WESTERVILLE, Ohio -- Central Ohio hoops is back! The boys’ basketball season tipped off on this afternoon as Westerville South hosted a matchup against Northland. We covered the opening game of the 2021-22 season after a very unpredictable COVID season last year for both teams.
Prior to the start of the game, the tragic news was shared about the passing of Wayne Carter, who is the father of Westerville South standout, Drey Carter. Despite the tragedy, the Wright State commit still had an impressive performance where he displayed a high level of skill in scoring the basketball at all three levels. He led all players with a game high of 18 points and did so in a fashion that his father would be proud of. Please keep your thoughts and prayers with the Carter family.
For the first time since 2011, Northland was starting the season off with a new head coach. Tihon Johnson made his debut after having a long historic and impressive resume within Central Ohio basketball. Johnson also brings pro-level expertise to the program as a former professional overseas player.
From tip-off, Westerville South held a double figure lead despite defensive pressures from Northland during the second half. Backed by the efforts of a 10-man rotation, they ended up the game with a dominant 74-53 win.
Northland was led by senior Marcus Parker who finished with 16 points in the loss.
Westerville South will take on Dublin Coffman next Tuesday, while Northland will face Canton McKinley on Saturday in the All-Ohio Shootout at Pickerington Central.
Let's take a look at the top prospects from the game.
Drey Carter (6’8 WF / Westerville South / 2022); The senior had a dominant performance in the win. Carter started the game off with a ton of easy baskets from all over the floor. He showed a complete game in being able to bang with guys inside as well as handling the ball efficiently out on the wing. His shot creation and playmaking were also evident throughout the game. Carter’s performance today proved his ability to play at the next level, as the senior will be a top player in the OCC as he leads the Wildcats this season.
Rob Dorsey (5'11 G / Northland / 2022): Dorsey was probably the most experienced player on Northland’s roster after three previous years of playing major varsity minutes. Most of the scoring and playmaking was either made for or through Dorsey the entire game. In the end, he finished with 14 points. As a leader on an undersized Northland team, he also played tough defense and even took on the challenge of guarding Carter throughout the game. With the help of other key contributors like Parker and Bridges, Dorsey should have a great senior campaign.
Reign Winston (6'4 F / Westerville South / 2022): Reign Winston is a player to watch. He was one of the most impactful players today in the win. He brought a lot of versatility on both ends of the floor and he scored the ball in many ways. His defensive pressure forced a lot of turnovers and created many scoring opportunities in transition. His long and lengthy frame was difficult to guard on the wing, as he plays very well alongside Carter. Winston will look to be a second option on offense behind Carter and give Westerville South an intriguing 1-2 punch.
Davion Bridges (5'9 PG / Northland / 2023): The senior guard was very impressive to watch. He started to heat up during the second half starting with a series of baskets in the third quarter. He provided the energy necessary to keep Northland within a 10-point deficit for some time. Bridges was also tough to guard off the dribble and that led him to finish the game with 13 points. The veteran leadership of Bridges, Dorsey and Parker will be impactful for the program as this backcourt duo competes in the City League North.
Other Notable Performers:
Jadi Cunningham (5’11 PG / Westerville South / 2023), Marcus Parker (5’10 G /Northland / 2022), Isaiah Johnson (6’5 F / Westerville South / 2022), Darvon Jeter Jr. (6’2 G /Northland /2022), Kruz McClure (6’0 G/ Westerville South / 2025), DeAngelo Mitchell (6’3 F /Northland / 2022), Jujuan Ray (6’5 F/ Westerville South/ 2023)
Marquette head coach Shaka Smart is in the house to see his 2022 recruit Sean Jones of Gahanna.