Division III district tournament for the first time, the Harvest Preparatory School boys basketball team didn’t flinch.
The top-seeded Warriors seized control in the third quarter of their district final March 9 at Ohio Dominican and pulled away to beat fourth-seeded Ready 64-48.
Harvest Prep improved to 26-0 and advanced to play Piketon or Wheelersburg in a regional semifinal March 14 at Ohio University.
The Warriors led just 28-27 at halftime, but outscored the Silver Knights 17-4 in the third quarter.
“Our defense made the difference,” Harvest Prep coach David Dennis said.
C.J. Anthony and Elijah Glenn both made a 3-pointer and Brandon Beavers scored four points in the third quarter as the Warriors opened a 45-31 lead.
Anthony made two more 3s in the fourth quarter on his way to finishing with 23 points.
C.J. Penha added 16 points and Brandon Beavers scored eight for Harvest Prep, which captured its first district championship since finishing as Division IV state runner-up in 2015.
Ready, which finished 20-5, got 16 points from Chanc Dawson and 11 apiece from Brady Thomas and Darius Parham.
Harvest Prep built a 16-8 lead late in the first quarter before Ready came back to tie the score at 21 midway through the second period.
“I’m very proud of how we battled back,” Ready coach Dan DeCrane said. “We were down one at the half but felt like we should have been ahead. We had some good looks at the basket and they didn’t fall.”
Africentric 59, Johnstown 43
In the other Division III district final at Ohio Dominican, Africentric senior guard and Minnesota State commit Tre’ Baumgardner scored a season-high 33 points to help the second-seeded Nubians win their seventh district championship in coach Michael Bates’ 12 seasons.
The Nubians improved to 19-6 and advanced to play Castalia Margaretta or Carey in a regional semifinal March 14 at Bowling Green.
“We played hard, let the game come and I started hitting shots,” Baumgardner said. “No matter what, we knew we had to just play defense. When we put the press on, we knew we (wouldn’t) get tired.”
Africentric began extending its lead late in the first half and led 35-19 at halftime.
The Nubians increased their advantage to 45-28 with three minutes left in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Baumgardner.
Johnstown trimmed its deficit to 13 points early in the fourth quarter before the Nubians extended their advantage to 54-34 with 5:10 left.
Jah Bennett added nine points for Africentric. Jake Lusk had 12 points and Owen Hazelbaker scored 10 for ninth-seeded Johnstown, which finished 16-8.
“It’s exciting, especially when you lost (in a district final) the year prior,” Bates said. “(Baumgardner) is capable of doing that. Minnesota State got a helluva player.”