COLUMBUS - The No. 2-ranked Division IV team in the state let Troy Christian hang around for two-and-a-half quarters before pulling away for a 67-36 victory.
The Vikings (24-4) held the edge, 29-22 at halftime, but dominated the second half. VA-SJ outscored the Eagles, 38-14, in the final two quarters. VA-SJ shot 58 percent from the floor.
The game was dominated by Cleveland State-bound Demonte Flannigan. The senior scored a game-high 26 points. Adding to the total was Evansville recruit Duane Gibson Jr. with 14 points. A total of eight Vikings scored in the game.
Troy Christian finished its season with a 26-3 mark. Spencer Thomas paced the Eagles with nine points.
LEIPSIC 61, LANCASTER FAIRFIELD CHRISTIAN 58
COLUMBUS - The score was tight throughout, but Leipsic held off a comeback attempt by Fairfield Christian to come away with the 61-58 win in a Division IV state semifinal.
The Vikings will now take on the other Vikings, VA-SJ, in the final today at 4:30 p.m.
Leipsic led from midway through the first quarter through the end of the game, give or take a handful of ties. Their biggest lead was seven points. Fairfield made a 3 with 13 seconds left, but couldn't get another shot to extend the game.
Steven Carpenter led Fairfield Christian (25-3) with 26 points. Zach Sullivan added 13 points and Justin Potochnick chipped in 12 points and eight rebounds.
Zach Kuhlman paced Leipsic with 24 points. Devin Mangus scored 13.
COLUMBUS NORTHLAND 69
COLUMBUS - A big fourth quarter was the difference for the Cardinals as they advanced to the Division I state title game with an 80-69 victory over Columbus Northland on Friday.
The appearance in the finals will be the first for Mentor (24-5) and the second for coach Bob Krizancic, who led Girard to a state title in 1993.
Mentor led 56-54 entering the fourth quarter, and outscored the Vikings 24-15 in the final stanza to pull away for the victory.
The Cardinals had four players score in double digits. Jeff Foreman paced Mentor with 20 points, followed by Connor Krizancic and Brody Nelson with 17 each. Brandon Fritts added 12. Mentor will now face Toledo Rogers in the Division I final tonight at 8:30 p.m.
Ty Hairston paced Northland (28-1) with 19 points.
TOLEDO ROGERS 58,
CINCINNATI WALNUT HILLS 51
COLUMBUS - An alley-oop dunk at the buzzer put the exclamation point on Toledo Rogers' 58-51 victory over Cincinnati Walnut Hills in a Division I state semifinal.
Trailing 39-37 entering the final quarter, the Rams outscored the Eagles 21-12 in the fourth, which was capped off with an alley-oop dunk by Tribune Dailey Jr. He finished the game with eight points and nine rebounds.
Leading Rogers was Tony Kynard II with 25 points. The Rams are now 21-7 on the season and will be vying for the schools' first state title tonight when they take on Mentor.
Ohio University signee D.J. Winfield paced Walnut Hills (27-2) with 20 points. Six-foot-9 Akron recruit Isaiah Johnson had 17 points and 11 rebounds.