Hathaway Brown beats West Holmes in girls D2 final

Published:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown lost its first two title games but since those defeats has gotten the hang of leaving Value City Arena victorious, and Saturday was no exception.

Vanessa Smith had 19 points as the Blazers defeated Millersburg West Holmes 53-41 in the girls Division II final for a record-tying fourth-straight title.

"Every year it's kind of unreal," Hathaway Brown junior Nia Marshall said. "It gets better and better."

Hathaway Brown (22-5) tied the mark for consecutive championships held by Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame (2006-09) and South Euclid Regina (2000-03). The Blazers were also runner-ups in 2007 and '08 before starting their title run.

"Six years down here and to win four is a humbling experience for me," Blazers coach Paul Barlow said. "Every year is different because it's a different group of kids."

West Holmes (24-4) was after its first championship since winning three straight from 1984-86 but stalled offensively as Hathaway Brown scored nine straight points to end the first half with a 28-19 lead behind Marshall's nine points.

West Holmes then got to within four, but the Blazers went on a 12-0 run at the end of the third quarter and into the fourth for a 45-29 margin.

West Holmes coach Lisa Patterson rued her team's 15-for-56 (26.8 percent) shooting, caused in part by the taller Blazers.

"We obviously didn't shoot particularly well," she said. "We got some shots. They just didn't go in. If the ball goes through the hoop, it's a different story."