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Regional Champs: South advances to first state tournament since 1986

By Connor Harr, 03/16/19, 4:30PM EDT

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Bulldogs complete regional title with convincing win over Lima Shawnee

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Columbus South represented the City League well tonight with a 64-47 victory over Lima Shawnee in a Division II regional final game at Bowling Green State University.

The Bulldogs were the more talented team and matched up exceptionally with Lima Shawnee. Their backcourt simply could not be contained tonight. As coach Ramon Spears did an excellent job sticking with high ball screens and some dribble drive motion offense to take advantage of the opponents weaknesses.

Over halfway through the first quarter, the Bulldogs were tied at seven. South’s backcourt started to heat up as senior Tre Watkins knocked home a deep three despite being face-guarded for much of the frame. Juniors Marcus Johnson and Trevell Adams also contributed to the Bulldogs 8-0 run, taking a 15-7 lead into the second quarter.

Lima Shawnee opened up the second quarter with four straight points, but then South immediately scored six straight. Lima Shawnee was able to cut the deficit to six with three minutes left in the half down 24-18. The Bulldogs struggled to consistently rebound the ball in the first half with almost half of Lima Shawnee’s points coming off second chance putbacks. South built on their lead late in the second quarter as Shawnee struggled to control the tempo, falling into the trap of playing at the Bulldogs up-tempo pace.

The third quarter began with both teams trading buckets, and with four minutes left in the quarter, Lima Shawnee knocked home a three pointer to make it a 41-34 game. This was a rough quarter from the Bulldogs offensively in the half-court. Their guards continued to get into the lane at will but struggled to make decisions reacting to their opponents help-side defense thus resulted in only twelve points from the South in this quarter. Their gritty defensive effort kept them holding onto a comfortable lead heading into the final frame, up 47-36.

Lima Shawnee gave South a scare midway through the fourth quarter in their final attempt at a comeback. Missing a few rotations on the defensive end of the floor, the Bulldogs lead was trimmed to 51-43 with three and a half minutes left. Like usual, this South team responds to adversity and had no problem icing the game in the closing minutes, clinching their first Final Four appearance since 1986.

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