Saturday, January 28, 2023

Spartans cruise to third straight regional final

Josiah Harris and Jaiden Cox-Holloway each scored 21 points in Richmond Heights’ 77-37 win over Bristol on Tuesday in a Division IV regional semifinal game at Akron’s Firestone High School.

With the win, the Spartans improved to 16-4 and will play for a regional championship for the third straight season.

Richmond Heights dominated the first quarter as the Spartans reeled off the first 10 points of the game and led after the first eight minutes, 28-5. The Spartans scored from both inside the paint and from long range as they sank four of their 12 3-pointers in the first quarter.

Bristol played competitively in the second and third quarters but the Spartans were too deep and talented to allow the Panthers to creep back into the game.

Lorenzo Nettles contributed to the win with 11 points and Cox-Holloway finished with seven 3s of his own.

Malikee Sonie added nine points and Priest Ryan finished with six.

The Spartans advanced to Friday’s regional championship game against Warren JFK with the winner moving on to the state Final Four.

Richmond Heights is 1-0 in regional championship games over the last three seasons. The Spartans played in the 2019 state semifinals and reached last year’s regional championship before that game, and the rest of the season, was canceled due to COVID.

The Spartans have some extra incentive when they play Warren JFK on Friday. It was the Eagles who knocked the Spartans out of the playoffs in 2018. Richmond Heights was the fourth-seeded team that year but Warren JFK, No. 5, pulled out an 84-75 win that winter.

Friday’s regional championship game will be played at Firestone High School with tip-off scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

The winner will play the winner of the Region 16 final between Cedarville and Botkins on March 19 at the University of Dayton.

Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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