By ERIC CLUTTER | CORRESPONDENT
Whether it was Harrison Blackledge hitting the 30-point mark for the second time in the postseason or teammate Dom Iero hitting six second-half 3-pointers, North Canton Hoover just had too much firepower for Kent Roosevelt to handle.
Blackledge, a 6-foot-5 senior forward, who scored 30 points in the Vikings' win over Louisville this past Tuesday, did himself one better Saturday night at Alliance High School, pouring in 31 points to lead Hoover to a 91-67 Alliance Division I Sectional final decision over the Rough Riders.
"Oh, my goodness," said Roosevelt head coach Ben Dunlap. "We knew they were load. We just ran into a buzzsaw. Hoover is an excellent program."
Blackledge posted 11 points in the opening quarter as the Vikings (20-4) jumped out to a 28-16 advantage. He tacked on 13 more in the second frame, despite the fact that the Rough Riders, behind senior Corey Mitchell's 15 points, stayed within eight points of the No. 3 seeded-Hoover at the half, 45-37.
But senior Dom Iero got cooking in the third quarter, nailing four 3s to expand the margin to 14 through 24 minutes. Iero added two more long-range jumpers in the fourth frame and the Vikings just kept scoring.
Alex Shingleton drained a pair of 3s as part of his 14-point evening, while Tyler Maciag tallied 10.
Hoover, which will play Green (a 72-36 winner over Austintown Fitch) in a district semifinal next week, hit 11 3s for the contest.
Mitchell ended his Roosevelt career on a high note, notching 26 points to lead his squad. Sophomore Phillip Maggard established a new career-high with 14 points. Junior Myles Wright added 12.
"I thought our young guys did a lot of good things today," said Dunlap. "Our future is bright. We just need to work to get better every day and go from there."
Roosevelt, which finished the season 6-17, fell behind 6-0 in the opening quarter, but closed the gap to 17-14 with just over two minutes left in the stanza. However, Maciag sank two 3s to ignite a quarter-capping 11-2 spurt.
Hoover led by as many as 15 points in the second frame before Roosevelt began to chip away before the intermission.