In the first round of Central district tournament play this weekend, the Columbus City-League had nine teams advance to the second round. In Division I action, No. 1 seed Northland rolled over Hilliard Bradley, 71-39. In addition to Northland’s victory, 20th-seeded Walnut Ridge dispatched 25th-seeded Pickerington North 50-41, behind a balanced scoring effort, including 14 points from Rob Wheelwright.
Division II is where the City-League did the most damage on Saturday. 16th-seeded Mifflin had arguably the biggest upset, winning on the road at 10th-seeded Bexley, 61-55. J Murrell’s 23 points and 12 rebounds helped the Punchers avoid a late-game collapse, setting them up for a second-round matchup at Bishop Watterson on Feb. 28.
Top seeded Brookhaven took down Linden McKinley, 77-61. Five Bearcats scored in double-digits, including 14 from Ronnie Williams. Brookhaven is set to face 21st-seed London at home on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.
Seventh-seeded Eastmoor Academy had no problems on Saturday, defeating 26th-seeded Licking Valley, 65-31. John Draper led the way for the Warriors’ offensive attack, which had a 29 point outburst in the second quarter. No player for Licking Valley scored in double-digits. Eastmoor heads into another home game on Thursday against 20th-seeded Big Walnut.
In the Columbus 2 District of Division II, four City-League teams advanced to the second round. Sixth-seeded South continued their successful season with a 68-42 win over 23rd-seed Lakewood. South’s Deon Lindsey led all scorers with 21 points, and senior forward Oumar Diop added 17 of his own. The Bulldogs have a tough second round matchup against 8th-seeded Centennial, who defeated 22nd-seed Hamilton Township 87-55 behind Boo Osbourne’s 22 points.
Eleventh-seeded Marion-Franklin won convincingly against 25th-seeded Jonathan Alder, 79-34. Five Red Devils scored in double-digits, highlighted by Dominique Cartier’s 21 point effort. Rising sophomore Tony Anderson, who picked up an offer from West Virginia earlier this week, added 15 points of his own. Marion-Franklin will travel to fifth-seeded Bishop Hartley on Thursday for a crucial second-round matchup.
In another City vs. City first round matchup, 12th-seeded Beechcroft ended 18th-seeded Independence‘s season with a 76-55 victory. After going into halftime trailing 24-22, the Cougars used a 25-point third quarter to advance to the next round of action. Beechcroft’s Khaleed Franklin led the way with 20 points. Jeremy Campbell of Independence led all scorers with 24 points. Beechcroft is set for a challenging second round matchup at fourth-seeded Buckeye Valley on Thursday.
Division IV’s top seed Africentric, Division II’s 15th-seed East and Division I’s 40th seed West all received byes this weekend. Africentric plays upstart City program International on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at South High School. East will travel to River Valley on Thursday, and West will play at second-seeded Westerville North on Wednesday.
Written by: Zach Fleer / @YS614