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It was a long 15 years since the school’s last boys basketball championship, but the wait was worth it for Fort Thomas to hold up its 12th state gold ball.

The Apaches jumped out to a 14-5 first-quarter lead and beat Anthem North Valley Christian Academy 62-46 for the 1A state championship Saturday at Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.

They last brought home a state title in 2005.

From 1963 to 2005, they racked up 11 gold balls.

For North Valley Christian, this was the school’s first trip to the final in only its second year of having a varsity team under coach Randy Walker, who was looking for his second state title at two different schools.

Walker led Anthem Boulder Creek to the 2010 Division II state championship.

North Valley Christian went from finishing 13-12 in its first year in 1A last year to 26-5 this year.

“Credit Fort Thomas,” Walker said. “Their 2-3 zone really bothered us and we couldn’t get into an offensive rhythm. We shot the ball very poorly and could not get into our pressure defense.

“The guards really did a good job of putting pressure on us offensively. They have a very good team and they deserved to win.”

Fort Thomas (29-5), which came into the eight-team tournament as the top seed, was led by Skylar Kindelay’s 16 points, Malachi Roger’s 11 points and 6-foot-6, 270-pound Latrell Titla’s nine points and 19 rebounds.

To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert at [email protected]¬†or 602-316-8827. Follow him on Twitter @azc_obert.

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