Harvest Prep reaches Division III state final
By: David Dennis Sr.
Harvest Preparatory School boys basketball coach David Dennis Sr. refers to senior guard Raymond Robertson as an “open gym All-American” for his exploits since joining the program midway through last season.
Robertson’s 3-pointer with 1 minute, 25 seconds remaining proved to be one of the Warriors’ biggest baskets during a 48-41 victory over Cincinnati Purcell Marian in a Division III state semifinal March 21 at Ohio State.
That 3-pointer gave Harvest Prep a 42-38 lead, and Robertson made a layup with 56 seconds left as the Warriors stretched their advantage to 44-39.
Four free throws by Brandon Beavers in the final 27.8 seconds sealed the win for the Warriors, who improved to 27-2 and will face Cleveland Heights Lutheran East in the state final at 10:45 a.m. March 23 at Ohio State.
“In open gyms, (Robertson) just scores so much,” Dennis Sr. said. “That was a big 3 that he made.” Harvest Prep had trouble getting its offense, which has topped 80 points 19 times this season, on track against Purcell Marian.
With the game tied at 20 at halftime, Christopher Anthony, a junior guard who was named Division III state Player of the Year earlier this week, and Soul Hines both scored five third-quarter points to help the Warriors take a 32-29 lead into the final period.
Defensively, Beavers and the Warriors’ zone defense held second-team all-state player Alex Dotson scoreless until the game’s final two minutes. “We found a way,” Dennis Sr. said. “I thought we got some breaks, got some stops and we made some shots. It was a great team effort.”
Harvest Prep was only 17-for-41 from the floor but limited Purcell Marian to 17-for-39 shooting, and the Cavaliers made just four of 11 free-throw attempts and were only 3-for-15 from 3-point range.
Anthony finished with 17 points and Robertson scored eight to lead Harvest Prep.
Javonta Lyons had 15 points to lead Purcell Marian, which finished 24-5. Dotson finished with only three points.
“It means a lot,” Anthony said. “We had a talk earlier in the locker room that all we wanted was a chance, and God gave us a chance.”