Prior to the 2022-23 girls’ high school basketball season, Coach Dennis Schrock of the Chippewa girl’s basketball team announced he would hang the whistle up at the conclusion of the winter season. Schrock has won over 700+ games in the Wayne County Athletic League (WCAL) starting in 1978 where he would be a state runner-up in 1994 & 2023 and state semi-finalist in 2019.
Prior to the state championship game on Saturday, Chippewa would face Castalia Margaretta on Friday afternoon and win 60-50 which would send them back to the state final again for the first time since 1994.
The challenge ahead was Columbus Africentric who were 7-time state champs and were 20-4 on the season. Africentric would beat Wheelsburg by 18 points in the semi-final and put themselves in a position to be the favorites coming into the state championship matchup.
With over 2500+ in attendance on Saturday for the state championship game, Africentric came out screaming and was up 16-9 in the 1st with 4:05 left when Chippewa would take its first timeout. Africentric then would go on to hit 12 out of their first 13 shots in the 1st and would lead 27-13 at the end of the 1st. Once again the 2nd was dominated by Africentric who went on to score another 14 points and lead 41-28 coming into halftime.
Schrock said, “I knew my girls would come back, We just needed to get stops.”
Chippewa came outta the locker room with a burning fire and passion to bring the state championship trophy home. The 3rd would be the biggest for Chippewa where they would cut the lead down to 4 after some big shots from senior Annabel Rodriguez who would finish with a game high 19 points. Chippewa had life and would finish the 3rd down 6 points (58-52)
The 4th quarter was all Africentric where they would go on an 8-0 run taking a 14-point lead. Chippewa’s turnovers and missed layups in transition would be a factor in this quarter where they would eventually sub their star team out and put the future in. Time ran out and Africentric was the division 3 state champs, while setting an OHSAA record for points in a division 3 state championship game.
Post-game Schrock was undoubtedly emotional and his press conference could be felt all the way back home to Wayne County. Schrock would then grab Rodriguez and Henegar’s hand as tears rolled down his eyes “they mean so much to our program and I’m glad I went out with this team” “it just wasn’t meant to be today” Schrock would go on and share that multiple Wayne County coaches past and present, and former players texted him prior to the state championship game, wishing him luck. “Wayne Countyians they like to beat other schools and they like other teams to be successful” Schrock would say.
Schrock finishes as one of the best coaches in Wayne County history with over 722 wins and multiple wcal championships.
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