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Five Northeast Ohio high school boys basketball teams, four of which are parochial schools, will compete in the state tournament this weekend at the Value City Arena in Columbus.
Lakewood St. Edward (23-5) defeated Garfield Heights 69-65 in overtime in the Division I regional finals to advance to Columbus, and will face Massillon Jackson (26-2) on March 24 at 8:30 p.m. The winner will meet Cincinnati Moeller (27-0) or Pickerington Central (26-2) on March 25 at 8:30 p.m.
Aurora resident Grant Huffman, a freshman guard, plays for St. Edward, and scored 9 points in the win over Garfield Heights. In the 62-43 regional semifinal win over Mentor, Huffman tallied 12 points. Grant's older brother Cade plays for the Aurora Greenmen.
In Division II, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (23-5) hammered Cleveland Central Catholic 72-48 and will face Trotwood Madison (25-2)on March 23 at 2 p.m. for an opportunity to meet Wauseon (26-1) or Columbus Eastmoor Academy (22-6) on March 25 at 10:45 a.m.
In Division III, Villa Angela-St. Joseph (21-6) beat Northwestern 70-51 and will play Proctorville Fairland (24-1) on March 24 at 10:45 a.m. The winner will battle Cincinnati Roger Bacon (23-4) or Archbold (22-5) on March 25 at 5:15 p.m.
In Division IV, Lutheran East (18-9) will take on Delphos St. John (21-4) on March 23 at 5:15 p.m. with the winner playing either Columbus Wellington (21-7) or Lima Perry (24-3) on March 25 at 2 p.m.
Meanwhile, in girls state tournament action last weekend, one of two Cleveland area schools brought home a state title as Gilmour Academy of Gates Mills edged Versailles 56-54 for the Division III crown.
The Cleveland area's other team -- Hathaway Brown -- was defeated in the finals by Kettering Alter 58-41 in Division II. Other state champs are Berlin Hiland, a 61-41 victor over Waterford, and Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame, a 54-44 winner over Toledo Notre Dame Academy.
Three of the four state girls champions are parochial schools.