Playing in the second Division II semifinal at the Jerome Schottenstein Center at Ohio State University, the No. 6-ranked Rams (26-3) defeated New Philadelphia by a 62-57 final score.
Rogers will face No. 3 Gates Mills Gilmour Academy (25-3) in the state championship game at 5:15 p.m. today.
An opportunistic New Philadelphia defense forced 23 Rogers turnovers, yet the Rams were still able to put up 62 points thanks to shooting 50 percent from the floor.
The Rams were led by junior guard Zia Cooke, a first team All-Ohioan, and freshman Madison Royal-Davis, who earned second team honors. The two combined to score 44 points on 15-of-26 shooting. Both Royal-Davis and Cooke added seven rebounds, while Cooke also dished out four assists.
New Philadelphia had a balanced scoring attack with three players finishing with Rachel Anderson scoring a team-high 16. Sophomore Josie Pry added 13, and first team All-Ohioan Aaliyah Currence finished with 12.
It was New Philadelphia's first trip to the state semifinals, while Rogers had been 0-2 in previous state semifinal games.
On March 10, the Rams turned a 22-17 first-half deficit vs. Bellevue in a regional championship game at Mansfield into a 60-45 win with a big second half run. Rogers has beaten the Lady Red three times at the regional level, including twice in the title game.
Gates Mills Gilmour Academy 47, Bellbrook 40
COLUMBUS— Gates Mills Gilmour Academy will look to win back-to-back state championships in girls basketball after defeating Bellbrook by a 47-40 final score in the first Div. II semifinal game on Friday.
It was a gritty win for the No. 3-ranked Lancers (25-3), as there were eight lead changes and five ties throughout the game. The seven-point victory was the largest lead for either team.
Gilmour was led by Div. II co-Player of the Year, Naz Hillmon, who finished with 11 points, 19 rebounds and four steals. Hillmon's 19 rebounds tied a state semifinal record for any division.
Junior Annika Corcoran finished with a game-high 19 points for the Lancers, 15 of which came from beyond the three-point line.
Bellbrook senior Bekah Vine led the Golden Eagles (20-9) in scoring with 11 points. This was Bellbrook's third appearance at the state tournament, and first since 2012.
Gilmour will look to win its second state title and first in Div. II after winning the Div. III championship last season.
Solon 52, Wadsworth 31
COLUMBUS — Solon will attempt to win its first-ever state championship after it beat Wadsworth handily, 52-31, in the first of two Div. I semifinals on Friday.
The No. 6-ranked Comets (26-2) used a stymying defensive effort to move on to their first state title game since 2006. They held Wadsworth’s Sophia Fortner, a second team All-Ohio selection, to just two points on 1-of-9 shooting for the game.
Wadsworth, which won the Norwalk regional last week, shot just 28 percent from the floor as a team and had 21 turnovers.
First team All-Ohioan Valencia Myers led all scorers with 19 points for Solon. The senior also added six rebounds, three blocks and three steals.
Lexi Lance was the lone scorer in double figures for Wadsworth (24-4). The senior finished with 12 points and five rebounds.
Pickerington Central 62, Mason 48
COLUMBUS — Pickerington Central, the Associated Press poll champion, will play in the big-school state championship tonight ofr the first time in 18 years after a 62-48 win over Mason in Friday’s final game.
Juniors Madison Greene and Maliya Perry led the way for Pickerington Central (27-2). Greene, a first team All-Ohio selection, finished with a game-high 25 points and added six rebounds. Perry added 13 points and nine rebounds.
Junior Sammie Puisis, also a first team All-Ohioan, finished with 14 points and eight rebounds for Mason (24-4). Senior Tihanna Fulton added 11 points and eight rebounds for the Comets.
Pickerington Central will play No. 6 Solon (26-2) for the title at 8:30 p.m. tonight.