COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Tuesday night's matchup between Beechcroft and Northland was a big time one in regards to who will represent the City League North in the City Championship. Beechcroft bounced back after back-to back losses for the first time this season, as they outlasted Northland 58-53.
Beechcroft jumped out to an early 9-2 lead. They extended their lead to to 14-2 behind stellar defense and a hot handed JJ Simmons. Simmons erupted for 12 points in the quarter and Beechcroft led 24-8 after one.
Northland got a huge boost from their bench with junior guards Stephen Reavish Jr and Shemar Watson combining for 11 points (three 3's). The Vikings outscored Beechcroft 19-8 in the second quarter and went into the half trailing just 32-27.
Beechcroft regained the momentum in the third quarter behind two back to back and-1 finishes from senior guard Davon Wooden. The Cougars took an eight point lead into the final quarter where they extended their lead up to as much as 14. Northland fought to get back into the game but it was too little too late as Beechcroft hung on for the win.
For Beechcroft, JJ Simmons had a game high 20 points, Amani Lyles scored 14, and Aamir Carter chipped in eight points.
For Northland, Makhale Massey led them in scoring with 16 points. Shemar Watson added 11 points for the Vikings.
JJ Simmons (5’11 G / Beechcroft / 2022): Simmons continued to show off his ability to create his own shot off the dribble. Simmons was able to shake free of defenders with his elusive handle and bury shots with any space given. The sophomore guard is extremely confident and equally talented scoring the ball. He showed off his ability to heat up at any moment by scoring 12 first quarter points. Defensively he played good on ball defense and made his matchup work for good looks.
Makhale Massey (6’3 WG / Northland / 2020): Massey showed off his ability to make catch and shoot jumpers as he knocked down two threes and got some mid range jumpers to fall. Most impressive was the way he attacked the offensive glass. He didn’t just settle while he was off the ball and he scored on a number of occasions by simply out working guys and getting to the rim for putback finishes.
Amani Lyles (6’6 F / Beechcroft / 2022): Lyles was his usual finishing around the rim through contact. He made a few plays off the dribble which were impressive already showing the ability to stretch the floor out to the three point line, being able to consistently make plays off the dribble will only improve his game . He was a man on the glass snagging boards all night for the Cougars.
Aamir Carter (6’2 G / Beechcroft / 2022): Carter may have not had an explosive scoring night but he did a lot of the things that don’t show up in the boxscore. He was an irritant defending on the ball and showed active hands coming up with some steals. He always brings it on the defensive end no matter his production on offense and that’s going to take him a long way.
Isaiah Ingle (6’8 C / Northland / 2020): Ingle is still raw pretty raw on the offensive end, but where he lacks in offense he makes up 10 times on the defensive end of the floor. Ingle secured the glass for the Vikings, pulling down rebounds all night long. He was the ultimate rim deterrent by blocking four shots and altering many others. Ingle has excellent timing when going for blocks and moves well for his size.