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Wellsville won’t face upstart Heartland in the district

COLUMBIANA — The Heartland Christian Lions have been making history this season.

Unfortunately, on Friday night the season for third-seeded Lions came to a sobering end when the No. 12 seed Mathews Mustangs pulled out a 67-63 upset win in overtime in a Div. IV sectional final.

The Mustangs improve to 14-6 on the season and will travel to Wellsville on Tuesday for the Div. IV district semifinal. The Lions close their season with a 17-5 record.

“I’m super proud of our kids,” Mustangs coach Mike Weymer said. “I can’t point to one thing or one play. They felt a little bit disrespected in the tournament draw being a 12 seed. I think they kind of have that chip on their shoulder. I think that is a big part of what is fueling us.”

Despite the heartbreaking loss, the Lions have plenty to celebrate on the season. A school-best 17 wins and hosting their first OHSAA tournament basketball game.

“There have been a ton of moral victories and a ton of first that we have accomplished. Obviously, if we had won, it would have been a first as well. I believe we have beaten eight schools for the first time in school history just this year. It was a great chance to showcase this team that we have. They have worked and earned everything that they have received,” Lions coach Josh Scott said.

The victory for the Mustangs avenged a two-point loss to the Lions on the Mustangs home court just two weeks ago. The tournament game included the same edge of your seating action with plenty of drama and excitement.

“It was a roller-coaster, both teams out there battling and working their tails off. And at the end of the day, we made more mistakes than they did. That was the difference in the game,” Lions coach Josh Scott said.

“We were in a similar game on Tuesday against Southern where we were down by nine going into the fourth quarter, and we came to win at the end,” Mustangs coach Mike Weymer said. “That was the kind of game that would a springboard for us. This group is a never say die (attitude).”

MATHEWS: 9-15-21-14-8–67

HEARTLAND: 7-15-17-20-4–63

MATHEWS SCORING: Vinny Sharp 4-9-19, Kyle Powell 5-0-14, Dominic Greenwood 4-3-11, Vincent Greenwood 3-2-8, Tyler Hopkinson 5-1-11, Ethan Petak 2-0-4, Ryan Gates 0-0-0, Jacob Williams 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 23, 15-21: 67

HEARTLAND SCORING: Joey Donofrio 13-0-26, Jonathan Bertovich 5-5-16, Steven Baker 3-0-7, Nate Garzanich 3-2-9, Stephen Barnes 1-0-3, Luke Reynolds 1-0-2, Caleb Graft 0-0-0, Aaron Gault 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 26, 7-9: 63.

Three-point goals: Mathews 6 (Powell 4, Sharp 2), Heartland 4 (Bertovich 1, Baker 1, Garzanich 1, Barnes 1).

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