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COLUMBUS — With four minutes remaining and Norwalk hanging on to a suddenly tenuous lead over defending champion Columbus Watterson, Truckers guard Ben Haraway came up lame.
So what were you thinking at that time, coach Steve Gray?
"Oh my God," he said.
But Haraway was able to return despite a twisted ankle and his presence was huge down the stretch as the Truckers beat the Eagles 65-58 Saturday for the Division II boys basketball state championship.
Haraway scored 29 points, scoring nine points after he hobbled briefly to the bench, to lead the way.
"I buckled my knee and rolled my ankle at the same time," said Haraway. "I thought I was going to be out for a while."
He hit a free throw after limping to the free-throw line, then after Watterson pulled within four points with under a minute left, he made four foul shots in the final 36.6 seconds to lock up the victory — which came in Norwalk's first-ever trip to the state's final four.
"He's a special person," Gray said, nodding to his smiling point guard. "The way he looks now is the way he looks in every practice and at school. He's just a happy guy."
Jeff Thomas added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Truckers (29-1).
Matt Hughes had 23 points and 10 rebounds for fourth-ranked Watterson (26-3), which hit just 4 of 24 behind the arc. Cody Calhoun added 15 points and Matt Lehmann had 11.
Norwalk made 8 of 11 shots from the field in the first quarter, scoring the final six points, to take a 20-14 lead it never relinquished. The Truckers led 31-19 at the half and 42-33 through three.
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Lakewood St. Edward 62, Upper Arlington 58
Kipper Nichols scored 26 points, including two clinching free throws with 5.8 seconds left in overtime, to propel Lakewood St. Edward to the Division I title for its second state championship.
Marsalis Hamilton tossed in a 3-pointer with two seconds left in regulation to force the extra session.
St. Ed (26-2) also won a title in 1998, but had been thwarted six other times in the state tournament.
Danny Hummer and fKevin Vannatta each had 15 points for the Golden Bears (27-2), who were seeking their first championship since 1937.
Lima Central Catholic 64, Cleveland VASJ 62
It came down to one shot for the championship.
Lima Central Catholic Coach Frank Kill hoped for a favorable outcome — and got it.
Martyce Kimbrough had 22 points — including all four of his second-half points in the final 93 seconds — to lead Lima Central Catholic past Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph in the Division III state final.
After VASJ (22-8) had cut the lead to a point on 6-foot-10 junior Carlton Bragg's 3-pointer with six seconds left, two LCC players missed three consecutive free throws. But Brian Parker's heave from midcourt was just short, touching the front of the rim.
The title was the second for the seventh-ranked Thunderbirds (25-4).
Bragg had 23 for defending champ VASJ, denied its sixth title.
Xavier Simpson had 18 points for LCC.
Dererk Pardon finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds for VASJ.
Convoy Crestview 71, Louisville Aquinas 44
In a tight game, Convoy Crestview's defense made all the difference in the world.
Damian Helm, Tyson Bolenbaugh and Connor Lautzenheiser each had two baskets in an 18-0 blitz to start the third quarter, pushing the top-ranked Knights to a 71-44 victory over Louisville Aquinas for its first Division IV state championship.
Helm finished with 20 points. Bolenbaugh ended up with 18 and Lautzenheiser had 11. Preston Zaleski added 10 points.
"When we make up our minds that we're going to take away at the defensive end what [the other team] wants to do, we feed off that," Crestview coach Jeremy Best said.
Aquinas (18-12) hit its first four 3-pointers and also made seven of its first 11 shots from the field but still trailed 22-19 because of nine early turnovers.
Crestview led 15-9 after a quarter and 26-23 at the half.
Then came the game-changing run.
The Knights (29-0) won the title in their third trip to the final four.
Anthony Moeglin had 10 for Aquinas, which made its second trip to the state tournament but first since 1975.