DAYTON — Centerville High School came up short of winning the Division I boys basketball championship as they lost, 57-53, to Pickerington Central late Saturday afternoon at the UD Arena.
It was a rematch of last year’s Division I State title game where the Tigers beat the Elks, 55-48.
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Gabe Cupps led Centerville with 22 points and seven assists as he made 7-9 shots, including three treys. The senior was a nominee for Ohio’s Mr. Basketball this season after winning last year. This year’s award went Devin Royal of Pickerington Central.
Royal led the Tigers with 23 points while Juwan Turner added 16.
The game was closed the entire way as Pickerington Central led, 27-23, at halftime and the game was tied at 40-40 after three quarters.
It was tied at 50-50 with 1:42 remaining when Turner buried a three to put the Tigers ahead, 53-50. Cupps was fouled on a three-point attempt and made all three foul shots to tie the game, 53-53, with 52 seconds left.
Markell Johnson’s jumper with one second to play gave Pickerington Central ahead, 55-53. Gavin Headings steal and dunk secured the win.
The Tigers advance to the Division I state title game. It will played at 8:30 p.m. Sunday night at the UD Arena.
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