The Division IV basketball district tournament played in the area is physically held at Warren G. Harding High School. But for all intensive purposes, it might as well be called the Windham district, played at WGH.
With Friday night's 87-81 victory over McDonald, the Bombers won their third straight Warren district title - and eight out of the last 10. Since the tournament moved from Middlefield to Warren, Windham has won every district title except 2010 and 2009.
"Three in a row. Cameron (Pozsgai) and Matt (Knight) have won it three out of four times they've been here," Windham coach Marty Hill said. "We had a tremendous season, undefeated in our league. I told our kids, this is the place you can prove (yourselves)."
Against the Blue Devils, the Bombers showed exactly why they've been unstoppable come tournament time. The Bombers shot 48.7 percent from the floor and only gave up five turnovers against the normally stifling McDonald full-court press in the first half. To do that against the Blue Devils, a team that normally stumps teams with their press, was quite a sight to see.
Halfway through the third quarter, many in attendance thought the game was all but over as the Bombers built a lead that grew to as many as 18 points. But McDonald is no slouch to district final games as well - and decided they weren't going to let the Bombers easily win their third in a row.
McDonald senior Stephen Politano took the game over in the final minutes, scoring 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, including two 3-pointers from collegiate distance. The Blue Devils had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, but a Windham steal underneath the McDonald basket and an ensuing layup by Windham's Parker Rickey iced the game for the Bombers.
Though the Blue Devils could never take the lead in the final moments, the comeback made the game quite interesting - and set the tone for what the future of the Warren district will likely be for years to come.
While Windham has owned Warren, McDonald has had its share of good fortune in the Struthers' district before moving to Harding in 2012. From 2004-2011, the Blue Devils made eight straight district finals, won three times, and were runners up five times.
"This is a great atmosphere, personally though, I love Struthers," McDonald coach Jeff Rasile said with a smile. "But this is a great atmosphere here. I was talking to coach Hill before the game I thought I heard he was going to retire, but he's going to keep going. So hopefully next year we can have a rematch."
With the history the two teams have when it comes to playing in district finals, it's safe to say that Friday night's game won't be the last time the two square off for a trip to regionals. And if it's as entertaining of a game like it was Friday, it will be one of the best finals in the area every year.