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Hoban Ends 25 Year Final Four Drought

Stories, the very thing that creates added intrigue to athletic contests of all types. It can motivate teams, fan bases and create plenty of bulletin board material at times. When looking at the Division 1 Region 2 regional final, there is no doubt that there are numerous stories to be present. Not just the fact that The Walsh Jesuit Warriors and The Archbishop Hoban Knights are all too familiar with one another with perennial regular season contests. Their matchup this year swung the way of the Knights in a thrilling 58-55 win back on January 24th. But the story stretches back even further than that! Despite Hoban having the slight edge in the past five regular season matchups 3-2 against The Warriors, Walsh Jesuit has knocked The Knights out of the tournament in three of the last four seasons!

Rewinding back to last season, both teams also got revenge against the squads that ended their seasons a year ago. When Hoban had their season end at the elite eight against St. Edward in 2022, they were able to get over the hump and beat The Eagles to advance to the regional final. Walsh Jesuit had their hearts broken and their minds stunned when Stow-Munroe Falls ended The Warriors season all too early in a thrilling upset in the previous campaign. This year, The Warriors went through the overtime excitement and saw themselves on top against The Bulldogs to arrive at the regional championship game. Adding to the excitement was the fact that Hoban had not been to the final four stage since 1998, while Walsh Jesuit had yet to reach the stage, meaning some new representation in the northeast was guaranteed! 

Opening up the game, The Knights immediately went on an 8-0 run, highlighted by YSN Freshman of the Year, Sam Greer imposing his will on both sides of the floor, including splashing home a three pointer.The Warriors would respond with some buckets late to end the quarter, but Hoban ultimately led 14-8 after one. The Knights continued playing good team basketball and by clamping down with great defense they were able to force a fair amount of turnovers from Walsh Jesuit, allowing Hoban to extend their lead at the halftime buzzer 25-15.

Jonas Nichols and Will Scott were tone setters coming out of the half and continuing to keep The Knights in front! Continuing the great run of defense, Hoban held Walsh Jesuit to just 9 team points in the third quarter, making it three consecutive quarters holding The Warriors under double-digits. This allowed The Knights to further their lead 41-23 with just eight minutes left in the ball game. Knowing The Warriors would not go down without a fight, Hoban prepped as Walsh Jesuit was ready to throw their best punch on offense! Accomplishing that by getting into rhythm offensively, The Warriors got it going from distance in the final frame, putting up their best quarter of the night offensively; however, it would not be enough as The Hoban Knights held on to claim the 56-37 regional final victory, and punch their ticket to the state final four for the first time in 25 years! 

A fantastic season by Walsh Jesuit as The Warriors have nothing to be ashamed of with another incredible run! We here at YSN wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors! For Hoban (24-3) they will now gear up and get ready to make the trek down to Dayton, Ohio to do battle in The State Semi-Final against Toledo St. John’s Jesuit (20-8) on Saturday, March 18th slated for an 8:30 p.m. tip-off! An Interview with Head Coach T.K. Griffith can be found below! 


Scoring (Hoban)

Jonas Nichols: 18 PTS.

Will Scott Jr.: 12 PTS.

Sam Greer: 11 PTS.

Logan Vowles: 9 PTS.

Joey Hardman: 3 PTS.

Andrew Griffith: 2 PTS.

Colin Coyne: 1 PT.


Scoring (Walsh Jesuit)

Ruel Tomlinson: 11 PTS.

Tyler Bell: 7 PTS.

Zach Halligan: 7 PTS.

Jesse James: 5 PTS.

Sean Spicer: 5 PTS.

Jack Burke: 2 PTS.


Scoring by Quarter

Q1: Hoban 14 – 8 Walsh Jesuit

Q2: Hoban 11 – 6 Walsh Jesuit

Q3: Hoban 16 – 9 Walsh Jesuit

Q4: Hoban 15 – 14 Walsh Jesuit

Final: Hoban 56 – 37 Walsh Jesuit

*Contributed By YSN’s Ty Bartell

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