Alter girls win 3rd straight state championship
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The senior class of Kettering Archbishop Alter had the perfect ending.
Seniors Libby Bazelak and Braxtin Miller combined for 44 points as the Knights won their third straight girls Division II title with a 58-41 win Saturday against Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown at Value City Arena.
Miller had 23 points and Bazelak 21 while each had eight rebounds.
Alter (28-2) has six seniors, five of whom started, that have won 151 games the past four seasons and reached the state tournament all four years.
"All of us played together since we were in third grade," Miller said. "This is something we dreamed about as kids."
Alter led by 15 early in the fourth but Hathaway Brown (18-11) got to within 46-39 before Bazelak and Miller each scored four points down the stretch, and the Knights turned a close game into wider margin with several easy baskets at the end.
"It's kind of hard to put into words what they mean, but what they did on the court kind of sums it up," Alter co-coach Christina Hart said. "They played together. They looked for one another. They did it as a team. That's what they've done for four years."
Kaydan Lawson had 14 points and Dani Lawson 11 for Hathaway Brown.
Hathaway Brown was down double digits in the first half but pulled to 28-24 with 5:21 left in the third quarter when Bazelak and Miller took over to increase Alter's lead to 40-27. Bazelak had seven points and Miller added five during the run.
Michael Coreno cited Alter's experience in being able to hold off the Blazers' rally.
"You could see that big-game experience and the fact they played together so long, it kind of wears you down," he said.
The game was a meeting of Division II royalty.
In addition to Alter's three straight titles, the Knights also were champs in 2008 and runner-up in 2010 and 2014, the latter being the freshmen year for this senor class.
Hathaway Brown won its five consecutive titles from 2009-13 and played for the title in the two years before the winning streak began.