RICHMOND DALE — They say that those which don’t learn from history are simply doom to repeat it.
Looks like the New Boston boys basketball team took a textbook lesson on that —and indeed passed, and almost aced in fact, Friday night’s exam against Hiland.
With the Tigers’ 44-39 victory over Hiland in the Division IV Region 15 championship game at Southeastern High School, a decade-long — and rather infamous — drought came to an official end.
The last, the last two to be exact, wins by a Scioto County boys OR girls basketball club in a regional championship game came clear back in 2011 and 2012 —by New Boston’s bigger neighbor.
That would be the storied Portsmouth Trojans, which also went on in 2012 to reach the Division III boys state title tilt.
Since then, the list of Elite Eight but unfortunately not Final Four teams from Scioto County includes as follows:
South Webster boys in Division IV in 2013
Valley boys in Division III in 2014
Portsmouth boys in Division III in 2015
Clay boys in Division IV in 2017
New Boston boys in Division IV in 2019
Wheelersburg girls in Division III in 2019
Wheelersburg boys in Division III in 2019
Notre Dame girls in Division IV in 2020
Wheelersburg girls in Division III in 2021
For those math majors out there, that’s 0-for-9 in the Elite Eight since 2012 —until New Boston broke the string with its hard-earned win on Friday night.
And, as New Boston coach Adam Cox revealed on Monday during the annual OHSAA boys basketball state tournament media teleconference for the qualifying head coaches, the Tigers’ senior class is only 18 students.
“There’s only 18 seniors this year in the school, seven being boys and we have four of those on our team,” said Cox. “But it’s been quite a wild ride and an overwhelming experience so far for our team, our school and our community. We are proud and excited to represent Scioto County and all of Southern Ohio this year at the state tournament. We had a goal to make it to the Final Four this year. We’ve reached that goal and we’re excited about our next goal, which is to win two games in Dayton this week.”
Columbus Grove again
The 24-2 Tigers take on Columbus Grove in Friday’s second state semifinal for Division IV — set for a 2 p.m. tipoff inside the sparkling University of Dayton Arena.
It is New Boston’s second state tournament appearance —with the other coming clear back in 1960.
Needless to say, but many things have changed since then.
For the Bulldogs, which won its first regional championship in 15 years, their program is familiar with New Boston’s rival —South Webster.
The year was 2006, when the Jeeps captured the Division IV state championship with then-head coach Marc Kreischer —and defeated Columbus Grove 83-65 in the championship game.
Brenton Cole, the current SWHS head coach, was an assistant on that squad.
Some of the familiar players included Nick Aldridge, Evan DeCamp, Ryan Fenton, Jordan Lower, Ryan McClintic and Brigham Waginger.
Tip time of the game was 10:45 a.m., and the date that year was March 25.
Alas, those which don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it — although the Tigers try to repeat on Friday what the Jeeps did just 15 years earlier.
It was also the last time that Scioto County captured a boys basketball state championship.
Oak Hill, a member of the Southern Ohio Conference Division II and then coached by the legendary Norm Persin who now heads up the Valley Indians, won it all in Division IV in 2009.
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @BoggsSports © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved