Tigers coach Aaron Hollar turned 40 on Friday and his players gave him a great present; a victory over Anna on 98.3 WPKO. It wasn't easy though, the Tigers again had to come from behind before they pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 47-38 victory.
Things didn't look good early for WLS as Anna raced out to a 12-2 lead in the first quarter. When the frame ended it was 12-4 and the Tigers hadn't hit a field goal from the floor. To make matters worse leading scorer Landon Hormann was saddled with two fouls and had to sit on the bench.
Behind senior leadership and a steady play, WLS slowly started chipping in to the Rockets lead and tied the game for the first time 17-17 with less than a minute to play in the half. The Rockets would add 2 points on their final possession for a 19-17 lead at the break.
Just like Tuesday night, the Tigers took over the second half. Anna scored the first four points of the third quarter, but after that the Tigers flexed their muscle and controlled the rest of the game. They took their first lead of the game about half way through the third and eventually pushed it to three at the end of the third 31-28.
Tigers' coach Aaron Hollar comments on winning the Div III sectional
Landon Hormann decided to put the Tigers on his back to start the fourth scoring 6 quick points and putting WLS up by six points just a few minutes in to the quarter. Anna made a brief run, and got Hormann to the bench with his fourth foul with just over 5:00 remaining. The Tigers again stepped up and fought off the pesky Rockets.
A big factor for the Tigers was the charity stripe. West Liberty hit a staggering 18 of 19 (95%) from the line and didn't miss until the final minute.
Hormann paced the Tigers attack with 16 points (8 for 8 on free throws) and Grant Burden chipped in 10.
Anna was led by Joel Albers 13 (11 in the second half).
West Liberty-Salem is now 20-5 on the season and will move on to the District Final Thursday night at UD Arena (tip off time to be announced). This is the Tigers first sectional title since 2005.
Happy birthday Aaron Hollar!
Other sectional final results:
Division II at Springfield:
Springfield Shawnee defeated Urbana 47-32.
The Braves, who led 16-13 at the half, outscored the Hillclimbers 21-9 in the third quarter to take a commanding 37-22 lead.
Shawnee senior standout Jaelin Williams scored a game-high 21 points.
Springfield Shawnee (23-2) will play defending state champ Dayton Dunbar in the district title game next Friday at UD Arena.
Urbana senior guard Tristan Singer poured in 18 points.
The Hillclimbers finish the season 18-7.
Top-seeded Trotwood-Madison ran past Graham 71-43.
Sophomore guard Devon Allen paced the Falcons with 10.
Graham went 13-12 under first-year head coach Dan Moore.
Versailles blitzed Bethel 81-34.
Cincinnati Summit Country Day stifled Cincinnati Purcell Marian 73-40.
Division IV at Kenton:
Top-seeded Arlington handled Ridgemont 79-45.
The Gophers finished 10-14.
Division IV at Piqua:
Ft. Loramie knocked off Number 2 seed Botkins 49-38.
The Redskins (13-11) will play Troy Christian in the district final Tuesday night at UD Arena.
Other Division IV:
Troy Christian streamrolled Yellow Springs 69-40.
New Bremen knocked off Marion Local 53-45.
St. Henry defeated New Knoxville 59-42.
Delphos St. John's beat Lincolnview 59-40.
Division II girls district final:
Dayton Chaminade-Julienne edged Kenton Ridge 54-52.
The Cougars went 21-5.