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Boys Basketball State Tournament

North Olmsted Grinds Out Sectional Victory over Berea-Midpark, 41-40

Written By: Don DiFrancesco

The North Olmsted Eagles grinded their way to a 41-40 victory at Berea-Midpark on Wednesday night, advancing to a Division I sectional final.

It seemed there was a lid on the basket for the first three quarters, as Berea-Midpark led, 23-22, heading into the final period of play.

Both offenses woke up in the fourth.

North Olmstsd had a 38-37 lead with 1:08 to play before sophomore Trevor Bycznski made two free throws to give Titans the lead.

Following a steal, Berea-Midpark junior Jalen Dixon split a pair of free throws with 35 seconds to play to make the 40-38 in favor of the Titans.

North Olmsted worked the clock down and Southwestern Conference MVP Josh Hufstetler hit a driving layup to tie the game and was fouled on the play with 5.5 seconds remaining.

He made the free throw for the winning point. Dixon got off a 15-footer at the buzzer, but it was off the front of the rim.

Hufstetler scored a team-high 15 points, while Andrew Bussman added eight points and eight rebounds.

Chad Elliott paced the Titans (13-10) with 15. Bycznski scored 12.

North Olmsted (12-11) travels to Avon to face the fourth-seeded Eagles on Saturday, Mar. 4 at 7 pm.

North Olmsted upset Avon in the regular season on Jan. 27 and the two teams split their matches.

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