A 30-point victory over 10th-ranked Glouster Trimble in a Division IV regional semifinal March 10 at Ohio University showed the potential of the Grandview Heights boys basketball team.
Clicking on offense and defense, the Bobcats moved to within one win of their first state tournament appearance since 1998. However, they now are playing a waiting game as the remainder of the postseason is on hold.
The OHSAA announced March 12 that all remaining winter tournaments are postponed until further notice because of the coronavirus pandemic. Also that day, Gov. Mike DeWine announced all Ohio schools would be closed for three weeks.
"It is what it is. It's a tough situation, but the bottom line is that this is just high school basketball," said coach Ray Corbett, whose team is 22-5. "We're not curing cancer. (You) learn to deal with it."
Luke Lachey, a 6-foot-7 forward who has signed to play football at Iowa, didn't enroll in college early so he could play his senior basketball season. He said he was "devastated" by the news March 12.
"We had a good thing going," he said. "It's not how any one of us wanted this to end. It might get resumed, and it might not. Right now I'm thinking it might be canceled. If it is, it's not the end of the world."
Senior guard Charlie James hopes the season will continue.
"It's hard to say because it doesn't feel like real life," he said. "I'm just hopeful we can get a shot at it.
"(Corbett) said that it stinks, but there is obviously nothing we can do about. But there aren't many teams that get to end the season with a win, so that's a good thing."
The Bobcats were set to play eighth-ranked Berlin Hiland in a regional final March 13 at OU. They reached that game with a dominating 62-32 win over Trimble.
Senior guard Brian Collier scored 13 of his game-high 22 points in the first quarter and Lachey picked up a loose ball 11 seconds into the game and slammed down a dunk to set the tone for the Bobcats, who jumped out to a 21-4 lead. Collier made four of his five 3-pointers in the first quarter.
"When we make shots, we look pretty good," Corbett said. "We played with a lot of intensity."
The Bobcats shot 10-for-14 from the floor in the first quarter, including 4-for-6 on 3s.
"These teams are all good offensively when you get to this level," Corbett said. "I saw enough of Trimble. They like to run and they are vicious on the offensive glass. They have athletes and they are fundamentally sound. They put points on the board all year, and we were able to sustain our defensive pressure."
Lachey finished with 17 points and James had eight.