COLUMBUS, Ohio — Truly, the Lord works in mysterious ways.
The Ohio Valley Christian boys basketball team appeared to have its season come to end Friday night following a 56-42 setback to host High Street Christian Academy, but it was later discovered that HSCA used an ineligible player for most of the season — allowing OVCS to claim a forfeit victory in the OCSAA Southeast Regional Final held in Franklin County.
The Defenders (13-8) received word on Monday that they were declared the Southeast Regional champions because of the forfeit, which allows OVCS to continue its season into the OCSAA Final Four at Ohio Christian University in Circleville later this weekend. Ohio Valley Christian will face Toledo Emmanuel Christian in a state semifinal at 6 p.m. Friday at OCU.
According to an email issued Monday from OVCS athletic director Jeff Patrick, the Defenders were declared the winners by the OCSAA after it was found that one of the players at High Street Christian was actually a 2012 graduate of Peebles High School.
As for the actual game Friday night, the Crusaders jumped out to an early 21-14 advantage and never looked back, as the hosts shot 50 percent from the field in the 14-point outcome. HSCA led 33-28 at the intermission and 39-31 after three quarters of play, then made a 17-11 run down the stretch to secure the double-digit decision.
OVCS netted 15-of-40 field goal attempts for 38 percent, including a 4-of-17 effort from three-point territory for 24 percent. The guests also sank 8-of-11 free throw attempts for 73 percent.
T.G. Miller led the Defenders with 19 points, followed by Evan Bowman with 13 points and Chance Burleson with five markers. Richard Bowman and Phil Hollingshead rounded out the respective scoring with three and two points.
The Crusaders were 15-of-30 from the field overall, including a 8-of-16 effort from three-point range for 50 percent. The hosts were also 18-of-26 at the charity stripe for 69 percent.
Zack Bro paced HSCA with a game-high 26 points, followed by Joe Rogers with nine points and Drew Copas with eight markers. Caleb McKarty and John Micalac concluded the respective scoring with seven and six points.