Siegel's boys avenged a district tournament finals loss by defeating Blackman 45-36 for the Region 4-AAA tournament title Friday behind a quick start and timely free-throw shooting at Blackman.

With the win, Siegel will host Region 3 runner-up Warren County Monday in a Sectional game, while Blackman travels to Cleveland.

"We practice free throws every day, so in a game it is not a pressure situation for us," Siegel senior Matthew Schneider said.

"I am going to play this game like it is my first, although it will may be my last and we will see if we can make it to the state," Siegel senior Zion Swader added.

Siegel came out hot from the outside as it built an early 10-4 lead, and the Stars extended it to double digits at 20-10 in the second quarter.

However, Blackman came back and cut the lead to six at intermission.

The early part of the third quarter saw Siegel score nine straight points and go up by 15. Blackman, however, kept chipping away and got it as close as 39-35 late in the final quarter.

The Blaze missed some key shots, Siegel stayed strong on the boards and then Schnieder and Swader stepped to the stripe and buried the free throws as Siegel made all 12 attempts down the stretch.

"You are not going to come into Blackman and get an easy win," Siegel coach Dyron Birdwell said. "They will make you earn it, you can never relax until the clock hits triple zero.

"Blackman is a championship level team and program. I am proud that we got our seniors a home game. Warren County plays a 1-2-2 zone and they have CJ Taylor, who is a great athlete.

Schneider led Siegel with 16 and Swader added 11. Mark Cooper had 17 for Blackman and Jabahri Mastin had 10 points.

"They were the better team," Blackman coach Barry Wortman said. "They got all the 50-50 balls and made the winning plays. We will play a tough Cleveland team, but we will be ready for the game and the moment."


Siegel (45): Matthew Schneider 16, Zion Swader 11, Jaylan Wetzel 9, Martise Jackson 6, Isiah Lightsy 3

Blackman (36): Mark Cooper 17, Jabahri Mastin 10, Josh Alexander 5, Dontae Stringer 4

All Region Tournament Team

Blackman: Mark Cooper, Josh Alexander

Siegel: Matthew Schneider, Zion Swader, Jaylan Wetzel

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