Boys Basketball: LCC falls to Berlin Hiland on buzzer-beater

DAYTON – They both had opportunities. But Berlin Hiland had the last one, which also became the best one when it beat Lima Central 62-59 in double overtime in a Division IV boys basketball state semifinal at the University of Dayton Arena on Friday.

Hiland’s Nick Wigton hit a 3-pointer just before the buzzer in the second overtime to win it after LCC had come back from deficits of 10 points at halftime and 14 points early in the second quarter.

Berlin Hiland (23-6) had the ball in its hands for the final 31 seconds of the decisive overtime.

The game-winning play in the final seconds started with the ball in the hands of Sammy Detweiler, who led Hiland with 25 points, including five 3-pointers.

LCC had him covered, so he passed the ball to Logan Hershberger, who sent it to Wigton on the left side behind the 3-point line.

“In the second half, we fought back. We’ve done that all season when we got down early,” LCC coach Sean Powell said.

“They (LCC’s players) fought back and gave us an opportunity to win the game. We had a couple of opportunities late in the fourth quarter where we could have taken the lead late in the game with under 30 seconds left but we didn’t make good decisions and it went into overtime,” he said.

Berlin Hiland jumped out to an 8-0 lead, was up 18-7 after one quarter, and was in front 34-24 at halftime. LCC took the lead for the first time on a 15-footer by Carson Parker with 6:14 left in the fourth quarter to make it 43-42.

Berlin Hiland cooled off to 54 percent shooting for the game but shot 70 percent (14 of 20) overall in the first two quarters and 75 percent (6 of 8) in the first half.

The main fire starter in the opening half was Detweiler, a senior guard who hit 5 of his first six shots, including three 3-pointers, despite picking up three quick fouls.

Jordan Priddy, who led LCC (26-3) with 24 points, said the Thunderbirds’ thoughts when Berlin Hiland started so fast were to “just keep playing.”

“Our shots are going to fall. Don’t let that get into your head and continue to play,” he said.

Powell joked that his reaction was, “Why me? Why now?

“When you watch them on film you see that they don’t necessarily have the height but you also see they can shoot the ball,” he said.

Carson Parker had 23 points for LCC, 14 of them in the second half. Wigton scored 17 points for Hiland (23-6).

Berlin Hiland coach Mark Schlabach said his team had not had another half in which it shot as well as it did in the first half Friday.

“We knew we were going to have to shoot the ball well against Lima Central Catholic. Until Sammy got into foul trouble he was really tough to guard. He was scoring on a couple of different levels. He had a tremendous half to get us going,” he said.

“We see Sammy do that in practice. I don’t think he’s had a game quite like that. That was as good a moment in a big game as we’ve had somebody have in my time.”

LCC also had foul trouble when Billy Bourk got two quick fouls in the first half and picked up his third and fourth fouls in the second half. The Thunderbirds’ post player was in the game for only nine minutes in the first three quarters, which was probably a contributing factor in Hiland having a 35-20 edge in rebounding.

LCC’s biggest lead was three points, 47-44, in the third quarter. It scored first in the first overtime to go up two points, 53-51. In the second overtime, Berlin Hiland led or the game was tied until the final shot.

Powell, who coached Botkins to a Division IV state championship in 2021 and was hired as LCC’s coach in May, said his first season with the Thunderbirds was amazing.

“I say I adopted them. Frank Kill was the coach who raised them. Not too many coaches get players like Carson Parker, Demarr Foster, and Billy Bourk in their first year. For them to be all ears and take in what I was preaching for us to get this far in so little time is amazing. Any coach would dream to have a first year like I had.”

Parker said getting to the state tournament was a dream he’d had even before being a ball boy for LCC’s 2014 and 2016 state champions and 2015 state runner-up team.

“I was down there on the court in ‘14, ‘15 and ‘16. This is something I’ve wanted to do my whole life. To finally get the opportunity this year as a senior meant the most to me. Even though it didn’t end the way we wanted it to it’s still the best year of my high school career so far,” he said.

Berlin Hiland 62, LCC 59, (2 OT)

Score by quarters:

Lima Central Catholic 7 17 15 12 4 4 — 59

Berlin Hiland 18 16 8 9 4 7 — 62


Jordan Priddy 24, Willie Foster 6, Carson Parker 23, Demarr Foster 2, Angelo Collins 4. Totals: 22-10-59.


Logan Hershberger 2, Sammy Detweiler 25, Sam Wengerd 9, Alex Miller 9, Nick Wigton 17. Totals: 25-9-62.

Three-pointers: LCC — Parker 3, Priddy 2; BL — Detweiler 5, Wigton 3, Wengerd 1.

Records: LCC 26-3; Berlin Hiland 23-6.

Jim Naveau
Jim Naveau has covered local and high school sports for The Lima News since 1978 and Ohio State football since 1992. His OSU coverage appears in more than 30 newspapers. Naveau, a Miami University graduate, also worked at the Greenville Advocate and the Piqua Daily Call. He has seen every boys state basketball tournament since 1977. Reach him at [email protected] or 567-242-0414.