Led by senior point guard Kamryn Kimmel, the Marion Pleasant Spartans rallied for their first-ever state final four win.
Columbus – Kamryn Kimmel is normally not the biggest player on the floor for her Marion Pleasant Spartans.
During the fourth quarter of the D-III state semifinals, no one stood taller than the 5-7 senior.
Kimmel scored 10 points in the final period, including back-to-back threes that wiped out an 8 point deficit, to lead the Spartans to a 50-47 win over Gilmour Academy, the Spartans first final four win in school history.
After Kimmels’ threes tied it with 3:58 left, Summer Blevins gave the Spartans their first lead since the opening quarter with a drive to the basket. Naz Hillmon scored the final of her 16 points for the Warriors to tie it again at 44.
Sophomore Leah Maniaci scored off a Blevins feed to give the Spartans the lead for good, and Kimmel finished the job from the foul line, hitting 4 for 4 in the final 70 seconds.
Blevins scored the Spartans first nine points and finished with 18 points, 8 rebounds, and five assists, several of the no-look variety. Kimmel had 17 points and also grabbed 8 rebounds.
Hillmon, just a sophomore, lead the Warriors, who finished 23-6, with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists. No other Warrior reached double figures.
The Spartans, now 27-2, shot 49% from the floor, 46% behind the arc and 69% from the line. The Warriors were 41% from the floor, 29% behind the arc on 21 attempts, and a woeful 5 of 14 from the line for 36%.
Marion Pleasant will play for its first state championship Saturday against the winner of the Ironton-Columbus Africentric game. Game time will be 10:45am.
(Edited By Julie McMaken Wright)