Canton McKinley wins back-to-back titles

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 3, 2006

COLUMBUS (AP) — For years, Canton McKinley couldn’t win a big game. Now the Bulldogs can’t lose one.

First-team All-Ohioan Raymar Morgan hit for 25 points and the top-ranked Bulldogs made quick work of Trotwood-Madison 63-33 Saturday to win their second Division I state championship in a row.

Ricky Jackson and Marcus Parker each added 11 points for Canton McKinley (25-2), which won its 17th game in a row.

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The 33 points was the fewest by a team in a championship game since Xenia Central knocked off Toledo Central 51-33 in the Class A final in 1942.

The Bulldogs’ only losses came to two of the top teams in the nation — Oak Hill (Va.) Academy and Division III champion Cincinnati North College Hill — by a combined three points.

McKinley teams have made a record 28 trips to the state tournament but only collected one title (in 1984 with Gary Grant at the controls) in their first 26. Year in and year out, despite having a lineup stocked with major-college recruits such as Phil Hubbard, Ron Stokes, Troy Taylor and Nick Witherspoon, the Bulldogs always seemed to wilt in the bright lights at the state tournament.

That all changed a year ago when they released years of pent-up anguish by holding off Cincinnati St. Xavier 51-42 in the finals.

South Webster 83

Columbus Grove 65

COLUMBUS (AP) — One day short of two years from their most painful defeat, the South Webster Jeeps celebrated their greatest victory.

Led by Nick Aldridge and Brigham Waginger, the Jeeps made up for a semifinal loss in the 2004 state tournament to bring home the Division IV championship with an 83-65 win on Saturday over Columbus Grove.

The 31-28 loss to eventual champion Holgate on March 26, 2004, lingered with the Jeeps — making the school’s first state title that much sweeter.

The Jeeps became the first team from the Southeast District to win a state title since Portsmouth in 1988.

Aldridge, a 6-foot-7 senior headed for Western Carolina, scored 34 points and added four rebounds, three assists, five steals and two blocked shots.

Waginger is a first-team Associated Press All-Ohioan who played for Division III state semifinalist Ironton a year ago and then transferred in. He added 20 points, three assists, eight rebounds and five more steals. Jordan Lower, hero of Thursday’s 61-58 victory over Lockland in the semifinals, had 10 points.

The Jeeps forced 22 turnovers and turned them into 24 game-deciding points.

Second-team All-Ohioan Kyle Meyer had 18 points and Tyler Kohls 10 for Columbus Grove (21-6), which was trying to become the 67th school to win a title in its first trip to the state tournament.

Aldridge scored the 1,999th and 2,000th points of his career on a short fadeaway at the 4:31 mark of the third quarter that made it 56-30 — the Jeeps’ biggest lead of the game.

Dayton Dunbar 73, Wooster Triway 46

COLUMBUS (AP) — The climb back to the top took 19 years for Dayton Dunbar.

Led by the big three up front of Ohio State-bound Daequan Cook and 6-foot-8 bookends Aaron Pogue and Mark Anderson, the Wolverines pulled away to beat Wooster Triway 73-46 Saturday in the Division II state championship game.

Cook finished with 23 points, three rebounds, five steals and an assist. Pogue had 10 points and 12 rebounds and Anderson added 14 points and eight rebounds.

The Wolverines (26-2) were pretty good on the perimeter, too. Norris Cole II had 18 points and five assists and Darran Powell directed the attack with nine assists.

The title was Dunbar’s first since the team led by Mark Baker (Ohio State), Mike Haley Jr. (Wright State) and Kirk Taylor (Michigan) won the 1987 championship at the University of Dayton Arena.

The Wolverines, making their fifth appearance at the state tournament, were ranked No. 3 in the final regular-season Associated Press poll. They lost in last year’s semifinals.

It was another heartbreaking close call for the Titans, who have made four trips since 1988 but have never captured a championship. They lost in last year’s championship to Upper Sandusky, 94-86.

Only three other teams in the tournament’s 84 years have finished second two years in a row.