COLUMBUS — Westerville South’s Kaleb Wesson is massive.
The 6-foot-9 Westerville South pivot is huge and hard to move.
But Lima Senior’s 6-5 Rico Stafford and 6-5 Ruben Flowers gave him everything he could handle and more at both ends of the floor.
Westerville South knocked off Lima Senior 57-55 on a floater by Jordan Humphrey with two seconds left to win the Division I boys basketball state championship Saturday at Ohio State’s Value City Arena.
Wesson managed only seven points, four rebounds and shot 2 of 8 from the field. He struggled to get touches in the offense and ended up with four fouls.
“I want to front him and prevent him from getting the ball,” Stafford said. “I was trying not to let him get the ball in the paint. I didn’t want him to score.”
Flowers had 12 points, five rebounds and three blocks. He hit 5 of 5 from the field.
Stafford had 10 points, four rebounds and two blocks. He hit 5 of 6 from the field.
“I was just trying to give my team the lead,” Stafford said of his fourth-quarter putbacks. “I gave it everything. It was a matter of attacking the boards. If you get boxed out, you attack the boards.”
Lima Senior coach Quincey Simpson said, “Ruben and Rico are both two good defenders. Ruben is our toughest guy, we said that from day one. I thought they did a tremendous job on both Wesson brothers (6-9 Kaleb and 6-6 Andre).”
Stafford had eight fourth-quarter points, four points on layups and four points on putbacks. His final layup brought the Spartans within 55-53 with 28 seconds to go.
“He (Stafford) did what he normally knows how to do, hang around the basket, get the key rebounds and make the key shots,” Simpson said. …. “Those guys (Flowers and Stafford) fight with me to the end. They’ve been fighting with me since the fourth grade.
“That’s the thing that hurts most for those guys. They wanted to do it because they’ve been together for so long. It didn’t happen for us.”
Reach Tom Usher at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @Lima_Usher