COLUMBUS — It seemed like destiny for Lima Central Catholic.
The Thunderbirds came into Thursday’s Division III state semifinal game against Dayton Chaminade Julienne with a 12-game winning streak on the line.
After LCC lost to Lima Senior in late January, the T-Birds then went on a tear, winning the next 12 games. In that stretch, LCC outscored its opponents an average of 65-47.
In its five tournament games leading up to the state tournament, LCC outscored its opponents and average of 63-45. In its sectional title game, LCC trounced Riverdale 94-39.
This year’s appearance in the state tournament marks the eighth one for the LCC boys program. The T-Birds won the state title in 2010 and 2014. In 1989 and 1994, LCC fell just short in the state tournament, losing in the state title game.
With only one senior in this year’s starting lineup, the future is looking bright for the T-Birds.
However, the T-Birds first want to finish out this season with a state championship.
LCC coach Frank Kill isn’t new to the state-tournament scene.
During his high school days at Lincolnview, Kill was an integral part of the 1996 state runner-up team and the 1997 state championship squad.
In 2005, Kill also notched a state title as the LCC golf head coach.
In 2010, Kill was on the coaching staff at LCC as an assistant coach when it won a state basketball title.
Then last season, Kill notched the state title as the LCC head basketball coach.
Kill was on the LCC coaching staff for eight years under the legendary Bob Seggerson, before getting the reigns of the LCC program.
Kill came into this week’s state tournament with a career record at LCC of 114-16.
The name Vest is synonymous with Wright State University. Chaminade-Julienne’s Alan Vest will be following both his father’s and brother’s footsteps when he goes on to play college basketball at WSU next school year.
The 6-foot-3 Vest came into Thursday’s game with LCC averaging 17 points per game. Vest scored 12 points against LCC on Thursday.
CJ’s last state championship was 1970. The program also won a state title in 1966.
In 1991, CJ finished runner-up.
St. Joseph advances
Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph soundly-defeated Columbus Eastmoor Academy 62-34 in Thursday’s first Division III state semifinal.
Carlton Bragg led St. Joseph with 22 points and eight rebounds. Derek Pardon scored 13 points and pulled down 10 boards.
Madison Tri-Village boys’ basketball coach Josh Sagester is also the superintendent of the school system. Tri-Village (29-0) won its Division IV state semifinal against New Philadelphia Tuscarawas on Thursday, 55-47 to advance to Saturday’s state championship game against Harvest Preparatory (25-4).
Tri-Village was the No. 1 ranked team in the final Associated Press poll in D-IV.