MARION, Ohio -- COVID-19 could not stop basketball in Marion on Saturday. Opening the season with a big-time non-league matchup, Marion Harding had its hands full against the talented Worthington Christian.
Behind 27 points from senior Lipscomb commit Kat Weakley and a dominant double-double performance from junior Blessing King, Worthington Christian proved to be too much for Marion Harding in a 69-59 victory.
Marion Harding had the advantage early on behind the play of senior guard Ariyah Douglas, jumping out to a 20-10 lead late in the first quarter. That lead would be short lived, as Worthington Christian used a 27-9 third quarter to blow past the host Prexies.
Weakley and her younger sister Megan Weakley put together a masterful shooting performance to open the flood gates in the third quarter, a surge that proved to be the difference in the win.
While most of the area has delayed the start of their seasons due to the pandemic, thankfully that wasn't the case for both teams in Saturday's game, as we got the chance to check out several of the better prospects in the area.
Let's take a look at some of the night's top performers.
Kat Weakley (5'11 G / Worthington Christian / 2021): The Lipscomb commit Weakley came alive in a major way in the second half, scoring the majority of her game-high 27 points. Weakley is a skilled guard who can score it from everywhere on the floor, as her three-point shooting ability seemed to kickstart Worthington Christian into gear in the major third quarter. Weakley has a shifty handle, can get to the rim with either hand and is a tough finisher when she gets there, as she is not afraid of contact. The daughter of Worthington Christian boys basketball head coach Kevin Weakley, Kat Weakley plays with the pace, feel and sense of urgency that you would come to expect from a coach's kid. Worthington Christian seems to go as Weakley takes them offensively, as they struggled when she had a slow start to the game, but really got it into gear when she got into a rhythm in the third quarter.
Ariyah Douglas (5'9 PG / Marion Harding / 2021): Douglas is one of the most skilled guards that we have seen over the last few years, as her elite passing ability stuck out most to us. Douglas is a one woman press breaker, as she delivered a handful of full court, baseball pass rockets to open teammates. When she wasn't dropping full court dimes, she was getting to the rim off the bounce where she showed off stellar footwork and finishing ability. Douglas also hit a three, a few mid-range pull up jumpers and had a couple hockey assists off high level passing ability. The senior Douglas, whose 15 points on Saturday now have her 11 points away from 1,000 for her career, has an elite feel for the game and understanding of pace, which helps her play at different speeds to keep the defense off balance. She's worth the price of admission to watch, as she can absolutely fill it up, but is just as good at getting others involved.
Blessing King (5'11 WF / Worthington Christian / 2022): Nobody in Saturday's game had a bigger impact on winning than King. It was her elite motor and effort on the glass, on defense and in transition that helped Worthington Christian power past Harding for the win. King finished with a double-double of 11 points and what felt like 25 rebounds, as she outworked every single opposing player on the glass, coming up with several key second chance boards. King has a shifty handle and the capability to grab and go, as she finished a handful of coast to coast buckets and also had the vision to find open shooters running alongside her. King's length, athleticism, motor, IQ and effort make her a two-way Swiss Army Knife that teams will have nightmares trying to keep off the glass.
Keyani Jackson (6'0 G / Marion Harding / 2023): Jackson immediately jumped off the radar early in the game when she knocked in her first two three-point field goal attempts. That became a common theme the rest of the game, as Jackson was a deadly threat to knock down perimeter jumpers if given any inch of space. The sophomore Jackson knocked down four threes in the loss, showing a very soft touch from beyond the arc. With great size and shooting touch, Jackson also showed off a capable handle, as she could develop into quite the scoring machine if she continues to add to her overall game.
Megan Weakley (5'10 G / Worthington Christian / 2023): Weakley is an absolute dead-eye shooter with a quick trigger. It was her marksmanship from the three-point line that sparked Worthington Christian's third quarter run, as Weakley and her sister combined for a barrage of points to break the game open. While only a sophomore, Weakley will provide a much-needed secondary scoring presence for a Warriors team complete with plenty of offensive weaponry.