By Jason Morrow / @thejaybird19
Despite being outscored in the second half, Gahanna-Lincoln cruised to a 64-54 win over Newark on Saturday in the Columbus 2 district final. Gahanna (20-5), was led by Aaron Jackson, who had 15 points and 7 rebounds for the game. With the win, the Lions complete a season sweep of Newark (17-9).
After a Jordan Dartis jumper opened the scoring for the Wildcats, Gahanna promptly answered with a quick 7-0 run, capped off by a Jackson layup. Jordan’s brother, Jalen, would complete a three-point play to cut the Lions lead to 12-10 late in the first quarter, but Gahanna would go on another run, this time a 10-0 run lasting through the end of the first quarter into the second.
A pair of Teddy Metzen free-throws would break the drought for the Wildcats, but the nearly five minute scoreless streak left Newark with their biggest deficit of the day at 22-12. The effort on the defensive end was the key factor in dominating the first half for the Lions, as they would hold Newark without a shot on the final possession of the half, taking 38-22 lead into the break.
The Wildcats wouldn’t go down without a fight however, as Jalen Dartis would score to cap an 8-3 push to cut into the Lions lead. Newark would hold Gahanna without a field goal until halfway through the third.
Keith Scowden for Gahanna would be a crucial player for the Lions in the late in the game, netting the first field goal on a pass from Javon Bess. Scowden recorded 8 of his 12 points in the second half, including 5 rebounds for the game.
Gahanna had control of the fourth quarter until a 9-3 Newark run would shrink the lead to its smallest in the half at 53-45 on a Jalen Dartis three-pointer. Once again, the Lions would find a way to fend off a Newark run.
Unlike the first game of the day, Gahanna would close the game shooting 8/10 from the free-throw line. This would help the Lions hang on to advance to a rematch with Pickerington Central on Thursday at 7 p.m.