DUBLIN, Ohio -- After trailing by 10 late in the third quarter, Dublin Jerome finished the game on a 28-8 run to beat Olentangy 49-39 on Friday night. This matchup was a much different story than the first meeting, as sophomore Lachlan MacDonald helped spark the run that made the difference.
Early on, Dublin Jerome started this OCC-Cardinal showdown on a 7-0 run, then Olentangy got hot. Junior point guard Ethan Smith got things started with a three pointer, followed by senior Luke Elmore draining back to back to back triples. The Braves finished the first frame on a 15-2 run, led by six three pointers to go up nine.
Olentangy exploited Dublin Jerome's zone at a high rate early on, so the Celtics made a switch to man to man. This defensive switch seemed to be just what the doctor ordered, as the Celtics began to chip away at the lead heading into halftime.
Early in the second half it was very back and forth, but MacDonald put on a show scoring 11 points in the third quarter for Dublin Jerome. The sophomore got the second half started with a three pointer, followed by a fast break layup. Smith and senior Zach Wieging each pitched in four points to try to hold off a Dublin Jerome comeback. However, MacDonald was too hot to handle, as he converted on an and-one to cut the lead to just one point entering the final frame.
Dublin Jerome’s 6-foot-7 big man CC Ezirim got the fourth quarter started by going 2/2 from the strike to get the Celtics their first lead since the beginning of the first quarter.
Once the Celtics secured the lead, they never let up. Senior Andrew Butcher drained a deep triple, while junior Matt Butler made a cutting layup to extend Dublin Jerome’s lead.
With their sophomore scoring leader Ryan Nutter‘s shots not falling, he helped turn the flow of this game with a lockdown defensive performance in the final three quarters. The balanced Celtics attack helped pick up the slack with MacDonald leading the way on Friday with a game-high 17 points, while Butler and Butcher added seven points each.
Olentangy was led by Smith and senior Tavian James with 10 points each. The Braves offense seemed to flow through James on Friday, as he had a complete all around game, finishing with a solid three rebounds and four assists.
With a quick turnaround, the Celtics will look to pick up where they left off on Friday, when they host Eastmoor on Saturday.
The Braves will look to get back to their winning ways when they travel to Centennial next Tuesday.
Tavian James (6’3 WG / Olentangy / 2021): The senior guard is a really solid player. There is not much on the court he is not able to do. The offense seemed to run through him as he was either scoring or setting up the many shooters for the Braves. James has a good handle and can score from all levels. On a team that doesn’t have a lot of size, his versatility is critical for their success.
Lachlan MacDonald (6'1 WG / Dublin Jerome / 2023): MacDonald is an explosive scorer. He started slow, only hitting a three in the first half. The sophomore guard took over in the second half dropping 14 of his game high 17 points after the break. He has great range, hitting three triples on the night. With defenses needing to respect the sharpshooter, he showed the ability to blow by off the bounce and finish at the rim. He is a scrappy rebounder from the guard position grabbing five boards on the night. He and the young Celtics have a lot of potential as they make you work for everything.