By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
COLUMBUS — Martyce Kimbrough, an Associated Press co-player of the year, scored 19 points and Lima Central Catholic dominated the second half for a 63-44 victory against St. Bernard Roger Bacon Friday in a Division III boys state semifinal at Ohio State’s Value City Arena.
The Thunderbirds (24-4), Division III state champions in 2010, advance to play defending Division IV state champ Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph, in today’s 4:30 p.m. title game.
Central Catholic led 32-25 at halftime, but suffocated Roger Bacon with a 1-3-1 zone defense and built the lead to 61-35, with three minutes left in the game.
Roger Bacon (22-5) finished 12 for 39 percent from the floor.
Xavier Simpson had 14 points and Tre Cobbs 13 for Central Catholic in a game that had 46 fouls, 25 committed by Roger Bacon.
Cleveland VASJ 55
Columbus Ready 40
COLUMBUS — Brian Parker had 17 points to help defending Division IV champion Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph pull away for a 55-40 win over Columbus Bishop Ready in a Division III boys state semifinal at Ohio State’s Value City Arena.
Maurice Johnson and Carlton Bragg had 11 points each for the Vikings (22-7), who will be gunning for their sixth state championship overall and fourth Divisional crown when they face Lima Central Catholic in today’s 4:30 p.m. final.
In addition to last year’s Division IV victory, Villa Angela-St. Joseph claimed a Division I state championship in 1991 and Division II titles in 1992, 1994 and 1995.
VASJ is making its 13th appearance in the state final four. The Vikings lost to Toledo Macomber in the 1989 Division I state final, lost to Patrick Henry in the 1997 Division III state championship game, and fell to Liberty-Benton in the 2007 Division III semifinals.
Ready (21-6) trailed 40-35 after Kelly Culbertson hit a three-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer but Parker, a co-player of the year, scored the first six points of the fourth to start a 12-0 run to make the score 52-35 for Ohio’s No. 2-ranked Division III.
Lakewood St. Edward 89
Cleveland East Tech 64
COLUMBUS — First-team all-stater Kipper Nichols scored 25 points and Lakewood St. Edward (25-2) shot 72 percent from the field as the Eagles defeated Cleveland East Tech 89-64 Friday in a Division I boys state semifinal.
St. Edward, ranked No. 3 in the final Associated Press poll, will try to win its second state title in Saturday’s final. The Eagles led 43-23 at halftime and made 17 of 22 field goals (77 percent) in the second half. Darien Knowles added 14 points for the winners.
Anthony Carmon led the Scarabs (23-5) with 16 points while Johnell Free added 15. East Tech, which was making its 11th trip to the final four but first since 1972, made just 39 percent of its field goals and lost the rebounding battle 37-20.
Upper Arlington 74
COLUMBUS — Senior Kevin Vannatta scored 25 points as Upper Arlington defeated Trotwood-Madison 74-49 in a Division I state semifinal Friday at Ohio State’s Value City Arena.
The unranked Golden Bears improved to 27-1 and will meet Lakewood St. Edward (25-2) in Saturday’s final. St. Edward was No. 3 in the final Associated Press poll.
Upper Arlington used an 18-0 run to turn an early 12-6 deficit into a 12-point lead. Vannatta had eight points in that stretch.
Logan Richter had 14 points and Danny Hummer 10 points and 10 assists for the winners. The Golden Bears had not made a state title game since 1937.
Dazhonetae Bennett placed the fifth-ranked Rams (25-3) with 23 points. Bennett and Vannatta were both first-team all-staters.