The situation the Harvest Preparatory School boys basketball team found itself in March 9 at Ohio Dominican had some similar characteristics to the one that occurred a season ago at the same level.
In a 2017 Division IV district final, tasked with stopping second-seeded Grove City Christian and a pair of 1,000-point scorers in Matt Bailey and Brandon Baker, the top-seeded Warriors ended up on the short end of a 64-60 decision.
Harvest Prep was the No. 1 seed in this year's Division III district tournament and faced fourth-seeded Ready, which also had two players with more than 1,000 career points in seniors Chanc Dawson and Brady Thomas.
This time, though, the Warriors had the answers defensively and the depth to get the job done, winning 64-48 to earn the third district championship in six seasons under coach David Dennis.
"This is amazing that we got it back for our seniors and our city," sophomore guard C.J. Anthony said. "They really support us. We did it for them and that felt really good.
"Coach talked to us and told us what we needed to do to win and that's what we did, more just being a team. We missed a lot of layups in the first half. (Defense is) all we worked on in practice and it paid off."
The Warriors improved to 26-0 and advanced to play Wheelersburg in a regional semifinal March 14 at Ohio University. Ready finished 20-5.
The semifinal winner plays Sugarcreek Garaway or Oak Hill in a regional final at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at OU, with the regional champion facing Africentric, Archbold, Carey or Ottawa-Glandorf in a state semifinal at 8:30 p.m. March 22 at Ohio State. The state final is March 24 at Ohio State.
Harvest Prep was ranked first in the final state poll. Ottawa-Glandorf was third, Oak Hill was seventh and Africentric was 10th.
Garaway improved to 21-4 with a 60-50 victory over West Lafayette Ridgewood in a district final March 9 to advance to regional for the third consecutive season.
Oak Hill is led by guards Mitchell Hale (14 points per game) and Landon Carroll (13.5 ppg) and forward Mason Darby (13 ppg).
Harvest Prep reached a state semifinal in 2014 and lost to New Madison Tri-Valley 48-46 in the state final in 2015.
The Warriors beat eighth-seeded Marion Pleasant 71-49 in a district semifinal March 6 at Olentangy Orange as Anthony had 24 points and senior forward C.J. Penha scored 16.
Against Ready, Anthony had 23 points, Penha scored 16, junior guard Brandon Beavers scored eight and junior forward Elijah Green added seven.
The Warriors held Dawson to 16 points, three below his average, and limited Thomas to 11, five under his average.
"They're a good offensive team and they've got two very good guards, so what we tried to do was play a little more (help-side) defense," Dennis said. "I just thought our pressure was better (in the second half)."
The Warriors led Ready just 28-27 at halftime but outscored the Silver Knights 17-4 in the third quarter.
"It felt great for our team," Penha said. "We had faith in each other and got the job done.
We just stay humble. A lot of people doubt us, so we just use that motivation to prove to them why we're No. 1, and we just go hard every game.
"We really gave them hope in the first half and weren't playing together. We got together and started playing together as a team."