Sweet 16 for Bay High Basketball Team

The Bay High basketball team continued on the path of one of the greatest seasons in school history by claiming a Div. II district championship last weekend.

The Rockets, now 22-3 overall, outfought a game Keystone squad on Saturday night, 71-59, to capture the school’s first district crown since 1993.DSC_6101-82

Bay now becomes a member of the state’s elite Sweet 16 and will play in a regional semifinals game against Napoleon Thursday at 8 p.m. at Bowling Green.

Bay now rubs elbows with some elite programs, including St. Vincent St. Mary, LeBron James’ alma mater – a regional semifinalist in the Canton Tournament this weekend. Could these teams meet in the state final four? We’ll see!

Bay’s fast pace and scrappy defense neutralized the 19-6 Keystone team’s bid for an upset last weekend. Bay was the tournament’s top seed, and Keystone second, but Bay’s defense and pressure forced Keystone turnovers and set up the potent Rocket offense time and again. Bay built a lead as large as 52-30 in the third quarter. Keystone, staging a late comeback, sliced the deficit to 8, but it was too little, too late against the deep and talented Rockets.DSC_5761-33

Bay’s depth and balance is easily seen in the box score as  junior Jack Jelen paced the attack with 19 points, eight from a perfect night at the free throw line. Senior John Koz, now Bay’s career scoring record holder, added 16. Sophomore R.J. Sunahara added 14 and freshman Erik Painter canned 11. Note the number of underclassmen in Bay’s lineup – this is a team with a future.

Now on the road to Final Four, Here’s a look at how the state’s regional tournaments shake out:

Division II

Home team listed first

Region 5 – Canton Regional

Youngstown Ursuline (19-6) vs. No. 3 Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (23-3) at Canton Memorial Civic Center, Thursday, 6:15 p.m.

Perry (20-5) vs. Cleveland Benedictine (21-4) at Canton Memorial Civic Center, Thursday, 8 p.m.

Regional Final: at Canton Memorial Civic Center, Saturday, TBA

Region 8 – Kettering Regional

Cincinnati Taft (21-5) vs. Johnstown-Monroe (23-3) at Kettering Fairmont High School, Thursday, 5:30 p.m.

Cincinnati Aiken (23-4) vs. Kettering Archbishop Alter (18-6) at Kettering Fairmont High School, Thursday, 8:30 p.m.

Regional Final: at Kettering Fairmont High School, Saturday, TBA

Region 7 – Athens Regional

Steubenville (16-9) vs. Columbus St. Francis DeSales (20-6) at Ohio University, Thursday, 6:15 p.m.

McArthur Vinton County (21-4) vs. No. 1 New Concord John Glenn (24-1) at Ohio University, Thursday, 8 p.m.

Regional Final: at Ohio University, Saturday, TBA

Region 6 – Bowling Green Regional

Ottawa-Glandorf (20-5) vs. No. 6 Lexington (24-2) at Bowling Green State University, Thursday, 6:15 p.m.

No. 10 Napoleon (19-5) vs. Bay Village Bay (22-3) at Bowling Green State University, Thursday, 8 p.m.

Regional Final: at Bowling Green State University, Saturday, TBA

Div. II State Tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center

Region 5 vs. Region 8, Thursday, March 17, 5:15 p.m.

Region 7 vs. Region 6, Thursday, March 17, 8:30 p.m.

Division II State Championship: Saturday, March 19, 2 p.m.

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