By: Zach Fleer / @YS614
City-League South champions Africentric (21-3) advanced to the Division IV district final with a resounding 55-38 victory over Delaware Christian (11-12). The Nubians used constant full-court pressure to get the Eagles out of rhythm, creating turnovers which led to fast break points.
After heading into the second quarter leading 15-10, the Nubians kept the 11th-seeded Eagles under double digits in each of the next two quarters, increasing the pressure on defense by not allowing Delaware Christian to get the ball past half court without a struggle. CyQuil Tucker led Africentric in scoring with 11 points, while five other players scored at least five points. Rising sophomore Jaquan Harrison chipped in eight points, none greater than the fast-break slam he had in the beginning moments of the second quarter to push the Nubian lead to seven at 18-11. Africentric would finish the quarter on a 13-7 run to head into halftime with a 31-18 advantage.
Forcing 19 turnovers, Africentric’s defense was the key in a hard-fought victory. The Eagles used a 2-3 zone to deal with the Nubians size in an effort to force the City-League South champs to beat them from the outside. Kenny Robinson and Tucker still found ways to get the ball inside to their sophomore big men, limiting what Delaware Christian could do on the defensive end. Austin Roden led Christian in scoring with 12 points.
Africentric’s victory sets them up for a March 9 matchup with fourth-seeded Danville (20-4), who took down Gahanna Christian (16-8) 59-47 earlier tonight. The two teams will square off at the Columbus Fairgrounds Coliseum at 6 p.m. Danville comes into the district final winners of five straight, but none over a quality opponent. Africentric enters Saturday’s matchup winners of nine out of their last ten, with their only loss coming to Division I’s top team, Northland (24-0), 55-53 in overtime of the City-League Championship Game.