City Series boys basketball playoff championship
Firestone (12-7, 11-1) vs. Buchtel (13-5, 10-2)
When: 7 Friday night.
Where: Firestone High School.
Coaches: Stephen White of Buchtel and Dave Milo of Firestone.
Notebook: The Falcons defeated the Griffins twice in the regular season and won the regular season percentage title. Firestone won the first meeting at Buchtel 73-72 on Dec. 21 in overtime and the second meeting at home 67-59 on Feb. 1 in regulation. Firestone relies on seniors Jerome Lane, Kevin Gladney, Ja’Tice Shaw and Darin Adams for a majority of its points and rebounds. Falcons juniors Evan Kennerly, Miles Kirk, Jae’Quan Jones and Andre Simmons are also key players along with freshman Raybon Lewis. Buchtel consistently starts three seniors, Elijah Bell, Demonte Hicks and Tyler Jones, with junior Tre Smith and sophomore Deric Rucker. Those five account for most of Buchtel’s scoring. Griffins top reserves are senior Sable Cooper, senior Jharshon Graise, junior Ci’Andre Johnson-Lollar and sophomore LaShawn Johnson.
History: East was the City Series regular season and playoff champion last year with an undefeated record. Firestone finished runner-up in the regular season and playoff title game. This is the first time Firestone has won the City Series regular season title since 2008. The Falcons also won the playoff title game that year too. Joe Howard, the Akron Public Schools Program Manager of Interscholastic Athletics, said since 1970, Firestone has won three league regular season titles and four league playoff titles. During that same time span, Buchtel has won 12 league regular season titles and 12 league playoff titles. The Griffins won City Series regular season championships from 2009-2011 and league playoff crowns in 2010 and 2011.
— Michael Beaven