KETTERING — The Jackson Center boys basketball team helped make history Friday night, beating Yellow Springs 46-39 to earn a trip to the Division 4 state tournament next week.
With the boys’ win, Jackson Center becomes the first school in Shelby County to ever put a girls team and a boys team in the state tournament in the same season.
The girls were beaten in the semifinals Friday afternoon.
The Jackson boys are now 24-4 on the year and will play in the state semifinals at the Schottenstein Center at Ohio State on Friday at 2 p.m. against either top-ranked Lincolnview or Mansfield St. Peter’s. It will be Jackson Center’s first trip to the state tournament since 2012.
The Tigers had to survive some shaky free throw shooting down the stretch to get past Yellow Springs in what was the first meeting ever in basketball between the two schools. At one point, the Tigers were 5 for 16 from the line in the final period.
The Tigers led by as many as 16 points in the second quarter at 26-10, before the Bulldogs rallied back to cut the lead to as little as four points late in the tird period. But Drew Sosby hit a bucket at the buzzer to make it a six-point game heading to the final period.
Yellow Springs got within 35-32 early in the final period but the Tigers wouldn’t allow them to get any closer, even though it stayed close the rest of the way, thanks in large part to Jackson struggling at the free throw line. Two Bryce Sosby free throws opened the lead up to 40-33, but the Bulldogs stayed close by fouling.
A three by Yellow Springs cut the lead to 42-39 with 24 seconds left, but Drew Sosby hit one free throw and Brady Wildermuth dropped in two to make it 45-39 with just eight seconds left.
Wildermuth finished with 19 points to lead the Tigers, and Ethan Zorn added 10. Drew Sosby finished with nine. Bryce Sosby finished with five and Trent Platfoot added three.
Complete coverage on the game will be in Monday’s paper.