COLUMBUS (AP) — Michael Bothwell scored 14 points as Willoughby Cornerstone Christian Academy routed Van Wert Lincolnview, 72-54, in the Division IV state championship game Saturday.
CCA outscored Lincolnview 18-6 in the second quarter and never looked back.
“They just did a great job of attacking the basket to start the game,” Lincolnview coach Brett Hammons said. “Their defense led to easy transition points because we turned it over early, and I think they kind of set the tone for the game.”
The Patriots (17-12) led by as many as 26 in the second half and became the first Ohio state champion with more than 10 losses.
“We just believed that the schedule that we play, even though we went into the postseason with a losing record, we felt the schedule we played would get us here and prepare us for these kind of games,” CCA coach Dan Selle said.
They were the first boys’ team from CCA to reach the state tournament, but not the first basketball team from the school.
The Patriot girls’ team lost in the semifinals a week earlier, and Bothwell said making the trip south to support them helped them better prepare for their own trip to Columbus.
“We were so proud of our girls making it this far,” Bothwell said. “No one expected them to get this far just like no one expected us to get this far, so when we saw them play on this stage we were hungry because those are our friends that were playing on this big stage, so we wanted to do it, too.”
The Lancers (27-2) entered the state tournament ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press poll and allowing 40 points per game, but CCA passed that mark less than a minute into the third quarter on a Jack Kelsheimer 3-pointer.
Jeremy Owens also had 14 points for the Patriots; Brandon McQueen and Kelsheimer had 13 apiece.
Trevor Neate led Lincolnview with 16 points; Austin Leeth and Derek Youtsey each had 10.
The Lancers’ only other loss was to Division III state champion Lima Central Catholic.