BOWLING GREEN - It was a history making night for the Leipsic boys basketball team.
Never having advanced past the regional level in the boys basketball tournament, the Vikings had an opportunity Friday night to do just that. And that's just what the Vikings did as they defeated Ottawa Hills 63-54 in the Division IV regional finals at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green.
The win sends the Vikings (24-4) to the Division IV state semi-finals next today at the Value Center Arena on The Ohio State University campus at 2 p.m. The first Division IV state semi-final will tip-off at 10:45 a.m. with the two winners returning Saturday to play for a state championship.
Although the Vikes had double-digit leads in the second, third, and fourth quarters, Leipsic fans couldn't breathe easily until Austin Brown's two pressure-packed free throws made it 59-54 with 17.5 seconds left on the clock. Brown's first shot -- on a one-and-one scenario -- hit the front rim and barely crawled over, making it a two-possession game. The second one hit nothing but net. The Bears then misfired, and Devin Mangas snared the rebound to cinch it. Mangas hit two free throws, then intercepted a pass and scored at the buzzer to create the final nine-point margin.
Mangas led the Vikings with 23 points, Zach Kuhlman added 16 points and Brown added 10 points.