Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Spartans earn return trip to state tournament

Richmond Heights is headed back to the state tournament for the second time in three seasons after defeating Warren JFK in a regional championship game on Friday, 67-50.

The Spartans first qualified for the state Final Four in 2019, when they lost to eventual state champion Convoy Crestview. Last winter, they advanced to the regional championship game but COVID forced the cancelation of the rest of the tournament, leaving the Spartans with unfinished business this season.

That mentality was on display when the Spartans used a 13-2 run to close out the game.

Warren JFK hung with the Spartans throughout the game and even led after the first quarter, 15-14, thanks to a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The Eagle lead didn’t last as the Spartans took a 32-24 lead into the break and led by double-digits at one point in the third quarter.

Again, Warren JFK hit key shots and pulled to within six points in the fourth quarter before the Spartans’ game-sealing final run.

Priest Ryan led the Spartans with a game-high 22 points while four others also finished in double figures.

Jaiden Cox-Holloway and Josiah Harris both contributed to the win with 12 points, with Harris also recording a double-double with 11 rebounds, and Malikee Sonie pitched in with 10.

With the win, the Spartans improved to 17-4 on the year and will play Botkins (25-3) in a state semifinal at the University of Dayton on Friday.

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, 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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