The Central District is guaranteed to be represented in the Division III state final in high school boys basketball after Harvest Prep and Africentric won their respective regional title games March 17.
Harvest Prep, which closed the regular season as the top-ranked team in the state, and 10th-ranked Africentric will meet in a state semifinal at 8:30 p.m. March 22 at Ohio State, with the winner playing for the championship at 2 p.m. March 24 at the same venue.
Africentric 42, Archbold 39
Tre’ Baumgardner made a 3-pointer as time expired to help the Nubians beat Archbold in a regional final at Bowling Green.
Africentric improved to 21-6 and advanced to the state tournament for the third official time in program history. Its other two official state tournament appearances were in 2011 and ’12.
The Nubians won the 2005 state title but later had it taken away because of an ineligible player.
Africentric trailed Archbold 24-20 at halftime but held the Blue Streaks to 15 points in the second half, including six in the fourth quarter.
Baumgardner’s winning shot came off a pass from Calijha’won Davis.
“It was awesome,” Nubians coach Michael Bates said. “I knew he was going to make that shot. If you see the last shot on film, my hands are up in the air as soon as he shot it.”
Baumgardner finished with 20 points, Dorian Holloway scored 16 and Jah Bennett added seven rebounds and five blocked shots.
“There were about 3,000 Archbold fans there, and probably 300 Africentric fans, and most of the 300 were from Toledo because that’s my hometown,” Bates said. “I had uncles and aunts and cousins, my mother and my father, everybody I could come down and support us. To silence that arena in that manner, it’s the most awesome feeling in the world.”
Harvest Prep 59, Sugarcreek Garaway 53 (OT)
The Warriors, who advanced to the state tournament for the first time since 2015 and are seeking their first state title, needed overtime to get by Garaway in a regional final at Ohio University.
Harvest Prep’s C.J. Penha made two free throws with 11 seconds left to force overtime.
In overtime, Isaiah Cumberland scored to put the Warriors ahead 55-50 with less than two minutes remaining, and Brandon Beavers went 3-for-4 from the free-throw line and Soul Hines made two foul shots to help seal the victory.
Harvest Prep, which improved to 28-0, got 18 points from C.J. Anthony, 14 from Beavers and 11 from Penha.
“I knew they were going to come out and slow us down,” said Warriors coach David Dennis, whose team trailed 14-11 after the first quarter but led 21-17 at halftime. “We felt like we were in good position being up four at the half, but they made some big 3s. … We made some free throws down the stretch.”