Skip to main content

Purcell Marian wins third straight state title with win over Laurel

The Cavaliers have gone back-to-back in Division II after winning the 2022 Division III state title

DAYTON, Ohio - For the third straight season, Purcell Marian was handed gold medals and a state championship trophy, as the Cavaliers defeated Laurel 79-52 to capture their second straight Division II state championship after a Division III title in 2022. 

With two-time Ohio Ms. Basketball winner Dee Alexander saddled with foul trouble through most of the first half, the Cavaliers didn't miss a beat, jumping out to a 38-20 lead through two quarters.

"That's the great thing about our team," Purcell Marian head coach Jamar Mosley said. "Everybody sees the accolades that (Dee) gets, but it's not just Dee. Our girls do a good job of feeding off over, but again, we're a team."

Junior twin sisters Ky'Aira Miller and Cy'Aira Miller combined for 19 points in the half, including Cy'Aira hitting. a3-pointer on the first possession of the game for the Cavaliers and Ky'Aira matching that on the next possession.

Then with Alexander on the bench and the game tied 8-8, Purcell Marian went on a 12-0 run when Ky'Aira Miller knocked down her second 3-pointer and then she scored on a driving layup. Mackenzie Jones then got a steal and a layup and Trinity Small hit a pair of free throws to give the Cavaliers a 20-8 lead.

"Before that, we had some letdowns on the defensive end," coach Mosley said. "We talked about where we were supposed to be at when certain players had the basketball." 

Alexander then scored all seven of her first half points in the second quarter before going back to the bench at 2:33. The highlight was a leak out on a steal where the ball was tossed ahead, she caught it on the bounce and made an acrobatic layup while being fouled.

"I had two fouls and that was something I had to control in my head," Alexander said. "(That was) tough for me, but I just had to get out of my head."

Purcell Marian players celebrate winning the 2024 Division II state championship.

Purcell Marian players celebrate winning the 2024 Division II state championship.

The Cavaliers led by 18 at the half and extended it to as many as 28 late in the third quarter. Alexander scored nine in the quarter, as the two-time Ohio Ms. Basketball recipient made a three free throws, a jumper and two layups in the quarter, including one where she went one-on-one with Hall and spun her around before driving to the basket for the score.

Who that play came against didn't matter to Alexander, as she tries not to get caught up in the individual matchups. 

"It didn't really feel any different than any other player," Alexander said. ""I continue to play the same no matter what."

Hall produced a double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds, but shot just 8-of-25 from the floor and 2-of-11 from 3-point land as the Cavaliers tried to frustrate her defensively.

"She is one of the best players in the country for a reason," coach Mosley said. "The game plan was just to know where she is at all times. If she is going to beat us, she is going to have to make some tough shots."

Alexander and Ky'Aira Miller each had 18 points for the Cavaliers, freshman Samaya Wilkins had 17 points and 13 rebounds and Jayda Mosley had eight points and nine assists. 

Of the three championships, coach Mosley said he doesn't have a favorite.

"Honest answer, all three feel the same," coach Mosley said. "And that is partially on me because I just don't know how to celebrate." 

-- Ryan Isley | | @sbliveoh