DEER PARK STATE CHAMPS!

03/24/2018

Deer Park boys' basketball capped off an unbelievable season winning the Division III state championship 67-57 over Columbus Africentric. They finished 29-0, only the 41st team in Ohio high school basketball history to go undefeated.

Africentric came out in the first half and dominated the game.  The Nubians held a 2 point lead after the first quarter and a 9 point lead at half time.  In the 3rd quarter, the Wildcats started their comeback.  Clutch shooting by Jalen Rose and overall solid play by Damani Mcentire erased the 9 point deficit to give Deer Park a 1 point lead after 3 quarters.  In the 4th quarter, the Wildcats continued to overpower the Nubians.  Joseph Hocker was strong inside with scoring and rebounding.  Steve Gentry Jr had key baskets and was 4 for 6 from the foul line.  Mcentire was 8 for 8 from the foul line, most of them in the second half.  Mark Wise didn't score as much as he has this season, but he was great on defense and had 8 assists. Ibrahima Athie had another strong game off the bench.  In a class move by Coach Steve Gentry, he emptied his bench for a play or two in the final minute to let all of his players enjoy the time on the floor as state champions with final score 67-57.  Four Wildcat players scored in double figures:  Gentry Jr. 14, Damani Mcentire 14, Rose 13, & Hocker 10.  Hocker had his 2nd double double in the last two games with 10 rebounds.  Athie added 9 points and Wise 7.  So the best team in Deer Park history finishes a dream season.  Coach Gentry, in his 2nd year, has had the most remarkable turn-around in any sport in CHL history. In the three years before he came to Deer Park, the Wildcats were 3-66.  In his first year, they were 11-13.  They lose Jalen Rose and Damani Mcentire.  But three starters return; Wise, Gentry Jr. & Hocker, plus 6th man Athie.
A big shout out to the community of Deer Park.  They have supported this team as much as any community has ever supported a varsity team. Both the school and community are very deserving of this state championship!
A cold snowy day that the spring sports had to be put on hold, but a winter sports team came through big time!
Check the Twitter account for pictures and video of Deer Park's basketball team.