WESTERVILLE, Ohio -- Tuesday's non-league OCC clash was one of those games were the it was not as close as the score would indicate. Westerville South (2-0) jumped all over Dublin Coffman (0-1) early, going on a 14-0 run to begin the game, eventually rolling to a 66-61 win.
The Rocks were able to trim the deficit to as close as three points thanks to the three ball, however, Coffman would not get any closer all game, as the 'Cats led from start to finish. Westerville South used its size advantage to control the offensive glass and make it difficult for the Rocks to find offense on the interior.
Westerville South had a bevy of balanced scoring with four of its five starters finishing in double figures. Dublin Coffman on the other hand, was primarily a two-man show with Ajay Sheldon and Aiden Schmidt combining for the bulk of scoring.
The 'Cats size advantage on the interior was led by seniors Drey Carter and Andy Badu. Both seniors were able to create matchup issues and finish through smaller defenders. Westerville South's most impressive guard this season has been junior Jadi Cunningham Jr., who has quickly emerged as one of the better lead guards in his class. Aside from Carter's 19 points, Cunningham was right behind hm with 18.
Sheldon led all scorers with 23 points, giving Coffman a major boost with his scoring off the bounce. Despite the slow start, the Rocks fought back valiantly, thanks in major part to the play of Schmidt, who added 19 points.
Westerville South will look to keep winning when they open up OCC-Capital play on Friday against Dublin Scioto. The Rocks will look to get back to their winning ways on Friday when they open up OCC-Central action against Olentangy Liberty.
Let's take a look at the best uncommitted prospects in the game. Carter is signed to Wright State, while Sheldon is signed to Ohio.
Jadi Cunningham Jr. (5'11 PG / Westerville South / 2023): We love to see growth spurts, especially when they happen to great players with great skill. That's the case for Cunningham Jr., who has grown nearly a foot since he began his career. The junior guard is emerging as one of the best lead guards in the area, as he has cat-like quickness, is a very solid ball handler, can create offense for others, does not make mistakes and is a talented scorer who can fill it up from multiple levels. We love watching him play the game, as he gives great effort on both ends of the floor and is a guard that other players enjoy playing with.
Andy Badu (6'5 PF / Westerville South / 2022): Iconic neo-soul artist Erykah Badu has an iconic song named "Otherside of the Game." Westerville South's Andy Badu exhibits the 'other side' of the game with his relentless effort in all areas of basketball outside of scoring. This is a player that makes a complete impact and was one of the most important players on the floor in Tuesday's win for Westerville South. The senior did a great job securing offensive rebounds, finishing as the roll man out of the pick and roll and defending the rim. Badu has a lengthy wingspan, is constantly active and is a talented enough finisher to give Westerville South an added layer of intrigue on the offensive end of the floor. Badu is a player that Division III programs should target.
Aiden Schmidt (6'3 SG / Dublin Coffman / 2023): Schmidt is a player that is a dynamite plug and play type fo guy. You can put him on any team and he can be impactful with the way he shoots the ball, moves without the ball and plays team defense. There's not a part of Schmidt's game where he has a true weakness, as he can do a little bit of everything. On Tuesday, he was on fire from the perimeter, shooting the lights out from three to help Dublin Coffman creep back into the game. With the attention that Sheldon commands as a ball handler, Schmidt will get plenty of catch and shoot opportunities, as we think he will have a chance to put up several big scoring nights this season.
Reign Winston (6'5 SF / Westerville South / 2022): Winston is a sleeper prospect in the 2022 class that seems to get better with each new viewing. On Tuesday, he did his best job on the defensive perimeter, containing Sheldon and showing an ability to move laterally that is not easy to come by with wings of his size. Winston is a capable shooter, is very good at finishing in transition and has enough length and foot speed to really bother smaller guards on the defensive perimeter. The senior would be a solid prospect for small colleges to covet, as his best basketball is still ahead of him.