BIG BLUE IN FINALS

Hamilton came looking for a chance to take the DI Crown back to Southwest Ohio. Would they get the chance?

Who would make the final team in the 2004 OHSAA Boys Tournament? Two teams were left to battle for the spot, and both wanted to make their mark and earn the chance to play Toledo St. John's in the title game.

Canton McKinley dresses a talented group of players with size and youth. 7 sophomores dress for the Bulldogs, and with senior talents Stan Hall and Taurean Dailey leading the way, hopes of a title shot were within grasp.

Hamilton has worked to reach this stage of the tournament. Coming up short last season gave the Big Blue desire and determination in reaching Columbus. In what was sure to be a hard fought battle, neither team could find an advantage.

By the half, Hamilton would hold a 32-28 advantage, but the Bulldogs were waiting to pounce back into the game. Hamilton received 12 points from senior Derrick Huff and 7 from Latez Williams. McKinley would receive their scoring from sophomore Raymar Morgan (11) and junior Sean Weatherspoon (10).

When the teams returned from half, the battle would increase with strong defensive play on each trip up and down the court. No more than two points would separate these talented teams from each other.

With less than four minutes left, Hamilton looked for the advantage. Hitting a three, senior guard Brandon Lampley, put The Big Blue in front. With 2:30 left, Huff makes the steal and on the break dishes a no-look pass to Adam Myers-White for the bucket and a 6-point advantage. Could the Bulldogs fight back with less then 1:34 left?

Mike Doss looked on as they tried for a giant comeback. The Bulldogs were forced to foul, and with 46.5 left, sent Lampley to the line. Hitting both shots moved Hamilton in front by 7 and the crowd would start to leave. The final mark on the night came when Huff sets up Williams for the slam.

Final score Hamilton 63 McKinley 56. The Big Blue advances and will play Toledo St. John's for the DI Championship.

Williams would score 18 along with Huff's 14, Lampley's 12 and Jason Miller's 10. McKinley saw a great game from sophomore Raymar Morgan who scored 20 points and made a points to being one of Ohio's top under classmen.


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