COLUMBUS, Ohio -- With a full slate of City League games for the first time on a Friday all season, there was tons of action in Central Ohio on Friday night.
On a night with six performances of 30+ points, Beechcroft junior Amani Lyles led the way as he dropped 37 points in an 80-37 demolishing of International.
After improving at a rapid rate all summer and totally transforming his body from last season to this season, we have been patiently awaiting the debut of Lyles in the City League this season as he is one of the area's top prospects regardless of class.
The junior is a physical freak at 6-foot-6, can handle it, can shoot it off the bounce and plays with a motor that you can't just instill in most kids.
Lyles affects the game in a ton of different ways on both ends of the floor and is a really tough matchup for anybody in the City North this season.
Outside of scoring 37 against an International team Beechcroft heavily overmatched on Friday, Lyles also scored 19 points on Monday when the Cougars opened up their season with a home win over East.
If Beechcroft wants to win the City North this season and return to champion status in February, Lyles will have to be the best player on the floor every night out in league play, something he is certainly capable of.
While he highlights this weeks edition of stars of the night, there were tons of other huge performances last night as guys like Des Watson were not far behind Lyles in the scoring column, so let's take a look at some of them below.
Des Watson (6'5 WG / DeSales / 2021): Despite suffering a tough loss to Bishop Ready on Friday night, Watson went off once again as he led all scorers with 36 points in the contest. Doing work from the opening tip to the final buzzer, Watson gave it all he had as he scored eight in the first quarter, 13 in the second, seven in the third and six in the fourth. While Watson bullied guys around for easy scores within the offense and by creating off the bounce, the most impressive part of his game was that he nailed six three's, showing off a shooting stroke that has continually improved all season. After DeSales had a bumpy start to the season, Watson has averaged 24 points a night in their last seven games in which they are 6-1 in as he also scored 37 earlier this week against St. Charles.
Shawn Nethers (6'0 WG / Licking Valley / 2021): Despite Licking Valley getting blown out by Licking Heights on Friday night, Nethers was the lone bright spot for the Panthers as he poured in a season-high 33 points in the loss. Scoring in a handful of ways, Nethers hit a bunch of triples and got to the line where he converted often as well, playing very aggressive and not afraid to try and create offense for Licking Valley on his own. While the Panthers have struggled at times this season, Nethers has had a decent year as Friday was his fourth game of 20+ points on the year.
Tavian James (6'3 WF / Olentangy / 2021): In a tough matchup with Thomas Worthington on Friday night on which Olentangy did not come out on top, James still impressed as he exploded for a career-high 31 points in the loss. After being held to just two points in the first quarter, James began to heat up in the second quarter as he scored 11 in the frame. Carrying this momentum over to the second half, the senior scored seven in the third and 11 in the fourth. James hit three triples, scored eight two-point field goals and went six-for-seven at the line, turning in an efficient offensive performance overall. While Olentangy was unable to come out with the win, James certainly did his part against a Thomas Worthington team full of studs.
Nathan Stewart (5'9 G / Delaware Christian / 2021): Turning in another excellent performance on Friday night, Stewart dropped 30 points as Delaware Christian picked up a league win over Granville Christian. Doing a lot of his work in the middle two quarters, Stewart scored 11 in the second and seven in the third to go along with nailing a triple and a couple of free throws in the fourth to seal the game for Delaware Christian. Hitting two triples, a handful of two-point field goals and getting to the line on several occasions, Stewart scored in a variety of ways on Friday. At a small school in Delaware Christian, Stewart has enjoyed an excellent year so far this season as averaging around 19 points a night in the MOCAL.
Mekhi Bloodworth (6'6 WF / Columbus East / 2021): In just his second game at East after moving in from Kalamazoo, Michigan this offseason, Bloodworth went off for 30 points on Friday night to lead the Tigers to their first win of the season as they defeated Mifflin 63-55. Nailing four triples in the contest, Bloodworth caught fire from deep and showed that he is capable of becoming a threat from deep over time. At 6-foot-6, Bloodworth has great length and is effective attacking the rim and also can defend several positions on the defensive end. We hope to see the senior wing find a home over the next couple of months as he has the potential to be a solid player at the next level.
Tag(s): Home Boys Leagues Central Catholic League DeSales Bishop Ready Columbus City League North Beechcroft East Ohio Capital Conference Olentangy Cardinal Hilliard Bradley Central Dublin Coffman Mid State League Ohio Worthington Christian Licking County League Licking Heights Licking Valley MOCAL Delaware Christian