PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- In the first game of a boys and girls doubleheader between Pickerington Central and Africentric on Saturday afternoon, the Lady Tigers of Pickerington Central grabbed an early lead and never looked back as they defeated Africentric 60-45.
Coming to play from the opening tip, Pickerington Central jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead and forced an Africentric timeout just two minutes and fifteen seconds into the game following a score inside from Olivia Cooper.
Thanks to a couple of three's from Madison Greene and Azariah Binford late in the first, they increased this lead to 23-9 after one quarter.
Africentric did not back down, however, orchestrating a 9-0 run to start the second quarter that trimmed the Tiger lead to just 23-18 with 5:46 left in the half.
Unfortunately for the Lady Nubians, this is as close as they got for the rest of the night.
After increasing their lead to 33-24 before halftime, Pickerington Central built on it in the fourth quarter as they ended the frame on an 8-2 run that gave them a comfortable 47-31 lead heading into the final frame of play.
Thanks to the play of Greene, Skye Williams and Cooper, the Lady Tigers took care of business in the second half on their way to an impressive win on Saturday.
In a really impressive showing, Greene led Pickerington Central with 20 points. Williams also scored 14, while Cooper added 12.
For Africentric, both Maliyah Johnson and Arianna Smith turned in really impressive performances this afternoon.
While they just began their season this week, the Lady Nubians have lots of talent on the roster as always and should be a major threat in Division III come tournament time.
Madison Greene (5'7 PG / Pickerington Central / 2023): Turning in a really impressive performance on Saturday afternoon, Greene led Pickerington Central with 20 points and also made a big impact on the defensive end of the floor. With a good handle, IQ and ability to score from all three levels, Greene is a talented point guard who gets her teammates involved as well. She got to the rim for some tough finishes with both hands on Saturday and also hit three triples in the contest. We were also very impressed with her efforts defensively as she moves very well and has active hands on that end of the floor that allowed her to come up with a few steals. Just a sophomore, Greene has the potential to be the next big time guard to come through the Pickerington Central program.
Skye Williams (5'10 G / Pickerington Central / 2021): Showing off her talented offensive arsenal on Saturday afternoon, Williams finished with 14 points and scored in multiples ways for Pickerington Central. The Purdue commit hit a couple of triples, hit a tough short corner mid-range off the dribble and converted on a tough post turnaround, doing so efficiently and making the most of her touches. On a Pickerington Central with tons of young talent, Williams is an experienced senior leader who seems to elevate the play of the team when she is in a groove as was the case on Saturday.
Arianna Smith (6'2 G/F / Africentric / 2021): Dominating in stretches on Satuday, Smith put together a really impressive showing for Africentric. With great size and handling ability at 6-foot-2, Smith can score both attacking off the bounce and in the post, making her a mismatch for a ton of players she will go up against this season. Smith hit a three from the top of the key, scored through contact inside and made some impressive passes against Pickerington Central, really proving to be the engine that made the Africentric offense go for most of the night. Defensively Smith is a key piece to Africentric as well as her combination of size and quickness allow her to excel both on the perimeter and the interior on that end of the floor. We are excited to see the type of numbers Smith puts up in a shortened City League season this year as she is one of the better players we have watched all year.
Maliyah Johnson (5'11 F / Africentric / 2021): Before unfortunately going down with an injury midway through Saturday's contest, Johnson really impressed us with her play in the first half. Showing off great instincts of where to be within the Africentric offense, good hands on the interior and a soft touch near the rim, the senior came up with a handful of scores inside and did a nice job of cleaning up the glass on Saturday as well. With good size and skill on the interior, Johnson is an intriguing senior prospect who we hope to see stay healthy and make the most of her shortened senior season.