WORTHINGTON, Ohio -- The atmosphere was electric tonight as the gymnasium was standing-room only for the cross town rivalry between Thomas Worthington and Worthington Kilbourne.
The elite group of juniors for the Cards (10-3) was far too much for the Wolves (8-5) to handle this evening as they empowered their team to a convincing 66-35 win.
Jalen Sullinger led the way with 16 points, three rebounds, and three assists, while controlling the tempo of the game all night. Tyrese Hughey was a force in the middle with six points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks.
Isaac Settles added 12 points and four rebounds while Omari Effiong rounded out the group of juniors with two points, three rebounds, and four assists. Settles and Effiong put on incredible performances that didn’t necessarily translate into the scorebook but were a key reason that Thomas ran away with this game.
Thomas jumped out to an early 12-2 lead through the shooting of senior Landon Ward. In the second quarter, Sullinger hit two impressive back-to-back threes which increased the Cardinals first half lead to 17.
The second half was more of the same, as Sullinger and Hughey dominated the third quarter, extending the Thomas lead to more and more. That third quarter saw two massive dunks, one from each team, that got the entire crowd up on their feet.
The first from Hughey was a baseline drive where he went up and threw it down forcefully with two hands. The second, just a few seconds later, was a lob that Kilbourne junior Ian Schupp went up and put down with authority.
Schupp lead the Wolves effort with 13 points and five rebounds. Mitchell Tomasek added seven points and nine rebounds while Cayden Dougherty contributed eight points for Kilbourne in the contest.
At the end of the day, the Cards talent and athleticism combined with a tough shooting night kept Kilbourne out of this game. Thomas Worthington will travel to New Albany tomorrow night looking to extend their winning streak to nine.
Worthington Kilbourne will have the week off before traveling to Dublin Jerome next Friday evening.
Jalen Sullinger (5’11 PG / Thomas Worthington / 2021): Sullinger is becoming a more complete player every time we watch him play, and he’s doing it with a year and a half left in his high school career, that’s scary. The lead guard for the Cardinals ran the show tonight as he controlled the tempo of the game and was setting his teammates up for success on the offensive end. He is an elite scorer with a smooth stroke and incredible handle, but what sets him apart is his passing ability. Sullinger’s vision and playmaking abilities are great and a key reason why he is regarded as one of the top guards in the area. His one well known deficiency would be his defense, but he sure looked good on that end of the floor tonight, sitting down and chesting up his man multiple times to get stops. The young man even soared up for an impressive block in the second half. The sky's the limit for number three.
Tyrese Hughey (6’7 PF / Thomas Worthington / 2021): Hughey is a freak and one of the best athletes in the area. He put that on display tonight with FIVE first half blocks and his nasty slam in the third quarter. Hughey would have had more rebounds if it wasn’t for the fact he wasn’t letting shots make it to the rim. Hughey didn’t shoot the ball much tonight as it was not needed, but he did make one impressive turnaround from the post in one of his only jumpshots. His offensive game is by no means limited to any one area or style, as he is a capable shooter when left open from deep, and will dunk one on your head if you don’t put a body on him. It’s scary to think he also is only a junior.
Omari Effiong (6’1 G / Thomas Worthington / 2021): Effiong played one of the best two-point scoring games you will ever see. His contributions didn’t translate to the statbook but his effort and heart were not hard to notice. The 6-foot-1 guard is tough as nails and plays with no fear. His athleticism is hard to match at his size and the amount of energy he plays with is fun to watch. We’re positive that he is a coach’s dream player. Not to mention he can also put the ball in the bucket, this kid deserves some attention from teams at the next level.
Ian Schupp (6’5 W / Worthington Kilbourne / 2021): In what was a tough shooting night for Schupp, he was still able to make an impact through his aggressiveness and toughness. The 6-foot-5 wing is a tank going down the lane, but also has some major bounce. Schupp soared up for an impressive alley-oop in the third quarter that had many jaws dropped. He is also able to use that leaping ability to grab rebounds, put back misses, and alter shots. Schupp will need to continue to perform at a high, and more efficient level in order for the Wolves to have success going forward. But after facing some hostility tonight and showing resilience, we have no doubt that he can and will rise to the occasion for Kilbourne.