By: David Dennis Sr.
Harvest Prep (26-2)
The Warriors return to the Final Four after beating previously unbeaten Wheelersburg in the Athens Regional Final. It wasn’t a masterpiece for Coach David Dennis’ team, but the 52-38 victory allowed Harvest Prep a sixth trip to the Schottenstein Center. The Warriors, who average nearly 83 points per game, were held scoreless in the 2nd quarter against the Pirates and led by only four points heading into the final frame, but used a 19-9 advantage in the game’s final stanza to secure victory. Junior CJ Anthony, who has a chance to be named DIII Player of the Year, led the Warriors with 16 points and classmate Elijah Glenn added 14.
Harvest Prep carries 18 consecutive wins into Thursday’s semifinal matchup with Purcell Marian. The Warriors haven’t lost a game in the state of Ohio this season suffering a six-point to Kettering Fairmont in Jefferson City, Missouri and a one-point setback to Marquette Catholic in Hammond, Indiana.
The Canal Winchester-based school, who is beating its opponents nearly 30 points a game, survived an acid test in the first-ever district finals held at the Columbus Convention Center outlasting a very good Columbus Academy team. On a night, where Anthony struggled offensively, senior Soul Hines would save the season drilling four three-pointers in the final nine minutes en route to a 21-point evening helping his team outlast its toughest tournament test to date.
Anthony, who averages a shade over 25 points per game, is the only junior among the main eight-man rotation. The remainder of the lineup consists of experienced seniors especially in the backcourt with Hines and Brandon Beavers.