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Advancing to the Division IV district finals is a given if you wear the gold-and-black of Windham. The Bombers just continue to roll when it comes to tournament time.
Tuesday night was no exception as they cleared the way to the finals with a 67-45 rout of Cortland Maplewood in the Warren Division IV District semifinals at Warren Harding High School.
The Bombers will attempt to win their third straight district championship Friday night when they meet McDonald, an 83-71 upset winner over the state's third-ranked Division IV team, Bristol, in the second game Tuesday.
Windham has won seven of the last nine Division IV district titles at Warren Harding.
Warren Harding's gymnasium sold out prior to the first game Tuesday night and then admitted additional fans before the second game between McDonald and undefeated Bristol. The seating capacity of the Harding gym is listed at 2,200; however, fans were lined around the court.
Windham (22-2) wasted little time showing Maplewood and the packed house that it expects to continue playing as the tournament trail continues. The Bombers went up quickly 9-0, forcing the Rockets into three quick turnovers.
When Matt Knight hit the first 3-pointer of the night he gave the Bombers a 14-4 advantage, then Cameron Pozsgai meshed the nets for back-to-back 3s.
Windham led at the first-quarter stop 21-9.
Knight opened the second quarter with another steal and basket in transition. That was followed by a Pozsgai basket and a Parker Rickey score in the paint for the biggest lead of the first half at 27-9 with five minutes still remaining.
Rickey and Stephen Kacenski turned the trick of back-to-back 3s late in the half to push the lead over 20 points at 35-14. The Bombers held a 39-20 advantage at intermission.
Windham maintained a 20-point lead in the third quarter, but only outscored the Rockets 13-9 in the period to hold a 52-29 advantage entering the final eight minutes of play.
Kacenski hit his second 3 of the night to put a cap on the victory with over three minutes to play in the contest, giving the Bombers a 63-37 lead as veteran Windham coach Marty Hill cleared his bench.
Knight led the Windham scoring with 17 points, while Kacenski tossed in 15 and Rickey tallied 14. Pozsgai hit for 13 points and led the rebounding with 10 boards.
Hill was happy with the even scoring of his team and especially the Bombers' defense.
"We needed to work on our man-to-man defense and I thought we did a good job of doing just that," he said. "We shot the ball pretty well tonight, especially Stephen (Kacenski), but then we got a little sloppy late in the game.
"No matter who we play Friday it should be a great game. Those two teams in the second game are both having great seasons and so are we, so it should be fun," added Hill before the start of the nightcap. "I don't care who we play. They are both similar and press a lot."
Kevin Jones led Maplewood (17-7) with 14 points, while Ethan Obradovich had 11.
The championship game Friday night is scheduled for a 7 p.m. tipoff.
Let's go "Bombers!!!
Bring it home "Bombers" !
Bring it home "Bombers" !