As ESPN pulls out the stops on their version of “Rivalry Week”, the Ohio Capital Conference has some tricks up their sleeve as well, saving some of the best games on its conference slate for the final week of the season. It may not be widely recognized like a Duke-Carolina matchup, but it sure has some bang for the buck. The Warriors of Westerville North (18-1, 12-0) are looking to go for a clean sweep of the city of Westerville, as they host Westerville South (14-6, 9-4) tonight at home.
In terms of the OCC-Cardinal championship, Westerville North locked up their title last Tuesday with a 73-50 win at home versus Hilliard Bradley. With an upset win tonight, the Wildcats can secure a third straight 10-win conference slate, dating back to their OCC championship in 2011.
Although over the long run Westerville South has owned the series (15-4 since 2000, H/T: @SouthBasketball), Westerville North has won the last three in the series, albeit a slim margin of roughly 4.5 points per game.
The matchup earlier this season on January 13th saw North jump out 31-17 in the first half before the Wildcats fought back, but never shrank the lead to less than 4, falling in the end 69-64. Marcus Ball led the Cats with a game-high 28 points, also adding 6 boards. The disparity at the free-throw line was the difference, with North going 15-of-20 from the stripe, and South only shooting 5-of-11 from the line.
Tonight’s matchup will certainly be an interesting one, with city pride on the line and the chance for North to complete a sweep of the city of Westerville for the second year in a row. As all OCC games are, the varsity game tips at approximately 7:30 p.m..