During tournament time, some players will crumble under the pressure while others will shine. The latter was the case for Pickerington Central’s Jae’Sean Tate, who had a team-high 26 points in a 59-57 overtime win over Dublin Scioto in a Division I sectional final. An arguably better performance was put up by the Scioto’s Joshua Ashwill, who had five three-pointers en route to a 33-point performance.
Ashwill’s scoring was sparked by a tremendous second quarter in which the Irish guard scored 15 of the 17 points in the quarter. After trailing 13-7 after the first quarter, Ashwill found a variety of ways to score his 15 points, five different types of three-point plays; hitting two three-pointers, two and-one conversions, and knocking down three consecutive free-throws.
After trailing 17-10 early in the second quarter, the Irish went to halftime trailing by just 2, those two being Buckeye recruit Jae’Sean Tate’s two free-throws late in the half.
Central’s Conner Kern opened the second half with a layup, and the Tigers would stretch the lead to 36-31 at one point in the third quarter before the Irish would tie it again at 38. Darryl Levert of Pickerington Central would hit a three as time ran out in the third to give the Tigers the lead heading into the final frame.
Tate would make his presence felt again at the offensive end, getting an offensive rebound off his own shot and putting it back to give Central a 43-38 lead.
On the defensive end, the Tigers would hold Scioto scoreless for the first three-plus minutes of the fourth, extending their lead to the biggest of the night at 47-38 with 4:40 left. A quick rally by the Irish however would cut the lead down to just three, with threes coming from Antonio Bisutti and Travis Yates. Over the final four-plus minutes, the Tigers were held without a field goal and only two Jae’Sean Tate free throws, and led 49-46 with 30 seconds left.
Joshua Ashwill stepped into the moment once again for Scioto, knocking down a three with 15 seconds left that would tie the game at 49-all. Pickerington Central was unable to score and the game headed to overtime, where Jae’Sean Tate’s 4 straight points helped give the Tigers a brief 53-51 lead.
Ashwill would do it again, hitting a three to push Scioto back in front for the moment, but not for long as DJ Tyree would get a layup to give Central the lead for good. The teams would trade baskets once more, and after two missed free-throws by Central, Ashwill’s three rimmed out, giving Pickerington Central the 59-57 win.
Pickerington Central will play Dublin Coffman next Wednesday night in a district semifinal at Pickerington North HS.
Seventh-seeded Dublin Coffman was able to advance to the district semifinals tonight by beating 16th-seeded Grove City at home tonight 48-42. The Shamrocks never trailed in the second half and were able to defeat the ‘Hounds behind 11 from Jason Hall and Tyrel Jackson. Leading the Greyhounds in scoring was Brenden Matthews with 15.