Watterson’s second half surge fuels overtime win over Brookhaven

By: Zach Fleer / @YS614

Going into halftime trailing 32-21, Bishop Watterson (23-1) was having all sorts of trouble containing standout Brookhaven (20-4) guard Randal Clarkson. Clarkson torched the Eagles for 13 points and four assists in a high-energy first half that had the Bearcats looking to run away with the Columbus 1 District title. Watterson’s suffocating zone-defense, combined with clutch three-point shooting helped the Eagles win their third district title in five years, 56-52.  Continue reading


Pickerington Central cruises over Dublin Coffman

In a night where nobody felt safe from being upset (ex. Danville defeating Africentric) , Pickerington Central made sure the Tiger faithful wouldn’t have to stress, defeating seventh-seeded Dublin Coffman 73-54 in the second district semifinal at Pickerington North. The Tigers (18-7) were led by Jae’Sean Tate and Connor Kern, each with 20 points on the night.

Jalen Tate opened the scoring for the Tigers on the night with a layup. Jae’Sean would add to the lead a few possessions later on a monstrous dunk in transition, giving Pickerington Central a 6-1 lead early on.

Despite falling down eight later in the quarter, Kevin Marsh for Dublin Coffman (18-5) would knock down triples on consecutive possessions, cutting the Tiger lead down to two. Connor Kern would hit one of his four threes as time wound down in the first quarter, giving Pickerington Central a 17-12 advantage after one.

The Tigers throughout the night forced many turnovers out of the Shamrocks with their full-court pressure, causing Dublin Coffman to throw into the deep corner or just wildly out-of-bounds.

Play after the first would get a bit chippy, and escalated quickly once Jae’Sean Tate picked up a technical foul arguing with an official after being called for an illegal screen near the halfway point in the quarter.

Josh Morrow for Coffman would make one of two free-throws for the technical foul, giving Coffman their first and only lead of the night at 20-19. Over the next 10-plus minutes, Pickerington Central would use their pressuring defense and transition offense to go on a 32-8 run, and capped off by a Kyran Boyd three near the end of the third quarter.

The final frame was stress-free for the most part, but did include two dunks from Coffman forward Jason Hall, including one he would receive a technical for in the waning minutes of the game. The lead would balloon to its max at 63-39 on a basket from Pickerington Central’s DJ Tyree.

Picture credit goes to Mitch Brown at Central Ohio Photography

Pickerington Central will face Olentangy Orange on Saturday March 7 at noon at the Fairgrounds Coliseum. Olentangy Orange shocked fourth-seeded New Albany tonight, 46-45 on a buzzer beater.

Olentangy Orange upsets New Albany on Deitsch buzzer-beater

By Jason Morrow/ @thejaybird19

Sometimes it is truly the case to rather be lucky than good. Tonight that was the case for Olentangy Orange and Nick Deitsch, whose tip-in at the buzzer knocked off fourth-seeded New Albany 46-45 in a district semifinal at Pickerington North.

With just under thirty seconds remaining, and tied at 44, Olentangy Orange’s inbounds pass was stolen by Jalen Rhea and was fouled just seconds later. Rhea made the first free-throw but couldn’t connect on the second, setting up the final possession for the Pioneers (15-9). Hunter Jenkins was the man who had to force up a contested shot as time ran down. His shot was off the mark but landed directly in the hands of Nick Deitsch, who laid it in as time expired.

There was no demonstrative call on the floor, but all three officials in unison signaled the basket was good before making a quick exit.

This was the third meeting of the year for the two schools, normally as OCC-Capital division foes. The first two meetings were won handily by New Albany (22-3), each time by double digits.

Most of the game was played within a five-point window either way, with neither team up by more than 4 in the fourth quarter or overtimes. The Eagles trailed 41-39 late in the fourth, but a Devon Pitts layup tied the game, although he would miss the ensuing free-throw to take the lead.

Orange was able to hold the ball for a minute to get the final shot in regulation. Brady Harris for Orange missed a potential game-winner, sending the game into the extra frame.

Jalen Rhea led all scorers in the game with 18, and Orange was led by Brandon Blake with 14.

Pickerington Central, who defeated Dublin Coffman in the second session 73-54, will be the Pioneers’ next opponent. The Columbus 1 district final will be Saturday, March 6 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.

Full-court pressure helps Africentric roll over Delaware Christian

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. Continue reading

JD Davis powers East to road win over River Valley

By: Zach Fleer / @YS614

Playing their first game in 16 days, JD Davis and the East Tigers advanced to the district semifinals after a hard-fought road win over 14th-seeded River Valley (12-12), 45-41. Davis stuffed the stat sheet for the Tigers, going for 14 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks to power East to their 11th win of the season. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Pickerington Central survives Dublin Scioto despite Ashwill’s 33

OHSAA logoDuring 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. Continue reading