GRANVILLE, Ohio -- The Granville Blue Aces started the 2020-21 season out strong on Friday night against the Amanda Clearcreek Aces, securing Chris Powell his first win as the new head coach of the Blue Aces by a score of 85-40. Powell was previously an assistant at Gahanna Lincoln, as well as most recently coaching Highland to a KMAC championship in 2019.
The Blue Aces got after Amanda Clearcreek on the defensive end from the opening tip. In Granville’s half court pressure defense, they were jumping passing lanes, forcing multiple turnovers, leading to a lot of easy fast break layups and wide open three pointers.
In the first half of Friday’s contest, Granville caught fire from behind the three point line. They had a total of nine three pointers, by five different players. This resulted in a 59-15 halftime lead for the Blue Aces.
Despite a large deficit, the young Amanda Clearcreek team continued to fight hard until the final buzzer, resulting in an almost evenly played second half. The Aces were led by sophomore guard Clayton Rhyne with 13 points.
The trio of junior Carsyn Crouch and seniors Caden Smith and Jaden Rudder were a bright spot for the Blue Aces. Smith led the game in both points and assists by contributing 22 and five. Crouch pitched in 19 points and Rudder added 17 points.
Granville sent a loud message to the rest of the LCL with a commanding 85-40 win.
The Blue Aces will look to continue where they left off next Friday, when they host the Lancaster Golden Gales in a LCL-OCC non conference clash.
The Aces will look to get back on track when they take on the Bloom-Carroll Bulldogs (1-0) at home next Tuesday in their first MSL-Buckeye battle of the season.
Carsyn Crouch (6’2 WG / Granville / 2022): Crouch is one of the better athletes in the LCL. This was highlighted in the second quarter when he had a steal that led to a fast break slam. He has great instincts and lived in the passing lanes. He showed a diverse offensive arsenal hitting two three pointers and finishing a variety of shots in the paint. Crouch’s length is going to be huge for Granville going forward, with some talented players in the LCL that he will have to guard that will present tough matchups every night.
Caden Smith (5’11 CG / Granville / 2021): The senior guard was the floor leader for the Blue Aces. His 22 points and five assists led Granville in both areas. He hit four three pointers in the middle of the first half, leading to an offensive explosion that Amanda Clearcreek could not recover from. He has a great handle and broke down the defense repeatedly setting his teammates up for easy baskets. Smith's scoring and leadership will be crucial this season with a wide open LCL-Buckeye title on the line for the Blue Aces.
Jaden Rudder (6’0 WG / Granville / 2021): The senior guard set the tempo for Granville with his energy on both ends of the court. Rudder is a strong physical guard that shows the ability to step out to hit the three, as well as finish around the rim. He led the Blue Aces with eight rebounds. His ball pressure on defense disrupted everything Amanda Clearcreek was trying to do.