Purcell Marian vs. Copley Live Girls Basketball Playoff Semifinals (3/15/2024)

The road to the 2024 OHSAA Girls Basketball State Championship (Division II) concludes today in a highly anticipated semifinal matchup at UD Arena. The undefeated Purcell Marian Cavaliers (26-1) lock horns with the battle-tested Copley Indians (25-3) in a neutral-site clash scheduled for a 1:00 PM ET tip-off.

Purcell Marian Cavaliers vs Copley Game Info:

What it is: Ohio high school basketball
Matchup: Copley Indians vs Purcell Marian Cavaliers
Date: Friday, March 15, 2024
Time: 1pm ET
Venue: UD Arena
Live Stream: Watch live on the NFHS Network!

This encounter promises an impressive display of contrasting styles. Purcell Marian, ranked 15th nationally, has a dominant record built on a potent offense that averages 77.3 points per game. Leading the charge is the reigning Ohio Ms. Basketball, Dee Alexander, a 6-foot-1 junior who consistently delivers impressive stat lines. In their most recent outing, he notched a triple-double with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, showcasing his all-around brilliance.

Copley, on the other hand, thrives on a more systematic approach. While putting up a respectable 66.0 points per game, their focus is on controlling the tempo and suffocating their opponents with a disciplined defense. Their recent form reflects this strategy, as they enter the competition on a seven-game winning streak.

Here’s a deep dive into the strengths each team brings to the table:

The Cavaliers’ biggest weapon is their explosive offense. Led by the dynamic De Alexander, they possess a versatile attack capable of scoring from all over the court. Alexander’s ability to score inside and outside, combined with his exceptional playmaking skills, creates a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. Additionally, Purcell Marian boasts a deep bench with skilled contributors who can provide scoring in droves when needed.

Copley counters Purcell Marian’s offensive firepower with a well-coached and fundamentally sound defense. Their disciplined rotation, denial of entry passes and their focus on contested shots make it difficult for opponents to establish an offensive rhythm. The Indians capitalize on turnovers and excel at creating transition opportunities, making them a dangerous team in the open court.

Despite the neutral site designation, UD Arena’s location in Dayton, Ohio puts both teams roughly equidistant from their home bases. This eliminates any potential geographic advantage and ensures a fair playing field.

Copley’s defensive strategy depends on containing D. Alexander. Double team coordination, aggressive on-ball defense, and denying him open looks will be key. Additionally, slowing down Purcell Marian’s transition game and forcing them into half-court sets will be critical to their success.

Although Purcell Marian has dominated the competition this season, their experience in closely contested games is limited. Copley, on the other hand, has navigated through tough struggles throughout the season. That battle-tested resilience could prove valuable in a high-pressure semifinal matchup.

Both teams will have to adjust to playing at UD Arena, potentially adjusting to the crowd noise and unfamiliar surroundings. The team that demonstrates greater adaptability and executes their game plan more effectively will likely win.

This semi-final match promises to be a fascinating display of attacking power versus defensive discipline. The winner will secure a coveted spot in the Division II state championship game, taking an important step toward hoisting the coveted OHSAA girls basketball state championship trophy.

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