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St. Vincent-St. Mary wins 2nd straight OHSAA Division II boys basketball state championship

It's the 10th title for the Irish overall and the seventh under head coach Dru Joyce II.

DAYTON, Ohio β€” It's never easy to repeat, especially when you lose one of the best players in your sport.

Fortunately for St. Vincent-St. Mary, Malaki Branham's graduation did nothing to slow them down.

The Irish earned their second straight OHSAA Division II state championship in boys basketball with a resounding 63-35 win over Gilmour Sunday afternoon in Dayton. This time, Dru Joyce II's squad was led by Illinois commit Sencire Harris, who scored 17 points and dished out seven assists.

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In truth, no one challenged St. V (23-4) all tournament long, with all of its victories coming by at least 25 points. Leading by only seven at halftime on Sunday, the Irish out-scored the Lancers 39-18 the rest of the way, with Lance Hayes and Ramar Pryor each scoring in double figures and grabbing six rebounds apiece.

Despite a valiant effort early, Gilmour (23-6) came up short of winning its first boys basketball crown. None of the Lancers scored in double digits, with Ryan Mueller leading the way with nine along with five boards in his final high school game.

By contrast, St. Vincent-St. Mary has won 10 titles since the school's founding in 1972. Eight of those championships have come during Joyce's 21-year tenure.

Of course, three of those trophies came during the career of the greatest player in St. V history: NBA legend LeBron James. The Akron native took time to congratulate his alma mater after the final whistle.

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