In Piqua D-IV sectional action Tuesday night, Lehman Catholic led a back-and-forth affair 21-20 with 2:54 to go in the first half, only to see the Russia score 24 of the next 25 points en route to a 61-35 decision.
Russia, 14-8, advances to play Jackson Center, 15-9, in a sectional title game at 7 p.m. Friday night at Garbry Gymnasium. Lehman closes the season at 9-15.
The Raiders scored the first eight points of the contest, including a pair of Jack Dapore three-pointers, but Lehman answered with eight straight of its own, the final six coming from Elliott Gilardi.
Dapore connected on another three to break the deadlock and Russia led until a Preston Rodgers three put the Cavaliers up 16-13 a minute into the second quarter. Another Rodgers three from the right corner gave Lehman a 21-20 edge with 2:54 remaining in the half.
The Raiders, however, started their decisive run from there, as two Jordan York threes helped Russia tally the final eight points of the period to go up 28-21 at halftime.
Dapore then scored 10 of the Raiders’ first 16 points of the third quarter as Russia built a 44-22 advantage.
“We expected to see the 2-3 zone from Lehman coming in and that was a concern because we just don’t see much of that during the regular season,” said Russia coach Spencer Cordonnier. “We also had some first-game tournament jitters and it took us a while to get going.”
“We didn’t do anything special late in the first half and in the third quarter, we just were patient on offense and found the open man,” added Cordonnier. “We hit some threes early, but went back to running our normal offense and took care of the basketball in the second half.”
The Cavaliers had five field goals in the opening period in shooting 42 percent, but managed just eight field goals the rest of the way in shooting 30 percent for the game. The Raiders, meanwhile, shot 55 percent overall, including seven of 14 from behind the arc, and made 12-of-17 free throws.
Dapore led Russia with 20 points while York had 14 and Daniel Kearns 10.
Gilardi paced Lehman with 13 points while Rodgers had 11.
fall to Patriots
BROOKVILLE — No. 5 Newton — which only lost to Tri-Village on a pair of last-second free throws during the regular season — couldn’t put together that same kind of effort Tuesday against the top-seeded Patriots, falling 56-41 in the Division IV sectional championship game at Brookville High School.
Anna Wolfe led the Indians with 15 points on the night, while Tatum McBride finished with 11 points.
Three Patriots were in double figures, with Trisa Porter leading the way with 18 points. Lisa Siler added 17 and Emma Printz scored 10.
Tri-Village advances to face Russia in the district final Saturday at 11 a.m. at Troy High School. Newton’s season ends at 17-7.