COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In one of the only games on Monday night, Grandview (9-4) jumped out to an early lead behind the play of seniors Luke Lachey and Brian Collier and rolled over Westland (2-11), defeating the Cougars 73-55.
While Westland seemed to gain some momentum early on when they took a 2-0 lead following a lob dunk in transition from senior Kalil Camara, this was their only lead of the night.
The Cougars were without 6-foot-8 senior forward Eric Panning and Lachey took advantage of this early on, attacking in transition and dominating on the interior to give his team a comfortable 20-8 lead after one.
After he threw down two dunks in transition midway through the second, Westland called a timeout trailing 28-14 with 2:39 left to go in the half.
These slams gave Grandview all of the momentum they needed and Lachey's play along with stellar guard play from Collier helped them take a 39-20 lead into the locker room at half.
Going on cruise control for the entire second half, Grandview rode the hot hands of Lachey and Collier to an easy win, while Lachey was simply toying with the defense and threw down two more huge one-handed slams to add to the beating.
Collier led the Bobcats with 27 in the win, while Lachey scored 20 of his own, Lance Trares chipped in with seven and Darrion Davis scored six.
They move to 9-4 after the win and will play host to a solid Northmor squad on Saturday.
Kenan Lay and Drew Panning each led Westland with 14 in the loss, while Camara added 13 of his own.
They fall to 2-11 after the loss and will travel to Marysville for an OCC-Central showdown on Friday.
Luke Lachey (6'6 WF / Grandview / 2020): While Lachey has a really good shot of hearing his name called at the NFL Draft in a few years, damn is he a good basketball player. The 6-foot-6 wing was his usual self on Monday, dominating inferior defenders with his combination of size, strength and skill. While most might see him as a post player, that is not the case, as the senior has the ability to handle the ball in the open floor, knockdown shots from the perimeter and is even an advanced passer. Lachey has elite athleticism and that was on display on Monday as he threw down four dunks, two of which were one-handed hammers coming down the lane that we honestly weren't even expecting him to dunk. He finished some tough buckets in transition as well, completing an and-one and a few tough finishes with his left hand while showing off great balance and ability to adjust his shot mid-air. Lachey is just as much of a problem on the defensive end as well as he can block shots with his length, defend in the post with his size, defend on the perimeter with his quickness and disrupt the passing lanes with his instincts and length. Keep and eye on Grandview in Division IV this postseason as we aren't exactly sure if anyone has a matchup for the 6-foot-6 freak of nature.
Brian Collier (6'0 PG / Grandview / 2020): Collier was back to business last night as the senior guard put together yet another extremely efficient showing, dominating Westland's guards to the tune of 27 points. The 6-foot senior showcased a tough floater in the lane on a few occasions, adjusting his shot to get a clean look over the length and athleticism of Westland. He also hit a mid-range step back off the dribble, hit a three off the catch and went for a handful of tough finishes off the dribble, attacking both in transition and in the half court while showing off a good knack for finishing with both hands. Collier uses a quick burst to blow by defenders, can stop-and-go on a dime and does an excellent job of using his body to absorb contact and finish through contact. The senior also gets his teammates involved when he needs to do and created a few turnovers on the defensive end thanks to his active hands on the perimeter. We expect Collier to continue to put up great numbers for the rest of the season as he would be an absolute steal for small colleges looking for a high-level scoring guard.
Kalil Camara (6'3 WG / Westland / 2020): Camara put together one of the better showings we have seen of him on Monday night as he seems to clearly be making an effort to improve as a decision maker and facilitator. The 6-foot-3 wing got to the rim at will, using his quickness and advanced handle to blow by Grandview defenders and attract help side defense. He made a few impressive drive-and-kick reads to open shooters in the corner, made a couple of good dump offs to open guys underneath the rim and used good body control to come up with a few tough finishes with both hands, also adjusting his shot mid-air when in the face of Lachey. Camara also threw down a lob to get the scoring started in the contest, but most already know of the elite athleticism he possesses. We like how he got involved on the boards as well, closed out on shooters and defended hard. If Camara can continue to improve his IQ, decision making and attitude, he could become a really good player as he is blessed with athleticism that you just don't see everyday and is constantly in the gym working on his other skills.
Drew Panning (6'5 WF / Westland / 2022): Panning showed off his ability to stretch the floor on Monday, knocking down four triples off the catch, most of which came later in the contest. Panning has some really good length and shooting touch that allow him to get his shot off over taller defenders and and stay active on the glass. He also came up with a tough and-one off the dribble, finishing over the length of Lachey and through contact. The 6-foot-5 wing can affect the game on the defensive end by altering shots on the interior and disrupting the passing lanes with his length. The next step for Drew is to add some strength, as he has the frame to develop into one of the more intriguing 2022 prospects in the area but is still a little frail.