St. Vincent-St. Mary won the 2009 Division II boys basketball state championship Saturday with a 59-53 victory over Dayton Thurgood Marshall in the Schottenstein Center's Value City Arena on the campus of Ohio State University.
Senior Daylen Harrison led the Fighting Irish (23-4) with 21 points and four rebounds. Harrison made four free throws in the final 10 seconds to help secure the win.
Senior Michael Hammonds and sophomore Jakarr Sampson each scored 11 points for St. V-M, and sophomore Ricky Johnson Jr. contributed five points and a game-high seven assists. Sampson also had nine rebounds.
Senior BJ Brophy (four points), sophomore Davonte Beard (four points) and junior Dominique Mitchell (three points) also scored points for St. V-M.
Junior Juwan Staten paced the Cougars (22-5) with a game-high 28 points and four assists. Senior DeAngelo Gates scored 15 points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Irish overcame a 29-24 halftime deficit.
The Cougars held a 39-24 rebounding advantage. The Irish forced 16 turnovers and only had eight turnovers.
Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, a 2003 St. V-M graduate, was in attendance at the game. He sat one row behind the Irish bench. James led St. V-M to state titles in 2000, 2001 and 2003. The Irish were a state runner-up in 2002.
Coach Dru Joyce II guided St. V-M to the state title Saturday and also in 2003.
Former St. V-M coach Keith Dambrot, currently the men's basketball coach at the University of Akron and a Firestone High School graduate, guided the Irish to state titles in 2000 and 2001.
Congratulations to St. V-M on winning a state title.