COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Just a few days before the beginning of OCC league play, several intriguing non-conference matchups await on Tuesday in Central Ohio.
Let's take a look at the top matchups before we reveal our predictions for the night.
Wellington is on a mission to become the best program in Upper Arlington and the Jaguars will have a chance to take a major step in that direction on Tuesday. Hosting neighborhood rival Upper Arlington, Wellington will welcome the Golden Bears for a non-conference tilt that is guaranteed to be sold out.
Upper Arlington makes the short trot up Reed Road to take on a Wellington team coming off a Division IV state final appearance. In its season opener, the Golden Bears will have an immediate challenge, which is the type of adversity that Tim Casey likes to throw at his team to prepare for March.
Wellington wins if: The Jaguars limit mistakes, get big scoring games from Solomon Pierre-Louis and Noah Berry, and find a way to keep Dane Goodwin and Max Martz at or below 30 combined points.
Upper Arlington wins if: Dane Goodwin has his typical scoring night around 30 points, Max Martz hits open shots and takes advantage of mismatches and Wellington turns the ball over 10+ times due to UA's suffocating defense.
An east side rivalry pitting the OCC vs. City League tips off at Walnut Ridge on Tuesday. Reynoldsburg is coming off a blowout win over Dayton Dunbar, while Walnut Ridge blew a fourth quarter lead in a tough loss to Whitehall.
A matchup of four 270 Hoops Fall League studs is on deck, as Reynoldsburg comes in led by senior forward Tre Williams and junior guard Ben Fort, while Walnut Ridge has relied on the fantastic sophomore duo of Qian Magwood and Von Cameron Davis.
Going up against a veteran Reynoldsburg team will be a tough task for Walnut Ridge, who will need its two stars to stay out of foul trouble to have a chance on Tuesday.
Reynoldsburg wins if: The Raiders force feed Williams and get Walnut Ridge's post players in foul trouble, Reynoldsburg's guards take care of the ball and hit open shots, and the Raiders win the rebounding margin and limit second chance opportunities.
Walnut Ridge wins if: The Scots force players other than Williams to beat them, Magwood and Davis have huge scoring nights while staying out of foul trouble, and Walnut Ridge makes 10+ threes as a team, particularly from players like Roshawn Reaves, Treyvon Watson and others.
|Away Team||Home Team||Prediction|
|#4 Upper Arlington||#1 (D3) Wellington|
|#6 Reynoldsburg||Walnut Ridge|
|New Albany||#15 Westerville Central|
|#12 Westerville South||Worthington Kilbourne|
|Thurgood Marshall||#1 Pickerington Central|
|#10 (D2) Watterson||Fairfield Union|
|#3 (D2) Linden-McKinley||Franklin Heights|
|Hilliard Darby||Central Crossing|
|West Jefferson||#8 (D3) Columbus Academy|