The second round is upon us. We probably won’t have any unbelievable upsets like in the NCAA tournament’s second round, but what you will see is very good basketball, and some great games are in the forecast without a doubt. Of the 12 games on the docket for Division I, nine of them will be played on the 27th, two more on the 28th, and the Olentangy Orange at Zanesville being the lone game on the 1st of March. Today here at Scarberry Productions, I will give key facts about the 9 games for tomorrow night:
#10 Pickerington Central (16-7) at #5 Dublin Scioto (18-4)
- What might be the best matchup among all of the second-round games, featuring defending state champion Pickerington Central, led by future Buckeye Jae’Sean Tate, who has a knack for getting his own.
- Dublin Scioto had a first round bye, and this will be their first game since a tight 45-42 win over Worthington Kilbourne nearly two weeks ago.
- As I said before, this may be the best game of the night, and I would not be surprised to see this one go either way. Pickerington Central played in what most say was the toughest division in the Ohio Capital Conference this year, splitting the Ohio division trophy with Grove City, Newark, Reynoldsburg.
#16 Grove City (15-8) at #7 Dublin Coffman (17-4)
- If the Pickerington Central-Dublin Scioto game is the best of the night, then this surely becomes the second best. Mind you, the winners of these two games will play each other March 6 at Pickerington North HS.
- On Friday, Grove City was able to overcome a scrappy Davidson team, and easily won their first round game handily.
- Dublin Coffman on the other hand, struggled for a time with crosstown rival Dublin Jerome, but used a 20-12 third quarter to win their first round matchup 64-55.
#40 Columbus West (4-16) at #2 Westerville North (22-1)
- Coming off a dominating 77-44 over Logan in the first round, OCC-Cardinal champion Westerville North will look to get another tune-up for a trip to the district semifinals against struggling Columbus West.
- West started the season 2-1 before entering the heart of Columbus City League play, where they encountered a winless conference campaign.
- The Warriors of Westerville North were awarded for their perfect conference record by having three of their five starters placed on first team All-OCC Capital. Jack Gibbs, Jaylen Benton and Adrian Cook all received the honors this week.
#17 St. Charles (17-5) at #13 Newark (15-8)
- Another matchup of top 20 seeded teams will bring one final home game to the faithful at Newark’s Jimmy Allen Gymnasium.
- St. Charles survived the first round with a NiQuille Bell layup with three seconds left in overtime, defeating Hilliard Darby 53-51.
- Newark was able to defeat nearby Watkins Memorial handily in the first round 76-55.
#26 Worthington Kilbourne (9-13) at #8 Reynoldsburg (18-5)
- After defeating Whetstone 71-44 on Saturday night, the co-OCC Ohio champion Reynoldsburg Raiders will take on Worthington Kilbourne for a right to advance to the district semifinal.
- Reynoldsburg has won 5 of their last 6, including a victory over fourth-seeded Dublin Scioto on February 12.
- Worthington Kilbourne has won 3 of their last 5, with the only losses being to second-seeded Westerville North and fourth-seeded Dublin Scioto. That stretch also included a 64-22 blowout win over Thomas Worthington on February 2.
#41 Central Crossing (2-20) at #1 Northland (23-0)
- This game is a rematch of last year’s first round game in which Northland also won handily 87-31.
- Northland, winners of 104 straight in the City League, clinched the title this year in thrilling fashion, defeating Africentric 55-53 in overtime.
- Central Crossing has dropped 14 of their last 15.
#20 Walnut Ridge (13-8) at #12 Westerville South (16-7)
- With a win, Westerville South would be on track for a game with undefeated Northland, the same team they upset five years ago in a district semifinal.
- However, the Scots of Walnut Ridge have already taken down some OCC competition this year already, defeating Pickerington North in round one 50-41, and also they beat Newark 47-45 at the Play by Play classic on January 26.
- Westerville South defeated Groveport in round one, taking out the Cruisers 82-53.
- Sidenote: The average record of the opponents of Westerville South’s 7 losses this year is 19-4.
#23 Tri-Valley (16-7) at #3 Olentangy Liberty (21-1)
- A possible rematch with Westland awaits the Patriots of Olentangy Liberty if they can clear this sectional final hurdle with Tri-Valley.
- Tri-Valley, at 16-7 on the year, defeated Canal Winchester 57-50 to advance to face the Patriots.
- Olentangy Liberty is hoping to improve upon their district championship from last year, when they defeated Walnut Ridge for their first district title in school history.
#24 Westerville Central (12-11) at #10 Westland (17-6)
- Rounding out the schedule for tomorrow night is another great game between Westland and Westerville Central.
- The Warhawks, after struggling through a rigorous OCC-Capital division schedule, were able to defeat Thomas Worthington 43-42 on Saturday to advance to this matchup.
- Westland, after starting the year 14-2, hit a rough patch in their schedule and finished the regular season 16-6. They had to outlast the Briggs Bruins on Saturday night 67-59, a game they trailed for the first three quarters.
- With a win Wednesday, the Cougars could possibly be set for a rematch with OCC-Central foe Olentangy Liberty as mentioned before. The two teams split their matchups during the regular season, with Westland handing the Patriots their only loss in Cougar Country 70-62, but lost the return trip at Liberty 58-44.