Norwalk Truckers’ perfect season comes to end vs. Mansfield Senior Tygers (District Roundup)

Despite a late lead in the fourth quarter, the Norwalk Truckers’ season came to a heartbreaking end in a 44-42 loss to Mansfield Senior in the Division I Bowling Green District Semifinal at Galion High School on Thursday night.

The Truckers, who won the district and defeated the Tygers in the same round a year ago, led 38-33 in the fourth quarter before Mansfield Senior roared back to grab the lead. With 2.6 seconds left and the score tied at 42, Donovyn Benson hit two free throws to put the Tygers up for good.

For the second straight season, the Truckers end the season with a record of 23-1. Norwalk says goodbye to a talented group of seniors including Jake Fetherolf and Trey Hallock who were part of the first Norwalk team in school history to win three straight Northern Ohio League championships.

Huron 69, New London 33: The Tigers routed the Wildcats in the Division III Willard District Semifinal and will play Western Reserve for the district championship.

Cody Thompson led all scorers with 21 points, and Aaron Driftmeyer added 14 for Huron (19-5)

”We shot the ball pretty well, played pretty good defense,” said Huron coach Bobby James, who will coach his first district championship game. “We really contested their jump shots with our length.”

The Tigers raced out of a quick 16-6 lead in the first quarterand kept building on the lead slowly as the game went along. The win continues an outstanding season for Huron in which they shared their first conference championship since the 2006-07 season. James is most proud for his six senior co-captains who have a chance to add a district championship to their growing legacy.

“It means a lot to these kids,” James said. “They worked their tails off for me for a long time ... they’re selfless. I think it means as much to them as it does to me. It’s been great to see how these kids take care of each other.”

James hopes his team can follow a similar path to a win against Western Reserve on Saturday night in the district final at Willard High School. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

“We have to do the same thing we did tonight,” he said. “We’ve got to defend their 3-point shooters, rebound the ball ... we only had seven turnovers tonight. If we take care of the basketball, it’s good for us.

“It’s just an exciting time for us. We’ll see what we have on Saturday, and go out and have some fun.”

New London ends the season with a record of 19-4.

Western Reserve 66, Ontario 56: The Roughriders continued their strong playoff run with a win over the top-seeded Ontario Warriors in the Division III Willard District Semifinal.

Western Reserve (19-5) grabbed a 28-27 lead at halftime and held off the Warriors before pulling away in the fourth quarter to secure the win and punch a ticket to the district final.

The ‘Riders will face Huron on Saturday night at 7 p.m. for the district championship.

Last Updated: 3/7/2013 11:35:08 PM EST

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