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Title Night: Several league crowns on the line in Central Ohio

By Zach Fleer, 02/14/20, 11:30AM EST


Gahanna is going for an outright OCC-Ohio title on Friday

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Much will be on the line tonight in Central Ohio. Two and a half months of hard work and preparation come to a heed as several league titles will be decided around the area.

Let's take a look at who has a chance to cut down the first of hopefully a handful of nets this week. 

  • State-ranked powers on crash course for showdown in Zanesville. In the MSL-Cardinal, AP No. 1 Harvest Prep will hit the road to take on state-ranked Bishop Rosecrans on Friday in a game that is sure to be one of the best of the year in eastern Ohio. At 10-0 in the league, Harvest Prep has rolled past every opponent in the league, while Rosecrans' only loss came to the Warriors on the road. Harvest Prep already owns a share of the league, however, with a win, Rosecrans would become the first team since Grove City Christian in 2017 to hold a place at the top with the Warriors. 
  • Westerville South and Olentangy Liberty need to keep winning to secure split of OCC-Buckeye title. Sharing the top spot in the area's best top to bottom league, Westerville South and Olentangy Liberty will need to win on Friday to secure a split of a league title. At 7-2 in league play, South will host rival Westerville Central on Friday in what should be a challenging test with the prior meeting heading to overtime. For Liberty, the Patriots host rival Olentangy in what could be a tricky game for a young team that has exceeded expectations after losing all five starters from last year's regional champion squad. 
  • Dublin Coffman facing rival road test to win OCC-Central in final year of current alignment. Sitting at a near perfect 8-1 in league play, Dublin Coffman takes its five-game win streak on the road to rival Upper Arlington on Friday. The Golden Bears sit one game behind the Rocks at 7-2 and will look to pull an upset to force a tie in the division. In the previous matchup, Upper Arlington survived a dismal 14-point first half and challenged Coffman until the last few minutes when the three-point shooting of the Rocks pulled away. We expect the rematch to be slower paced as Upper Arlington is attempting to notch another impressive win after taking down Marysville and Springfield on the road to end last week. An Upper Arlington win will create a three-way tie for the division title with the Rocks, Golden Bears and Marysville. 
  • Gahanna one win away from first OCC-Ohio league title since 2016. Earning the No. 1 overall seed and sitting at a mightily impressive 20-1, Gahanna will take on hated rival Pickerington Central at home on Friday. A win on Friday would give Gahanna its first outright league title since 2010, as the Lions' regional runner-up squads in 2013 and 2016 shared the league with Pickerington Central, while the '13 squad, with four losses in league play, shared the division in an unusual four-way tie with Central, Newark and Grove City. If Central picks up its best win of the season and takes down Gahanna on the road, the Tigers, Lions and Pickerington North will each share the division crown. 
  • Broad Street Bullies looking for outright Central Catholic League title. After going on the road and knocking off rival DeSales last Friday, St. Charles has a chance to win its first outright CCL title since 2017 when the Cardinals roared all the way to a Division I district title. Standing in their way is a rising Bishop Ready team that has quickly bounced back from a 1-7 league showing a year ago by winning its last three CCL games. Ready is one game back of St. Charles and is looking to avenge a 70-57 loss to the Cardinals on Jan. 10. If Ready can pull the upset, the Silver Knights will force a three-way tie atop the league at 6-2. St. Charles is not looking to share anything, as the Cardinals have regrouped after a bit of turbulence through the first half of the season, winning 11-straight games and not losing a CCL matchup since Jan. 3. 
  • Watkins Memorial looks to continue dream season with outright LCL-Buckeye title. Winners of its last 10 games, Watkins Memorial is having its best season in a very long time as the Warriors are playing with supreme confidence and trust in one another. The LCL's largest school can add another notch to its belt on Friday when they travel to Licking Valley with a chance to win an outright Buckeye division title. Sitting one game ahead of Granville, the Warriors need a win on Friday to secure the crown, as Watkins is riding high on the backs of seniors Reece McNeely and Marcus Peaks. The Warriors hope to take this current momentum onto the road at Grove City on Feb. 22 in the first round of the district tournament where Watkins is seeded at No. 24, its highest seed in recent memory. 
  • Centerburg needs one more win for outright KMAC title. The Trojans of Centerburg will host Fredericktown on Friday for a chance to win an outright Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference title. Behind the play of its front court of junior Carter Jones and senior Hayden Hankinson, Centerburg has won 11 of 13 league games and will need one more win to hold off Northmor, who sits one game back. The Golden Knights take on last place Highland on Friday, which makes Centerburg's battle with Fredericktown all that more pressure-filled. Centerburg lost its last matchup against the Freddies on Jan. 10, as Fredericktown could play spoiler once again. 
  • Linden-McKinley and Walnut Ridge both on the verge of history in the Columbus City League. No matter who wins in the area's only league championship game on Saturday, history will be made regardless. Linden has gone 28 years without a City League title, while Walnut Ridge has had an even longer drought, not winning the area's oldest league since 1971 when the Scots rolled to a state title. Becoming the first team outside of the trio of Northland, Beechcroft and Brookhaven to win the City North division since 1992, Linden enters Saturday's title game as a heavy underdog against a Walnut Ridge team that is clicking on all cylinders. Linden quickly bounced back from two early league losses by winning its last 10 division games, as the Panthers are playing with a high level of confidence and belief. Awaiting them is the biggest challenge yet on the season, as Walnut Ridge has been a bit of a buzzsaw for the City League, winning its last two South division games by 91 combined points. 

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