Amateur High School

LeBron James’ former HS coach wins sixth state championship

Dru Joyce and St. Vincent-St. Mary added some fresh hardware to its already jam-packed trophy case Sunday, blowing out St. Francis DeSales in the Ohio Division II boys basketball state championship game.

St. Francis DeSales played an excellent first half, leading St. Vincent-St. Mary by five after the first 16 minutes of action. St. Vincent-St. Mary kicked it into another gear in the second half, though, outscoring St. Francis DeSales 26-9 in the third quarter en route to a 72-50 win at Dayton University.

The state championship is St. Vincent-St. Mary’s ninth title in program history and Joyce’s sixth as a coach. Three of Joyce’s state championships with James on the team, as St. Vincent-St. Mary won titles in 2000, 2001 and 2003 with James leading the way. In James’ four years at St. Vincent-St. Mary, the Irish went a combined 103-5.

Joyce was an assistant on St. Vincent-St. Mary’s 2000 and 2001 state championship teams before taking over as head coach in 2002. Since becoming St. Vincent-St. Mary’s head coach 19 years ago, Joyce has amassed a record of 416-115 and has led the Irish to 12 state tournament appearances and four straight trips to a state championship game.

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