COLUMBUS (AP) — Drew Rackley scored 25 points as New Concord John Glenn beat Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 76-72 in the Division II state championship game Saturday.
Early on the Little Muskies (28-1) looked like they might roll to their first state title against a team that already has six.
John Glenn opened up a 23-9 lead in the second quarter as the Fighting Irish (26-4) missed 16 of their first 17 shots.
But SVSM’s press put the Muskies on their heels, forcing 11 turnovers that led to 13 points in the third quarter, and John Williams put the Irish on top 54-53 with a 3-pointer with 5:56 left in the game.
That was short-lived, though, as Matt Weir made two free throws to put John Glenn back on top for good.
“I knew they were going to hit some shots eventually,” Rackley said. “I knew they were going to make a run and they did in the second half obviously. We just kept telling our guys to stay focused and keep pounding them.”
The Muskies stretched the lead back out to six then held on to finish the season undefeated against teams from Ohio.
“We’ve played a lot of really good competition, whether it be in the summer or our scrimmage schedule or our in-season schedule,” John Glenn coach Greg Woodard said. “I think one thing when teams look down at the other end of the floor during warmups, we don’t pass the look test. Not at all. These guys have had a chip on their shoulders since day one. They’ve stayed on track. No one’s ever been bigger than the group.”
Weir finished with 18 points while Tanner Slack had 15 for John Glenn.
The Fighting Irish, who missed a chance to tie Middletown for the most state titles in Ohio high school history, were led in scoring by Jayvon Graves, who had 18 points. Henry Baddley tallied 16 point while Williams had 14 and Dominic Davis added 11.
“When you miss that many shots, it’s a wonder it wasn’t a blowout,” SVSM coach Dru Joyce said. “That speaks volumes about these guys and their will and fire to see it through. That’s what they did.”