Hartville fires on all cylinders in state championship win over Weaubleau


By Chris Parker

Hartville came to the Class 2 final four on a business trip.

The Eagles, who lost in the state semifinal last season, were not going to be satisfied with anything except a state championship.

That business-like mentality was on display early and often in Thursday’s Class 2 state championship. The Eagles blitzed Weaubleau from the opening tip on the way to a 60-42 state championship victory.

“From tip to buzzer these guys were locked in,” said Hartville head coach Brett Reed. “I could say that about the entire final four. From the moment they got here, they were on a business trip. They had the mindset that they refused to lose. From tip to buzzer, we played a great game of basketball; probably one of our best. That is how you beat a quality team and a well-coached team like we just did.”

Senior Grant Culver and junior Payton Cogdill led the charge in the first half. Culver knocked down 3-of-4 three-pointers on his way to 11 points while Cogdill was 3-for-5 from the field for nine first-half points.

“They (Weaubleau) can make big runs like they did yesterday against Salisbury, so we knew getting that big lead like we had done to teams pretty much all year long was a big key in this game,” Culver said.

Hartville shot 12-for-18 (66.7%) from the field and 6-for-11 (54.5%) from three in the first half while holding Weaubleau to 5-for-14 shooting (35.7%) from the field in the first two quarters.

The Eagles extended their lead to as much as 23 in the first half.

Hartville pressed the advantage even more in the second half with the lead ballooning to 29 at one point in the third period. Weaubleau never got within double digits.

Cogdill and Culver led Hartville in the game with 15 points each. Jalon Cryer scored 13 points while Boone Garrison added 12. The Eagles shot 61.1% from the field in the game.


When the horn sounded, it set off a wave of emotions for both the players and Reed.

Hartville was playing this season in honor of Reed’s mother, Jami, who passed away on Christmas Eve. The team wore pink warmup shirts with #PlayForJami on the back in support of Reed and his family since Christmas.

“I can tell you for me that these guys have done more for me than I probably can ever do for them throughout this journey when my mom passed on Christmas Eve,” Reed said. “It is no doubt she was here tonight. The last thing she told me before she passed away was that we were going to win another one and that she loved me. How she knew that I don’t know, but she did. She was with these guys tonight for sure.”

Hartville (29-2) graduates three seniors from the roster including Culver and Cryer. Logan Simpson, who was a starter before he suffered a season-ending leg injury in January, also graduates.

For Weaubleau (29-3), the Class 2 state championship game marks the end of the best season in Weaubleau boys basketball history.

“This is the greatest team to ever come through Weaubleau High School,” said Weaubleau head coach Blake Allen. “They are awesome kids is what it is. That is what (is sad). It is not the losing it is the fact that I don’t get to coach them anymore. They let me coach them hard. Their parents let me coach them hard. Because of that is why they get to have success. They work hard in the weight room. The standard has been there. The faces will change, but expectations should never change. These guys bring it every single day. They bring the best out of each other. They are a special group and they will be remembered forever.”

Gage Johnson scored 22 points in his final game in a Weaubleau uniform. Blane Durnell was also in double figures with 11 points.

Johnson, Durnell, Dawson Stewart, Jovan Tomasevic, Zachary Brown, Landon Chaney, Owen Hicks, Trapper Tucker, and Matthias Hillebrand all will graduate this spring.

Related Posts