skip navigation

Regional Champs: Africentric defeats South Point

By Greg Glasser, 03/11/23, 2:00PM EST


Nubians dominate the Pointers in the second half, return to Dayton

ATHENS, Ohio -- After Africentric was upset by Northland in the City League championship, head coach Michael Bates indicated that was just one missed team goal, but had three crucial opportunities still ahead. On Saturday, the Nubians defeated South Point at Ohio University 55-38 to achieve their goal of a regional title and now become one step closer to their ultimate achievement of a state championship. 

The Nubians took a two-point lead into halftime and outscored the Pointers 35-20 in the second half to earn their second straight regional title. Senior wing and Xavier signee Dailyn Swain led all scorers with 17 points and did most of his damage with 13 of those in the final two periods.

"The game wasn't going my way offensively, so I wanted to make an impact on both ends," Swain said, who had six steals and three blocks and scored most of his field goals off turnovers and directly at the rim.

"As gifted and talented [Swain] is as an offensive player, he is a heck of a defender and wanted that challenge," Bates said. "At halftime, he asked us to guard [South Point's] Caleb Lovely and he shut him down. Credit to Dailyn, he asked for that assignment."

That assignment was key as Lovely is one of the Pointers top scorers, who had 59 combined points the previous two games. On Saturday, he was limited to just nine off 23.5% shooting and 1-of-10 from behind the arc. 

Swain's defensive assignment was one of a handful second-half moves Bates and the Nubians used to overwhelm the Pointers, who finish the season at 22-5. Bates was quick to acknowledge South Point's season success and that he'd have to be proactive with his approach.

"Their head coach, Travis Wise, does a phenomenal job, they had a great season," Bates said. "We watched a lot of their game film and found they typically make their adjustments at halftime. We had a couple tricks in our bag and there was still a lot of game left to play. We didn't want to give them an opportunity to prep and make their adjustments, so we made ours at halftime." 

The adjustments worked, most notably the high level of defensive pressure that created 10 points off Pointers turnovers in the third quarter. Beyond Swain, who also grabbed nine boards, the Nubians received solid contributions from nearly the entire rotation. 

Juniors Laron Fuller and Cortez Freeman each scored 11 points. Next to his first cousin, Swain, Freeman was the most impactful player for the Nubians as he went three-of-four from beyond the arc along with four rebounds.

"When you get to this part of the tournament, you need a guy to hit shots and we fortunately have a guy in Cortez that can hit shots and get to the rim, he was in a good groove" Bates said. 

Freeman's performance was more impressive considering he injured his ankle in Africentric's win over Garaway on Wednesday.

"He didn't practice at all Thursday and just did some shooting on Friday," Bates said. "He was excited, he got to the gym early today for some therapy and came out and performed and I am so happy for Cortez."

Senior forward Preston Steele had a strong second half, where he scored six of his eight points along with seven total rebounds and two steals. Junior Mekhi Johnson offered solid minutes off the bench with five points and three rebounds.

The Nubians will now make the familiar trip back to the state tournament in Dayton, with their eyes set on staying the entire weekend this time around. Last season, Africentric fell short of the title game as they lost to Ottawa-Glandorf.

They'll have a chance at redemption as they'll face Ottawa-Glandorf again on Saturday at 10:45 a.m.

Recent News

Get the 270 Hoops Preview Magazine today!