COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Africentric Nubians were crowned the queens of the Columbus City League for the sixth-consecutive season after defeating Beechcroft 76-19 in Saturday’s championship game at Columbus East High School.
The start of the City League season was delayed by Columbus City Schools due to COVID-19 until the end of January. Since then, the teams have been competing and gearing up for a shot at the championship.
Africentric entered the contest at 5-2 and won their City League matchups by an average of 64 points. Beechcroft entered with a record of 6-0 with their most notable win against Northland, a team who had made the last five City League championship games.
Early in the first, Africentric jumped out to a 6-0 lead when Beechcroft senior Tessa Miller drained her first three pointer of the game, cutting the lead.
Nubian senior Maliyah Johnson finished at the rim to extend the lead but yet again, Miller connected from three to pull Beechcroft within two points by a score of 8-3. This is as close as the Cougars would come for the remainder of the game.
Beechcroft’s leading scorer and senior La'Briar Franklin-Paige went down with an ankle injury part way through the first and the Cougars never recovered. Africentric locked down on defense and finished the quarter on a 13-0 run capped off by an and one by senior Arianna Smith. The Nubians boasted a 21-6 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Africentric tear continued to begin the second, extending their run to 25-0 before Beechcroft junior LaLarra Bays connected from two. Africentric’s defense was too much to handle for the Cougars but they were able to put up five points thanks to Miller and Bays. After two quarters, Africentric was in complete control with a 30 point lead by a score of 41-11.
To begin the third, Africentric expanded their lead to 40 points thanks to a 10-0 run. During that span, senior Anyiah Murphy connected from three and made a layup. Miller drained her fourth three of the game followed by a three from Bays to stop the bleeding momentarily. The Nubians finished the third on a 6-0 run to increase their lead back to 40 points and head into the final quarter with a 57-17 lead.
Africentric spread the offensive wealth in the fourth, seeing six different Nubians score. They continued their dominance, outscoring the Cougars 19-2 over the last eight minutes of the game. Beechcroft’s only basket of the quarter came from the hand of junior Semaja Skaggs.
The Nubians featured a balanced scoring attack with four players reaching double figures. Johnson and Murphy led the charge with 16 each followed by Smith with 12 and senior Lyric Ransom with 10. Miller paced the Cougars with 12 points on four three pointers.
Africentric has won every City League championship since the 2014-15 season and has yet to really be challenged in the league. The Nubians will look to make another deep run in the Division III state tournament where they'll have a strong chance to defend the state championship they won in 2019.