Tag Archive for: OHSAA State Championship


By Ty Bartell

“Basketball is a beautiful game when the five players on the court play with one heartbeat.” (-Dean Smith)

Few truer words have been spoken then those of former legendary North Carolina Tar Heels Coach Dean Smith and no team exemplified that quote more this year in the state of Ohio than The Archbishop Hoban Knights! All the old quotes were present throughout The Knights run to The State Championship game. Highlighted and filled with plenty of great defensive stands and unselfish offense. Writing plenty of chapters along the way in their incredible journey, one final mountain would stand in the way of Hoban recapturing a state title for the first time since 1989 and that was getting through defending state champions The Pickerington Central Tigers. 

As the saying goes “to be the man, you gotta beat the man.” (-Ric Flair) and The Tigers, led by Coach Eric Krueger have proven to be that team time and time again as Coach Krueger has compiled an impressive record of 200-52 in his nine year career at Pickerington Central. The Tigers also featured, none other than Mr. Basketball of 2023 himself, Devin Royal. The senior Ohio State commit Royal averaged just under 20 points per game this season and has been nothing shy of an unstoppable force! However, The Knights had plenty of talent on their own roster and were led by legendary longtime Hoban Head Coach and Principal T.K. Griffith. After a 30 year tenure and a 25 year drought of making it to the final four, Coach Griffith led his Hoban Knights back to the state title game, only the last time he did it, he was a participant of the 1989 Division 3 State Championship team. 

Out of the opening tip, both teams made it very clear that defense would be at the forefront of both squads strengths. Both teams held a lead in the opening quarter, as an immediate matchup was between Devin Royal and Hoban freshman Sam Greer. After not starting until January, Greer has quickly made himself one of the key pieces in The Knights rotation and was being asked to guard the most dangerous threat on the team with the biggest stage set. A buzzer-beating three put The Tigers up after eight minutes of play 14-12. Hoban, sticking with their usual rotation this playoffs, had a great moment where the arena saw “Mr. Football” Lamar Sperling guarding “Mr. Basketball” Devin Royal. Pickerington Central tried to build on their lead several times throughout the first half, but could not amass a two possession advantage. Instead, Knights senior Logan Vowles made The Tigers pay from distance multiple times over the course of the game, as it felt like if a big three was needed, just repeat your Vowles! Greer got involved, scoring buckets in the low-post, helping Hoban hold a slim lead at halftime 26-25. 

With a whole halftime to make adjustments, both teams somehow clamped down the defensive pressure even more. As points were at a premium more than ever during the third quarter of The State Championship contest. Few buckets were scored and a lot of live-ball turnovers occurred; However, Pickerington Central was a point better in the third 6-5, allowing them to tie the game up at 31 points a piece heading into the final quarter of play. The storybook ending was set for one of these teams, and as it usually does, it came down to who was going to get the game-differentiating run first. Hoban ensured it was them! Coming out of the quarter break like they were shot out of a cannon, The Knights spread the ball passing up good shots for great shots and most importantly, did not miss when the opportunity crossed them! Jumping out to a 12 point lead in the fourth, while The Tigers had to hop on the comeback trail. Time would become a major factor, as it quickly started ticking away for Pickerington Central. Despite the 11 lead changes the game saw, key turnovers from The Tigers paired with a 72% fourth quarter shooting clip from The Knights and Hoban hoisted their first State Championship Banner since 1989! 

The win writes the final chapter in an incredible story about an incredible team led by one incredible coach! T.K. Griffith has exemplified what Hoban means for 30 years and now will have another state championship to show for it! A group of seniors that have been playing with each other their whole lives and had plenty of talent, but they knew they needed more to get to the big stage. Hoban needed hardwork, they needed passion, but most importantly they needed family. Congratulations to The 2022-2023 Ohio Division 1 State Champions, The Archbishop Hoban Knights!


Scoring (Hoban)

Logan Vowles: 17 PTS, 7 REB, 1 STL.

Will Scott Jr: 13 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL.

Sam Greer: 12 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL.

Andrew Griffith: 9 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST.

Jonas Nichols: 2 PTS, 3 REB, 5 AST, 4 STL. 


Scoring (Pickerington Central)

Devin Royal: 15 PTS, 8 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL.

Gavin Headings: 12 PTS, 8 REB.

Markell Johnson: 11 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL.

Amare Spiva: 4 PTS, 1 REB.

Juwan Turner: 3 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL.

R.J. Keuchler: 2 PTS, 1 REB, 1 BLK.

Andrew Hedgepeth: 4 REB, 1 AST, 3 STL.


Scoring by Quarter

Q1: Hoban 12 – 14 Pickerington Central

Q2: Hoban 14 – 11 Pickerington Central

Q3: Hoban 5 -6 Pickerington Central

Q4: Hoban 22 – 16 Pickerington Central

Final: Hoban 53 – 47 Pickerington Central


By Ty Bartell

When it comes to sports stories, there are few that equal the story of The Archbishop Hoban Knights boys basketball team and their quest to the state final four. Storylines of beating a team that owned a victory over The Knights in the regular season, defeating GlenOak in a district semi. Or beating the team that knocked Hoban out of the tournament last year in The St. Edward Eagles in this year’s regional semi. The Knights also got over the hump of Walsh Jesuit in the regional final, even though The Warriors knocked Hoban out of the playoffs in three of the last four years, The Knights overcame. All those victories got them to the doorstep of state title glory with an appearance to The State Final Four! 

Two wins are all that is left when teams get this far; however, the trade off is that they are the hardest two wins to earn all season. For The Knights, they drew the Region 1 winner in The Toledo St. John’s Jesuit Titans in a state semi final! Both squads were fairly newer to the state title picture, with The Titans looking for their first state championship and their last appearance at the state final coming in 2004. On the other side, Hoban got back to the State Final Four for the first time since 1998, but it has been since 1989 since The Knights one and only state final appearance in a winning effort that featured current Head Coach T.K. Griffith on the winning 1989 team. 

With all the high energy in the stadium, the opening tip sent the crowd into a frenzy as a trip to the big game was on the line! Hoban scored initially and was able to build on that lead early on. It was freshman Sam Greer that was playing on the big stage like he had been there before, racking up half of his team’s points in the first quarter. The Titans had a response ready, as a technical foul committed by Greer allowed Toledo St. John’s Jesuit to turn the momentum and cut their deficit prior to the end of the quarter, as Hoban led 14-10 after one. Defense has been a common theme during The Knights playoff run and they kicked on the clamps to start the second! Holding The Titans to just 4 points of offense in the second, Hoban was able to build on their lead by getting guys like Will Scott Jr. and Jonas Nichols involved with the offense, The Knights doubled up the score, leading the game 28-14 at the half. 

Looking for adjustments on both sides, nothing much changed from the previous quarter of play. With The Knights scoring 14 points as a team in a quarter for the third consecutive time, Hoban’s defense once again put a crooked number up on defense by holding The Titans to just 5 points in the third, extending The Knights lead even further. Andrew Griffith and Logan Vowles found the mark from distance in the second half, allowing Hoban to create multiple threats on offense all around the floor. With a 42-19 lead and just eight minutes left to play, The Knights had to walk the fine line of staying aggressive while eating away the clock to book their ticket to The State Championship! The Titans threw their best punch and compiled their best offensive quarter of the game, scoring 17 points in the fourth; however, it would not be enough, as Hoban burned away the remaining seconds of the game to clinch their first trip to the big game since 1989, defeating Toledo St. John’s Jesuit 49-36!

The story of The Archbishop Hoban Knights has been an incredible one thus far, but one more chapter awaits if they wish to have the storybook ending. That final game for Hoban (25-3) will go through the 2022 defending state champion The Pickerington Central Tigers (24-5) on Sunday, March 19th at 8:30 p.m. for tip-off. 


Scoring (Hoban)

Jonas Nichols: 14 PTS, 11 REB, 1 STL, 1 BLK. 

Sam Greer: 12 PTS, 12 REB, 1 STL, 4 BLK.

Will Scott Jr: 12 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST, 1 BLK.

Andrew Griffith: 5 PTS, 3 REB, 3 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK.

Logan Vowles: 3 PTS, 5 REB, 1 STL. 

Joey Hardman: 3 PTS, 4 REB. 


Scoring (Toledo SJJ)

Joseph Taylor: 11 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST, 3 STL.

C.J. Hornbeak: 10 PTS, 6 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL.

Jaylen Murphy: 7 PTS, 1 REB.

Mitchell Michalak: 6 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST.

Marquez Frazier: 2 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST. 


Scoring by Quarter:

Q1: Hoban 14 – 10 Toledo SJJ

Q2: Hoban 14 – 4 Toledo SJJ

Q3: Hoban 14 – 5 Toledo SJJ
Q4: Hoban 7 – 17 Toledo SJJ

Final: Hoban 49 – 36 Toledo SJJ


NEW MIDDLETOWN OH- Springfield has done it! They’ve made it to the final stage of the OHSAA basketball tournament. This is a stage every team in the state dreams of.  For the first time in their program’s history the Tigers will be in the Division IV Final Four, and one of 16 teams left across the state of Ohio in all divisions.  How did the Tigers get here? They did it with consistent defense, and timely offense throughout the regional tournament.  In their two games at Massillon Perry the Tigers allowed 30.5 points per game.  They didn’t score too much more, averaging 39 in their two regional games.  They’ll hope to carry that defense to Dayton as they play Toledo Christian for a chance to advance to the state championship.

Tigers head coach John Matisi becomes the second coach in his family to reach the state tournament in the last three seasons. He took the time to talk with us about the excitement of this stage, what advice his dad gave him about playing in state, and much more. Check out Episode 4 of Coach’s Corner With John Matisi only on YSN!

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AKRON OH- JFK’s magical season met a climactic finish on Sunday as they faced off with top ranked Lincolnview for the Division IV State Championship. This was JFK’s first trip to the state tournament, and they made the most out of their opportunity. The Eagles mixed timely hitting with lockdown pitching to secure a 4-0 win and a state title. The first state championship of the baseball program’s history.

Gavin Shrum didn’t allow a single run for JFK on Sunday. Shrum allowed just five hits.

One bright spot for Lincolnview was a single by Landon Price in the first inning.

Shrum led the Eagles to victory on the mound. Shrum went seven innings, allowing zero runs on five hits, striking out seven and walking one.

Collin Overholt took the loss for Lincolnview. The hurler went seven innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and striking out nine.

JFK tallied seven hits in the game. Aidan Rossi, Shrum, and Michael Mauro all had multiple hits. Mauro, Shrum, and Rossi each collected two hits to lead.

Price led Lincolnview with two hits in three at bats.

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MASSILLON, OH –After dominating the first 9 weeks, the Springfield Tigers saw their third straight game come down to the final possession. In their regional final against Norwayne, it was a trick play that propelled the Tigers into the state semi-finals, where the Springfield defense would come up big with a goal line stand.

Now, in their second straight state championship appearance, it seemed as if it were the special teams turn to win the game. Following a Coldwater score to knot things up at 35, Beau Brungard and the Springfield offense would take over at their own 2o with 1 minute and 36 seconds remaining.

Running and throwing their way down the field, the Tigers marched into Cavalier territory. After converting for a first down, the Tigers rushed to the line of scrimmage and spiked the ball to stop the clock with just under a minute remaining.

From there, the Tigers would throw two incomplete passes, leaving them with 4th and long. Outside of kicker Clayton Medvec’s range, Springfield was forced to punt.

After a low snap, the Tiger punter picked up and booted the ball away into the arms of Coldwater’s big-play threat, Zack McKibben. McKibben would shake a few and break a couple of tackles before having nothing but green in front of him.

Great effort from two Tiger defenders would shove McKibben out of bounds at the Springfield 11-yard line. With just under 10 seconds to go, Coldwater ran one final play to gain a few extra yards for their kicker.

With four seconds remaining and 26 yards to glory, Coldwater’s Brady Klingshirn nailed one through the uprights to secure the Cavaliers’ 7thstate championship.



Beau Brungard 261 rushing yards, 121 passing yards, 5 total TDs


Myles Blasingame – 185 passing yards, 99 rushing yards, 5 total TDs

Zack McKibben – 82 rushing yards, 76 receiving yards, 2 receiving TDs