DAYTON, Ohio — The Purcell Marian High School girls basketball team is a state champion for the first time in program history.
Purcell Marian defeated Worthington Christian 62-38 in a Division III state final early Saturday afternoon at University of Dayton Arena.
"Right now we just want to soak this in and enjoy the moment," Purcell Marian coach Jamar Mosley said.
Freshman wing Dee Alexander scored a game-high 25 points, 16 rebounds and five steals to lead Purcell Marian. Sophomore guard Jayda Mosley scored 16 including 4-of-5 on 3-pointers. Freshman guard Ky'Aira Miller added 10 points.
The Cavaliers shot 63% from the field (24-of-38). Purcell Marian led 19-11 at the end of the first quarter and outscored Worthington Christian 31-17 in the second half.
Alexander, who has several significant college scholarship offers, completed a memorable freshman year as the program's all-time leader in points and rebounds for a season. Alexander scored 661 points this season, according to statistics from the Miami Valley Conference website.
Alexander scored 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting in the first half Saturday.
"It felt good to hear the clock go off and the score showed we were up and won," Alexander said. "It was a moment to enjoy."
The Cavaliers (27-1) completed a special journey this winter after making its second straight state Final Four appearance. The Cavaliers completed the season with 22 consecutive wins.
Purcell Marian was ranked No. 2 in the season's final Division III state poll.
The Cavaliers defeated Belmont Union Local 59-43 in the state semifinal Thursday afternoon and the team stuck with a game plan the coaches had during practice this entire week. That relentless effort throughout 32 minutes of Thursday's game was evident.
That momentum carried over to Saturday's state final as the Cavaliers will return to Cincinnati as state champions.
Greater Cincinnati has another opportunity at a state title at 8:30 p.m. Saturday as Mason plays Reynoldsburg in the Division I state final. Mason is trying for its second state title in program history and its first since 2000.
WCPO sports anchor Caleb Noe contributed to this report