The 3A Championship Game featured the Dragons of Silver Creek, and the Lions of Leo. While each team got off to a bit of slow start offensively, there was plenty of action in the first half of play. Ayden Ruble got the Lions going, scoring 7 points (& displaying a skilled offensive arsenal) in the first quarter.
Kooper Jacobi (finished with a monster double-double of 18 points and 18 rebounds) sparked the Dragons early, showing an ability to step out and shoot well from distance, and was ferocious on the glass on both ends. The Dragons held an 11-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
While both teams scuffled a bit in the opening portion of the second quarter, action picked up in the last 4 minutes of the half. The Lions’ frontcourt of Zach Troyer (6 points, 15 rebounds) and DJ Allen (9 points, 7 rebounds) held their own against the star-powered frontcourt of the Dragons. Silver Creek, sparked by its half-court trap, was able to get out in transition in the latter part of the second quarter, and the Dragons took a narrow 22-21 lead into the locker room.
Leo Guard Blake Davison heated up in the second half (on his way to 20 points on the night). I was impressed with Davison’s ability to attack the SC Guards and get into the paint.
While SC’s ‘Big Three’ carried the load in the second half, Isaac Hinton knocked down two huge threes for the Dragons.
SC was able to stretch the lead to 46-36 with 4:32 remaining in the 4th quarter. While SC was able to take some time off the clock (Kaufman-Renn providing a key basket late), the choice to delay/spread the floor nearly cost the Dragons, as Leo mounted a strong comeback and had a chance to take the lead late in the game.
Congratulations to the Leo Lions on a great season and an impressive run through the 3A North portion of the State Tournament.
Silver Creek was able to emerge with a nail-biting victory, 50-49, capturing a second consecutive Class 3A Championship in the process.