COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Eight tickets to the district finals were punched on Tuesday. Let's take a look at the district semifinal action in the area!
After struggling in the first three minutes and allowing Liberty Union to grab an early 11-4 lead, North Union dominated the rest of the game to advance to their second-straight district final, 68-49.
The ball never stayed in the hands of a North Union for longer than five seconds and they got the best looks every possession. Lacking perimeter defense led to a dominating performance behind the arc and also opened up the paint for junior Zach Vernon to score a game-high 13 points.
North Union advances to the district finals to take on No. 3 Johnstown on Friday at 7 p.m.
They play two halves for a reason.
After going scoreless in the first half, Johnstown senior Gavin Foe erupted for 18 points after halftime to power the Johnnies to their fourth-straight district final appearance in a 62-52 win.
The senior was the third part of a trio for the Johnnies that included fellow seniors Jake Lusk and Josh Potter, who combined for 50 points.
Foe helped spark a major run in the third quarter to help the Johnnies blow the game open after a 25-25 stalemate at halftime.
Bishop Ready was led by senior Darius Parham with 19 points. Parham had 13 in the first half and was held to a single bucket for the large majority of the second half before scoring four points late. The Silver Knights fall to Johnstown for the second-straight season in the district semifinal round.
Johnstown advances to the district finals to take on No. 4 North Union on Friday at 7 p.m in a rematch of last year's district final that the Johnnies won in front of a packed crowd at Ohio Dominican.
Worthington Christian took a one-point halftime lead only to then outscore Columbus Academy by 14 in the second half which made for a decisive 55-40 victory.
The Warriors struggled to get much offense going early on, as the Vikings zone defense efficiently limited penetration and forced the Warriors role players to convert long-distance shots.
Worthington Christian's experienced duo of senior Tyler Kindberg and junior DJ Moore were held scoreless in the first half, until Moore scored a quick seven points in the final three minutes to help push the Warriors out front before halftime.
Moore's electric finish to the half was a sign of things to come, as he and Kindberg got hot in the third with a combined 14 points in the quarter.
Through stingy defense and winning their fair share of 50/50 opportunities, Academy kept the game within reach and entered the fourth quarter down by six points.
Yet the offense completely stalled in the final frame as they scored only seven points and failed to keep up with the Warriors excellent late-game free throw shooting.
Consistent scoring was hard to come by for the Vikings, as senior Brady Hess scored 10 of his team-high 14 points in the first half, while junior Kevin Reeves scored all of his eight points in the second.
Junior Tanner Compton made a strong impact defensively with three steals to go along with his six points and two assists.
The Warriors were led by Moore, who finished with a game-high 21 points, along with five rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Tyler Kindberg added 11 points, while freshman Sam Johnson scored nine points and was a pest on the glass.
Worthington Christian advances to the district semifinals to take on No. 2 Harvest Prep on Friday at 7 p.m in a rematch of last year's district final that Harvest Prep won in the final seconds.
The Harvest Prep Warriors defeated the Fredericktown Freddies 65-34 in a near flawlessly played game. The Warriors smothering defensive pressure made things difficult on Fredericktown all night long, forcing turnovers and contesting almost every shot.
Harvest Prep came out of the gate lighting it up from behind the arc, draining eight three pointers as a team in the first half. The Warriors won this incredible first half by 36 points, sparked by senior Brian Beavers with 15 points on five triples.
Fredericktown showed signs of life in the third quarter, winning the frame 11-4. However, the deficit was too much to overcome.
Beavers led all scorers with 15 points for Harvest Prep, while sophomore Nyelle Shaheed and senior Mario Davis added 11 points each. Davis also got everyone involved as a distributor with seven assists, while getting things done on defense with several steals.
The Freddies were led by senior Lincoln Cunningham with 14 points, while senior Caleb Sheriff and sophomore Kaid Carpenter each pitched in eight points.
Harvest Prep advances to the district semifinals to take on No. 1 Worthington Christian on Friday at 7 p.m. The Warriors advance to their fifth-straight district final and seventh in the last eight seasons.
Patriot Prep Academy advances to the district finals to take on No. 4 Grandview Heights on Friday at 7 p.m.
Grandview Heights advances to the district finals to take on No. 2 Patriot Prep Academy on Friday at 7 p.m.
Berne Union advances to the district finals to take on No. 3 Newark Catholic on Friday at 7 p.m.
Newark Catholic advances to the district finals to take on No. 7 Berne Union on Friday at 7 p.m.