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Pickerington Central Snaps Centerville’s 45-Game Win Streak To Capture State Title

DAYTON, Ohio – It had been over a year since Centerville, the fourth best team in America according to MaxPreps.com, lost a game.

Pickerington Central was clearly up for the challenge on Sunday night, holding off a late comeback attempt to defeat the Elks, 55-48.

Defense was the story of the first half, as a 30% shooting performance by Centerville allowed Pickerington Central to claim a 21-17 halftime lead.

Tom House, a Florida State commit, was held scoreless in the first 16 minutes, while Andrew Hedgepeth had five off the bench to lead Pickerington Central.

A 12-5 run to open the second half would give Pickerington Central their largest lead of the game at 33-22, with a Josh Harlan three forcing a Centerville timeout.

Trailing by 11 with under four minutes to play in the third, Centerville suddenly exploded with a quarter-ending 12-3 run to draw within three heading into the fourth.

 

The fourth quarter started off back-and-forth, with Devin Royal continuing his big second half performance.

However, Royal would find himself in foul trouble and back on the bench after a controversial charge put him one foul away from disqualification midway through the fourth.

Despite Royal’s brief exit, Pickerington Central would find themselves ahead 48-43 before a critical three pointer by House cut the lead to 48-46 with just over a minute to play.

 

With the game and a state title on the line, the Tigers made every single free throw down the stretch to close out a stunning 55-48 win over the defending champions.

 

Sunday night would mark just the second state title in school history for Pickerington Central, coming just a few days before the 10-year anniversary of their first title in 2012.

Centerville’s trio of Gabe Cupps, Rich Rolf, and Tom House combined for 37 of the Elks’ 48 points.

Rolf and House both won the state championship as juniors, but they’ll finish just short in their senior year. Cupps, a junior, will get one more shot with Centerville next season.

Pickerington Central was led by a 16 point second half by highly touted junior Devin Royal, who finished his night with 20 points, four rebounds, and a pair of assists.

Winning a title is always a great feeling, but doing it against one of the top ranked programs in the entire country makes it even sweeter.

It’s a night to celebrate for Tiger Nation, as they have solidified their place as the top dogs in Ohio.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Petro

    March 22, 2022 at 10:02 pm

    Outstanding job, Bill! Thanks for all your efforts! Great coverage!

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