The Eastmoor Academy boys basketball team couldn’t overcome a rough shooting performance in a 42-35 loss to Wauseon in a Division II state semifinal March 23 at Ohio State.
A 3-pointer by Taevion Kinsey and a three-point play by Tariq Brown during the final minute of the third quarter gave the Warriors a 25-23 lead, but the Indians, who led for most of the game, retook the lead on a putback by Carter Bzovi with 7:04 left and never trailed again.
Wauseon improved to 27-1 and will play Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in the state final March 25 at Ohio State.
Eastmoor, which lost in a Division III state semifinal in 2015, finished 22-7.
“They’re a good basketball team, but we just didn’t make enough shots,” Warriors coach Jim Miranda said. “Their two big kids in the middle were a big factor. I think our kids may not have attacked as much as we would have liked them to.”
Kinsey made a pair of free throws with 2:22 remaining to cut Eastmoor’s deficit to 32-29, but a three-point play by Brooks Gype put Wauseon ahead 35-31 with 2:06 left. Kinsey then scored to make it 35-33 with 1:45 left, but the Indians didn’t give up another point until only 4.2 seconds remained.
Gype had 14 points, Bzovi scored 13 and 6-foot-9 junior center Austin Rotroff had six points, seven rebounds and seven blocks to lead Wauseon, which led 13-10 at halftime.
Kinsey had 15 points and Stanley Williams scored eight for the Warriors, who made just 15 of 47 shots from the floor, including 1-for-10 from 3-point range.
“They have very good help-side defense,” Kinsey said. “I felt like we had a momentum change (late in the third quarter), but we should have attacked way more than we did.”