Jackson girls fall in Division I state semifinals to Mason


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DAYTON, Ohio (JMN Sports) – Massillon Jackson’s playoff run came to an end in Friday night’s 54-35 loss to Mason High School in the OHSAA Girls Basketball State semifinals at the University of Dayton Arena.

Jackson finishes at 20-7, in a season that saw the Polar Bears reach their first state tournament in the girls’ program’s history.

“The way these kids have went through our program – not just in the last few weeks, and not just in the last month – since they were in elementary and middle school…I’ve never heard a teach, a coach, a colleague, [or] anybody ever say a bad word about any of our varsity players,” said Jackson head coach Josh Arthur in the postgame press conference.

The Bears’ offense was stumped in the third quarter in which the Comets outscored Jackson, 20-7. Leading the way for Mason was senior center Kyla Oldacre, who posted game-highs of 21 points and 19 rebounds to bully the Jackson defense in the paint.

“We had the opportunity of getting some stops,” Comets head coach Rob Matula stated after the game. “The kids moved the ball, recognized when Kyla was open. Put her in good positions to score.”

Joining Oldacre in Mason’s offensive pursuit was freshman guard Madison Harris, who totaled 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including two 3-pointers on three attempts. Junior forward Gabby Razzano also pitched in nine points for the Comets.

Emma Dretke was the Polar Bears’ only double-digit scorer, leading Jackson with 13 points. Leena Patibanda also had eight points in the loss.

Coming out of halftime down 22-18to Mason, Jackson heavily struggled in scoring, shooting 3-of-11 as a team – including 1-of-9 from the 3-point line.

Mason (27-2) will play in Saturday’s Division I State final, at 8 p.m., against Reynoldsburg (25-2), who bested Anthony Wayne, 67-48, in Friday’s state semifinal.