While it has been 23 years since the Wauseon Indians played in the state final four, their state championship foe is a much more familiar with the spotlight.
Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary has advanced to state 14 times, including 11 since 2000. They have six state titles all-time and a pair of runner-up finishes, including last season.
The Fighting Irish are best known as the alma mater of NBA star LeBron James. He led the Irish to three of those state titles.
St. Vincent-St. Mary finished the regular season ranked 11th in the state. To get to the state title game, the Irish avenged an earlier lopsided loss to Trotwood-Madison, defeating the Rams 62-60 on Thursday.
The Irish (24-5) are led by 6’ 3” senior guard Jayvon Graves, who averages 21.5 points per game. Graves, Ohio co-player of the year in Division II, is committed to play at Buffalo of the Mid American Conference.
Fellow guard Jon Williams averages 12.7 points per game.
It has been 20 years since an NWOAL team won the state basketball title with Patrick Henry winning in 1997.
Wauseon (27-1) advanced to the state championship game in 1994. Indian Coach Chad Burt was a member of that runner-up squad.