LCC 63, Villa Angela-St. Joseph 50
Lima Central Catholic won its second state championship in two years, redeeming itself after a championship loss to Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph last year with its win March 19.
“I’ve got some hardware I’m going to bring home,” Walton said, walking around with a strong grip around the gold state championship trophy.
Tre Cobbs of LCC (28-1) had a team-high 24 points on the way to being named the Division III player of the tournament, hitting 9 of 14 from the field and 4 of 5 on 3-pointers in the title game. He had another six rebounds and four assists. Dantez Walton added 20 points and 11 rebounds, including 11 points in the fourth quarter. Ethan O’Connor added 11 points.
“They were first class all the way. They deserved to win,” said VASJ coach Babe Kwasniak, whose team finished the year 23-6. “They are so good.”
LCC 74, Roger Bacon 56
Dantez Walton showed off his rounded game, hitting 3-pointers and slashing his way to the basket on his way to a 30-point, 11-rebound, four-block night on March 17. He hit 12 of 19 from the field, including 2 of 4 on 3-pointers. Roger Bacon couldn’t focus on him, though, as Tre Cobbs had 20 points and was 3 of 6 on 3-pointers. Ethan O’Connor added 12 points and three rebounds, hitting 5 of 6 shots.
“It was a matter of pick your poison,” Roger Bacon coach Brian Neal said. “We wanted to protect against the drive, but Tre (Cobbs) is very good at creating contact. So we back up a tiny bit, and they start making threes. Those two guys are as dynamic as two players as we’ve played all year. They both had a good game today, and unfortunately we didn’t do enough to slow them down.”
LCC 54, Ottawa Hills 29
The Thunderbirds jumped out to a 13-2 lead and never looked back on March 12. Dantez Walton and Tre Cobbs each scored 15 points to lead LCC, which advanced to the state tournament for the third-straight year. The Thunderbirds were 26-1 heading into the state tournament, with their only loss being a regular season game against Lima Senior, which advanced to the state’s final four in Division I.
LCC 71, Milan Edison 40
Josh Dixon was cut and temporarily woozy, but he still had eight points and five rebounds as LCC sprinted out to a 16-0 run in the second quarter to put away Milan Edison on March 10. Dantez Walton scored 23 points and tallied three rebounds and three blocks. Ethan O’Connor added 10 points and eight rebounds.
LCC 65, Spencerville 38
The Thunderbirds’ 3-point aresenal was firing March 5, with three players hitting multiple treys. Dantez Walton hit three 3-pointers on his way to a 19-point, eight rebound, two-block night. Josh Dixon added 15 points and two 3-pointers, while Tre Cobbs scored 14 points and two 3-pointers.
LCC 71, Bluffton 35
LCC’s defense limited Bluffton to 1 of 16 shooting at the half, including just 1 of 6 from beyond the 3-point arc, to win March 3. Dantez Walton had 20 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. Tre Cobbs added 13 points, while Josh Dixon tallied 10.
LCC 95, Riverdale 37
The Thunderbirds sprinted past Riverdale on Feb. 26. Dantez Walton scored a career-high 31 points, including 16 in the first quarter. Walton gathered in seven rebounds and three blocks. He hit 14 of 16 from the field and nailed 3 of 4 3-pointers. Tre Cobbs added 21 points and five 3-pointers, and Josh Dixon scored 12 points. LCC connected on 56 percent of its shots, including 15 of 21 on 3-pointers.