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Archbishop Hoban routes Toledo St. John's Jesuit to advance to first championship game since 1989

DAYTON, Ohio- The Archbishop Hoban Knights were prepared maybe over prepared Saturday night in their lopsided 49-36 win over the St. John's Jesuit Titans at the University of Dayton Arena.

"There's 24 hours in a day and T.K. had us watching film for 26 hours," Hoban junior guard Jonas Nichols said postgame. "We went over numerous clips going over each player well, studying each players tendencies which is why we were able to create so many stops and limit them to 9 points and the second and third quarter."

Nichols who Knights head coach T.K. Griffith describes as one of the teams backbones alongside senior guard Will Scott Jr. took control of the game from the tip-off, jumping out to an early 10-2 behind a layup and triple from himself and 6'8 dual-sport freshman big man Sam Greer.

The guy known as "Big Sam" to his teammates provided a much needed energy for the team to start the game. After a put back layup on a shot miss by Scott Jr, he taunted the Titan team and receiving a technical foul by the officials.

"Big Sam is a huge part of our team," Scott Jr. said postgame. "Trying to get through a screen he sets is tough because if you go under then we can shoot. We're a great shooting team."

Despite the early struggles from senior C.J. Hornbeak, the Titans kept it close early. Junior Joseph Taylor scored 6 of his team high 11 points in the first quarter, even capping the quarter off with a buzzer beater layup.

Hoban stuck with game play of denying CJ Hornbeak clean looks from then on.

"Coach told us if you stop C.J., then you stop them from scoring and that's what we did tonight." Scott said on the game plan of defending Hornbeak. Hornbeak shot 2-13 (including 0-4 from behind the arc) in the second and third quarters combined.

Hoban outscored St. John's 28-9 in those two quarters to essentially put the game out of reach.

"Once the lead started growing and growing, it became increasingly difficult to come back. Hats off to how well they defended us tonight. We just didn't play the best we can. To be able to be ranked where we were and beat teams that were said to be better than us, I just can't thank my seniors enough including CJ." Titans head coach Mike Schoen said postgame about his team.

The last time Hoban made the state championship was their first time ever. T.K. Griffith was in the shoes of many of his players now trying to obtain what most don't think is possible.

"I cannot believe that this is true, it doesn't feel real," Griffith said. " I am so proud and excited for our school community and these players."

Archbishop Hoban will quickly have to put this game in the memory bank and prepare for the defending Division I state champs Pickerington High School Central tomorrow night back at the University of Dayton Arena.

"We're planning to have two practices tomorrow so I expect us to be ready," Griffith also said.

Nichols led the Knights with a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Scott and Greer both added 12 points.

Joseph Taylor led the Titans with 11 points and 3 steals. Hornbeak was held to 10 points on 4-19 shooting.


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