FRANKLIN FURNACE — The Green Bobcats continue to check off their team goals one by one.

As a result of their 62-44 win over Ironton St. Joe on Friday in the final game inside the Green High School gymnasium, the Bobcats claimed the program’s first Division IV sectional title since the 2017-18 season.

Pair that with the program’s outright Southern Ohio Conference Division I championship this year and you’ve got a team who keep proving themselves.

And yet they’re hungry for more.

Green coach J.D. King spoke following their 18-point win over the Flyers of his belief in this group from the beginning of the season and the season-long journey to now reaching the D-IV district tournament.

“Our group of seniors, I’m their third coach in four seasons. When I took the job and spoke with them the first time, that’s something we talked about. I believed in them — I knew there was talent was here,” King said. “They’ve bought in to playing the way that it took to be able to win at a high level, it’s been a tremendous season and I’m super proud of these guys.”

The Bobcats were led in scoring by senior Levi Sampson and junior Abe McBee who each finished with 20 points.

Green senior Levi Sampson (2) scored 20 points for the Bobcats during Friday’s 62-44 win over Ironton St. Joe in a Division IV sectional final.

Courtesy of Tim Gearhart

“It feels amazing. And to top it off, this is the last time we’ll get to play in this gym,” Sampson said. “To get the win, win a sectional, win the SOC this year, it’s great.”

Four different Bobcats reached double-figures, including seniors Levi Blevins and Gabe McBee who finished with 11 and 10 points respectively.

They led by as many as 30 points in their 18-point decision thanks in a large part to a 32-4 run that took place over the middle part of Friday’s contest.

“We just had the crowd on our side, had momentum,” Abe McBee said. “Once we scored those eight or nine in around we just took off from there. We played good defense, the crowd was into it and we closed it out.”

“Both games with them in the regular season we pushed it to double-digits and let them back in the game both times. Credit to them (St. Joe). But tonight when it mattered, we showed up,” King said. “I think they had 15 points going into the fourth quarter, really proud of the way we found ways to get stops and rebound, play how it’s going to take to win this time of the year.”

Blevins helped ignite the Bobcat offense in the first half, sinking three of the team’s four-made three pointers during the 16 minutes.

Green senior Levi Blevins (0) hit three first half three pointers as part of an 11-point performance during the Bobcats 62-44 win over Ironton St. Joe in a Division IV sectional final.

Courtesy of Tim Gearhart

“Have to thank my point guard Abe,” Blevins said. “He’s good at seeing the floor, the open man, and he’s a good passer. He saw me, got my feet set and knocked them down.”

Green, the No. 5 seed, advances to Monday’s Division IV, Southeast No. 1 district semifinal where they’ll face No. 4 seed Paint Valley.

Paint Valley earned an 85-52 win over New Boston in their own sectional final on Friday in Bainbridge.

Tip-off between the Bobcats and Bearcats is set for 8:30 p.m. at Piketon High School. The winner will face the winner of Fairfield and Western in a district final on Thursday at Ohio University’s Convocation Center.

“Paint Valley’s a good team, they’ve got a 1,000-point scorer big man in Estep. That 32-4 stretch tonight, we’re going to need some of that stretch and maybe more. It’s going to be a challenge, but it’s one that we’re up for and we’re grate ful to have the chance.”



Ironton St. Joe 6 5 4 29 — 44

Green 10 14 17 21 — 62

Ironton St. Joe (10-13): Brady Medineek 0 0-0 0, Aiden Deborde 0 0-1 0, Jake Stephens 0 0-0 0, Erikai Jackson 5 1-2 13, Evan Balestra 1 0-0 2, Drew Brown 5 0-0 12, Wesley Neal 2 1-2 5, Landon Rowe 2 0-1 4, Carter Johnson 1 0-0 2, Kai Coleman 2 2-4 6; TOTALS: 18 4-10 44; Three-point field goals: 4 (Erikai Jackson, Drew Brown 2 apiece)

Green (18-5): Levi Blevins 4 0-0 11, Levi Sampson 8 3-5 20, Jon Knapp 0 1-2 1, Abe McBee 8 4-7 20, Levi Waddell 0 0-0 0, Gabe McBee 4 2-4 10, Landon Kimbler 0 0-0 0, Derek Salyers 0 0-0 0, Devlin Maynard 0 0-0 0; TOTALS: 23 10-18 62; Three-point field goals: 4 (Levi Blevins 3, Levi Sampson 1)

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2023 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved