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Purcell Marian cruises into OHSAA Division II state championship game with win over Copley

The Cavaliers will look to defend their state title on Saturday against Laurel

DAYTON, Ohio - It didn't take long for the defending OHSAA Division II girls basketball state champions to show why they are back to defend the title, as Purcell Marian ran away with a 67-29 win over Copley in the state semifinals on Friday.

Before the fans were even settled into their seats, the Cavaliers had jumped out to an 11-3 lead. And after Copley scored the next six points, Purcell Marian went on a 30-2 run over the next 8:13 to take a 41-11 lead in the second quarter.

"We do a lot of things in practice where we just break down some of the things that we're trying to do, one of those things being transitioning," Purcell Marian head coach Jamar Mosley said. "We take shots in every single practice, we take at least eight minutes. I'm just working on our transition offense and getting shots out of it, and a lot of times that's how we're getting our points we like to play very fast." 

Purcell Marian led 49-17 at the half and then put the game into a running clock after back-to-back 3-pointers from Jayda Mosley early in the third quarter. Mosley knocked down three 3-pointers in the game and scored 12 points. 

Dee Alexander of Purcell Marian goes up for a layup against Laurel in a game at Classic int he Country on January 11, 2023.

Dee Alexander of Purcell Marian goes up for a layup against Laurel in a game at Classic int he Country on January 11, 2023. The two teams will meet again oN Saturday for the Division II state title.

Dee Alexander was given her second consecutive Ohio Ms. Basketball award after the game. During the game, the 6-foot-1 junior shot 9-of-15 from the floor and scored a game-high 18 points. She had five rebounds and four assists.

"(She is) one of the most unselfish players, not only in the state, but in the country," coach Mosley said. "She does a wonderful job of finding her teammates, putting trust in her teammates and vice versa, her teammates do a great job of finding her as well.

Copley wasn't able to score in double figures in any of the four quarters, as Purcell Marian's defense was making things difficult on the Indians.

"We always have the same goals every day, and that is to get better on both ends, the offensive and defensive end," Purcell Marian junior guard Ky'Aira Miller said. "We wouldn't be able to win games if it wasn't for defense."

Purcell Marian will go for its third straight state title - and second consecutive in Division II - on Saturday against Laurel at 5:15 pm. Laurel features another Ohio Ms. basketball finalist in 6-foot-2 sophomore Saniyah Hall.

While most people might be excited about the prospect of a championship matchup between the two players, Alexander is not about to let who the opponent is affect the way she plays. 

"I won't change anything that I do," Alexander said. "I will keep it the same and just do what I do and make sure I elevate and just execute with my teammates."

-- Ryan Isley | | @sbliveoh