New Albany’s defense locks down Mount Vernon

After scoring only 30 points per game in their two regular season matchup, Mount Vernon was hoping to crack the code that is New Albany’s defense. Unfortunately for the Yellow Jackets and their fans, they didn’t get to double digits until late in the third quarter, and New Albany (22-2) with their stellar defense in top gear tonight, took down Mount Vernon 52-23 in a sectional final.

The Eagles defeated Mount Vernon (8-15) twice during the season in OCC-Capital play, and started strong behind the play of Jack Serbin. Serbin would miss twice on one possession, but collected his own miss and would finish, putting the Eagles up 7-2 early. After one, New Albany would keep their lead at 5, doubling up the Yellow Jackets at 10-5.

Neither team would score in the opening two minutes of the second quarter, and Mount Vernon would only score once in the quarter, forced into many turnovers and missing open shots. Jack Serbin led all scorers going into the break with 11. Jalen Rhea, New Albany’s leading scorer on the season coming into tonight averaging 19.8 ppg, was held scoreless through the first half. The Eagles were led in scoring tonight by Avery Schneider with 12 points.

Rhea would break out of his slump early in the third, knocking down a triple to extend the lead to 30-9 Eagles with just over five minutes left in the quarter. The Yellow Jackets were held in single digits until the 36 seconds remained in the third, by that time they trailed 34-11. New Albany would close the third out with a three from Alex Sparks, setting the lead at 26.

Tyler Galbraith led the Yellow Jackets with 6 points.