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Jackson vs. Gahanna Lincoln
Division I state semifinal game Friday night at Value City Arena on the campus of Ohio State University in Columbus.
Jackson wins 62-50
Jackson senior forward Josh Egner finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks, all of which were game-highs, in 31 minutes on the floor.
"When he comes to play, it's over," Jackson coach Mike Fuline said of Egner. "He is exciting to watch. He goes strong to the basket, rebounded well and made a lot of free throws.
"He has always had a lot of energy. He was not polished as an eight grader and ninth grader, but he has worked so hard and he believes in himself. He has built a sense in his mind that you are not going to stop him."
Jackson (24-3) will play Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (22-4) in the Division I state final at 8:30 tonight. Moeller defeated Mentor (23-4) in overtime 66-59 on Friday.
"They are a big, strong and physical team," Lincoln coach Tony Staib said of Jackson. "They are physical at all five positions."
Senior Anthony Jackson, a 6-foot guard, scored 23 points for Lincoln (26-1).
Egner, a 6-foot-7 University of Akron recruit, had two tremendous two-hand dunks in the third quarter, both of which 6-foot senior guard Brad DuPont assisted on.
"We just went out there and we are playing for everything right now," Egner said. "There are six [seniors] in the locker room that don't want to say goodbye to each other. Emotionally, we are on a different level than we ever have been."
DuPont (12 points), 5-foot-10 junior guard Michael Shull (14 points) and 6-foot-8 senior forward Mark Henniger (11 points) also scored in double figures for Jackson.
DuPont also recorded seven rebounds and seven assists and Henniger, a Kent State recruit, grabbed nine rebounds.
Jackson made 21-of-26 shots from the field for 58.3 percent. Lincoln converted 18-of-57 shots from the field for 31.6 percent.
"We are a team that needs to shoot the ball well and we didn't shoot the way we needed to," Staib said. "I thought there size and strength hurt us. They got us on the glass and they got a lot of loose balls."
The Polar Bears held a 37-26 rebounding advantage, but committed 23 turnovers to the Lions nine.
Lincoln defeated Columbus Northland 71-45 this past Saturday in a regional final.
"Gahanna Lincoln is a team that had an unbelievable year," Fuline said. "I think they deserve a lot of credit. They went 26-0 with the schedule they play and they beat the No. 1 team in the country [Northland, according to the USA Today]."
Jackson leads 41-32 after three quarters
Senior forward Josh Egner has taken over the game. He has 17 points, six rebounds and three blocks.
Egner had two tremendous two-hand dunks in the third quarter, both of which senior guard Brad DuPon assisted on.
DuPont lobbed the ball off the backboard on the first dunk during a fast break and Egner jammed it home. Egner followed that up a few possessions later with another emphatic dunk over a Lincoln defender.
Jackson leads 26-24 at halftime
Junior guard Michael Shull has nine points, senior guard Brad DuPont has eight points and five rebounds and senior forward Josh Egner has six points, six rebounds and three blocks.
Lincoln senior guard Anthony Jackson leads all scorers with 12 points and junior guard Stevie Taylor has five points.
Jackson has 12 turnovers at halftime, Lincoln has three. The Polar Bears have a 18-12 rebounding advantage.
Basketball legend Jerry Lucas was honored at halftime by OHSAA for its circle of champions. After receiving a standing ovation he then walked off the court and was handed a Jackson basketball t-shirt, which he held in the air to a loud roar from Polar Bears fans.
Lucas was also honored Thursday at halftime of Orrville's game with football legend Howard "Hopalong" Cassidy.
Jackson leads 18-9 after the first quarter
Junior guard Michael Shull led the Polar Bears with nine points and senior guard Brad DuPont scored six points.
Jackson senior forward Josh Egner contributed three points, three rebounds and three blocks in the opening quarter.