Berlin Hiland has done it again…their fifth state title in basketball, overall, and did it by beating the defending Division IV state champs, Waterford!
Columbus – Credit to the Division IV defending state champions, the Waterford Wildcats, they put up a game defense of their 2016 title…for a while!
But in the end, the Berlin Hiland Hawks, seeking their fifth overall state title in small school basketball, simply had too much athleticism and firepower. They won, going away, 61-41.
Behind the double-barrel output of Morgan McMillen (17 pts.) and Angela Troyer (20pts.) the Hawks quickly established a 9-6 first quarter lead…and then extended it to 31-21 by the half.
Waterford, making only its third appearance in the state tournament (they were the 2015 runners-up to Fort Loramie before winning last year), tried gamely to claw back into the game in the third quarter.
Instead, it was Hiland that sustained an effort that saw their lead balloon to as much as 21 points. They did it with their defense, principally, a step quicker and getting to every loose ball, rebound, and turnover opportunity. They forced 19 turnovers in the game, and scored 21 points off those defensive opportunities.
Hiland won it by shooting 45% from the field, 42% from three-point range, and 87% (7 of 8) from the foul line.
Waterford lost it by shooting 36% from the field, 14% from the three-point line, and 67% from the foul line. Alli Kern, a junior and all-Ohio performer, led them with 17 points.
Hiland previously won the Division IV title in 2000, ’05, ’06, and 2008.