PATASKALA, Ohio -- It may have been the first game of their season, but Bloom-Carroll looked already in midseason form after they had a thorough performance over host Licking Heights as they won on Wednesday, 60-49.
Led behind the spectacular play of duo Evan Dozer and Jared Rose, the seniors combined for 43 points and 21 rebounds. Dozer was the lead scorer with 27 and had the definition of a complete game when considering his stellar defensive efforts as lead role on guarding Heights' talented scorer, Dante Collier. Rose led all players on the glass with an 11 rebound performance.
The Bulldogs made a defensive statement early when they shut down the Hornets in the first quarter to just three points, a sign that offensive struggles would be a theme for the Hornets.
Points would eventually come for Heights, but generally in quick spurts, as the Hornets scored seven points in the final minute before halftime. The run cut their deficit to seven as they trailed 22-15 through two quarters.
Any momentum gained for the Hornets was quickly lost at the start of the third, as the Bulldogs scored seven straight points their own in the first two minutes out of half. The Bulldogs would then comfortably hold a double digit lead for most of the remainder of the game.
Bloom-Carroll received versatile playmaking from Dozer and Rose, who both played with a similar aggression and selflessness while they displayed high-level chemistry. The duo's physical strength and motors stood out, as the 6-foot-2 and 6-foot-3 wings often outmuscled the Hornets in every aspect.
Bulldogs coach Joe Goodyear also saw strong production along the roster. Senior Da’Shan Clark played well defensively and scored four points and had two assists. Sophomore guard Jackson Wyant was a starter and added four points and four rebounds.
Despite the offensive struggles, the Hornets did receive a notable performance from Collier. The 6-foot-4 wing guard made seven total three-pointers for a team-high 21 points. Collier, who had 30 points in Heights' debut win over Big Walnut, was initially not much of a factor as he had only six points headed into halftime. The senior then exploded in the fourth quarter as he hit five triples to keep the Hornets deficit respectable, but ultimately Heights' could not develop a threatening comeback.
The Hornets saw a passionate performance from senior Javon Waters, a 6-foot-1 point guard who played the best overall game for Heights. Waters had eight points, four assists, four steals and three rebounds and gave the best effort to match Bloom-Carroll's intensity.
Junior Jayden Griffith scored eight points, all in the second half. Meanwhile, the Hornets had four other players score four or less points.
Licking Heights drops to 1-1 and plays at nearby Reynoldsburg for another non-conference duel on Saturday.
Bloom-Carroll looks to build off their first win as they host Circleville on Saturday.
Read about each team's top performers below in the Prospect Scouting Report.
Evan Dozer (6'2 G / Bloom-Carroll / 2022) - If Wednesday night was any indication of the type of season we'll see from Dozer, then the Bulldogs may have a potential district player of the year. The senior was close to unstoppable, notching a double-double 27 points, 10 rebound performance along with three assists and two steals. The six-foot-two guard looked to have added serious strength, an asset even more emphasized when multiplied with his bulldog-like effort. Dozer is an overall good athlete and although may not be the quickest, he makes up for with aggression and efficiency. On Wednesday, he was close to automatic shooting from the midrange. The Bulldogs can be serious Division II district contenders behind a player like Dozer. At the college level, Dozer could be a major steal for a high-quality Division III program.
Jared Rose (6'3 WG / Bloom-Carroll / 2022) - Another Bulldog that was near impossible to contain, Rose had a standout double-double performance of his own with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Rose was by far the game's best rebounder, consistently utilizing his strength to make strong box-outs, crafty moves and an impressive vertical that out-jumped nearly anyone each possession. The wing also can score from various parts of the floor, as he hit a triple and multiple midrange opportunities. Rose's strength and versatility will stand out most games this season and he too should be a focus for regional collegiate programs.
Dante Collier (6'4 WG / Licking Heights / 2022) - Anytime you make seven triples in one game, that's a statement to be considered one of Central Ohio's best long-rage shooters. Collier's smooth, left-handed stroke was a thing of beauty, especially when he caught hot in the fourth quarter and hit five from beyond the arc from various depths. After now scoring 51 points in two games, Collier's ability to shoot should warrant some serious scholarship attention. Currently, the senior has an offer from West Virginia Wesleyan. Collier also showed glimpses of good vision in the half-court offense. At 6-foot-4 and a decently strong build, we could see Collier's game benefit even more with a more consistently added attack to the rim. Collier will undoubtedly be one of the more fun scorers to follow this season as he looks to lead Licking Heights in the LCL.
Javon Waters (6'1 PG / Licking Heights / 2022) - Even when Licking Heights was struggling to find offense, it was usually Waters' energy and persistence that kept the Hornets in striking distance. On multiple occasions, Heights would get a spark usually initiated by Waters on the defensive end as he pushed up court, including a 5-0 run he led before halftime. Waters was a pest of a defender as he notched four steals. Offensively, he was aggressive and helped move the ball en route to four assists along with eight points of his own. While perhaps not the strongest or most skilled of the top performers, Waters delivered an exceptional effort that gave the Hornets some fight.