Lima Central Catholic and its Division III boys state basketball tournament semifinal opponent Cincinnati Roger Bacon could swap stories about finally overcoming regional tournament frustrations to get to state.
The Thunderbirds’ 55-40 win over Ottawa-Glandorf on Saturday night came after two losses to the Titans in the Bowling Green regional in 2013 and 2012.
Roger Bacon’s 49-46 over Summit Country Day in the Kettering Regional ended a streak of four consecutive losses in regional championship games.
Roger Bacon (22-4) was No. 5 in the final Associated Press Division III rankings and LCC (23-4) was No. 7.
Carlas Jackson, a 6-foot-2 senior guard who averages 15.6 points a game leads Roger Bacon. Austin Frentsos, also a 6-foot, 2-inch senior guard, is averaging 14.8 points a game.
Jackson hit six 3-pointers and scored 26 points in the win over Summit Country Day. He and Frentsos both went over 1,000 points in their career this season.
Roger Bacon’s last appearance in the state tournament was when it upset Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary and LeBron James in 2002 in the championship game.
Its past tournament resume includes a state semifinal win over Lima Senior in 1982.
LCC and Roger Bacon play at 2 p.m. Friday. Villa Angela-St. Joseph will play Columbus Ready at 10:45 in the other Division III semifinal.
AMONG THE BEST: Lima Central Catholic’s seven trips to the state tournament since 1989 ties the Thunderbirds for third for most state appearances in those 26 years.
Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph leads the way in that time span with 10 trips to state. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary has nine and LCC, Berlin Hiland, Canton McKinley and the now-closed Bedford Chanel all have seven. Toledo St. John’s and Kettering Alter have been to state six times in the last 26 years.
COVERING ALL THE BASES: LCC coach Frank Kill has been to the boys state basketball tournament as a player, as an assistant coach and now as a head coach.
Kill was a starter for Lincolnview when it won the 1997 Division IV title and was runner-up in 1996. He was an assistant coach on LCC’s 2010 state champion team and has been the Thunderbirds’ head coach the last four seasons.
“It’s going to be a great experience for them,” Kill said about LCC’s players after the win over O-G. “Seventeen years ago, I was a young lad playing in the state tournament. Those are feelings and emotions you want all your players to have.
“I’ve been coaching for 12 years and I’ve wanted every single player I’ve coached to have those feelings,” he said.
NO. 1 VS. NO. 2: No. 1 Crestview (27-0) will take on No. 2 Tri-Village (26-1) in a Division IV state semifinal at 8:30 Thursday night.
The Knights are the only No. 1 team in The Associated Press poll to get to the state tournament.
Division I poll champion Cincinnati Moeller lost in a regional championship game to Trotwood-Madison. Division II poll winner Ontario lost its first tournament game to Lexington. Division III poll champion Beachwood lost its second postseason game to Warrensville Heights.