Wallace comes up big in the final seconds for Springfield

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Springfield senior Michael Wallace made the clinching plays in a 51-45 defeat of Elder in a D-I district final at UD Arena on Sat., March 10, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Michael Wallace saved his best for last and the Springfield boys basketball team owns a district championship to prove it.

The senior guard hit two layups in the final 10 seconds and topped that with two steals as Springfield withstood a strong upset challenge by Elder to win a Division I district final championship at the University of Dayton Arena late Saturday night, 51-45.

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The win matches Springfield (21-4) against Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (23-3) in a regional semifinal at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at Xavier University’s Cintas Center. Wayne (24-1) will play Princeton (23-3) in the other semi at 8.

»RELATED: Quick start carries Wayne over Oak Hills

The winners return to the Cintas Center at 7:30 p.m. Friday with a regional championship and spot in next week’s state final four in Columbus at stake.

Moeller defeated host Springfield 56-39 on Feb. 3 in the regular season.

»RELATED: Moeller takes out Fairmont in second half

This was the last of four D-I district finals. Two last-second free throws was the difference in Princeton’s 53-51 dodging of Greater Miami Conference rival Lakota East. Moeller shut down Fairmont 65-50 and Wayne throttled Oak Hills, another GMC rep, 68-54.

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Sam Towns’ (with ball) late free throw set up Michael Wallace’s heroics. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Sam Towns’ (with ball) late free throw set up Michael Wallace’s heroics. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

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Sam Towns’ (with ball) late free throw set up Michael Wallace’s heroics. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

»RELATED: Boys district final schedule/results

»RELATED: Girls regional basketball schedule/results

Leading throughout, Leonard Taylor’s layup pushed Springfield’s lead to 46-41 with 2:15 left. Elder’s Trevor Estep responded with a 3-pointer and layup to cut the margin to 46-45. Sam Towns’ free throw bumped the Wildcats’ advantage to two, then Wallace took over.

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Wallace led Springfield with 13 points in the defensive struggle. Towns and RaHeim Moss each added nine points. Zach Harp led Elder (14-12) with 20 points.

»FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton

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