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James 2 wins away from 3rd title

TOLEDO, Ohio — LeBron James wasn't about to let a torn fingernail stop him from making a fourth straight trip to the state final four.

Playing with a bandage over his right index finger, James had 25 points and 11 rebounds Saturday to lead Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary to a 69-59 victory over Ottawa-Glandorf in a Division II regional final.

James was tentative for much of the first half, saying he wasn't sure how well he could dribble because of the injured finger. But with the game tied at 26 at halftime, James knew he had to take over no matter how his finger felt.

"I think it bothered me more in my head," said James, who is expected to be the No. 1 pick in this year's NBA draft. "I played with it hurt or it was go home."

James needs just two more victories to win his third state title in four years.

There still is a chance that James could face another hurdle in court this week, though.

Summit County Judge James Williams is considering a request to dismiss James' appeal of a ruling that declared him ineligible for getting two "throwback" jerseys — valued at $845 — for free from a clothing store.

James was ruled ineligible in January by the Ohio High School Athletic Association for accepting the jerseys, but his appeal has kept him playing.

There is a strong possibility Williams could schedule a hearing on the dismissal request before the state finals next weekend, said Fred Nance, James' attorney.