The Archbishop Hoban boys basketball team found the new sectional tournament format to its liking Wednesday night and dominated Woodridge 73-33 in a Division II first-round game at Barry Gymnasium.
The home game gave Hoban a second chance at having its Senior Night and coach T.K. Griffith could not have scripted it any better. The Knights received permission to honor their seniors after snow wiped out the first attempt.
“We were able to get a lot of kids on the court and it worked out well,” Griffith said. “You are always hopeful the kids who have put four years into the program will get a chance to play some quality minutes. We jumped on them early and it just worked out that we were able to do that.”
The Knights (15-7) will host either Cleveland John Hay or Akron East in a sectional championship game at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Hoban sophomore Anthony Christian tossed in a game-high 20 points and paced 11 Knights in the scoring column. All six Hoban seniors scored, and five of the six sank at least one 3-point shot.
“I’m the third generation to come here,” senior Ben Cook said. “Hoban has been in my family for years. Nothing feels better than to put on a Hoban jersey and being able to represent my high school with class and dignity.”
Senior guard Christian Waite got Hoban off to a fast start, scoring 11 points in the opening quarter. The Knights led 7-0 out of the gate and 25-8 after one quarter.
Hoban shot 15-of-30 from the floor and sank five 3-pointers in building a 42-12 lead at half. In the meantime, Woodridge (7-15) converted 6-of-20 tries from the field and turned the ball over 14 times.
“The crowd was great,” Hoban senior Pat Williams said. “Everyone contributed and it was a great atmosphere, and now we look ahead to the next playoff game.”
Williams connected on a 3-point goal to run the score to 60-20 with 1:12 left in the third quarter.
“Our identity is shooting the 3, and trying to share the basketball,” Griffith said. “I thought our first quarter was good intensity wise. We limited our turnovers. Defensively, we still have a lot to work on. To be honest, it hasn’t been our strength, but we’re getting there.”
Waite averaged 19 points per game in North Coast League play and was named NCL Blue Division Co-Player of the Year. The 6-foot combo guard is drawing some recruiting attention and now has a Hoban-record 80 3-pointers this season.
“I’m glad we came out and played to our potential,” said Waite, who finished with 14 points. “It means a lot with this being my senior year.”
Hoban senior Michael Londa had 10 points, while senior John Bahmer added five. Cook and Williams each had three points.
Woodridge coach Ric Blevins received a team-high 10 points from senior Armad Richey-Conrad.
Another highlight for the Bulldogs was the play of 6-foot-8 freshman Aaron Jones, who blocked three shots in the final three minutes of the game.