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Upper Arlington 56, Hilliard Darby 39 - Prospect Scouting Report

By Zach Fleer, 01/04/22, 7:30PM EST


Upper Arlington remained unbeaten on Tuesday at Hilliard Darby

HILLIARD, Ohio -- It's really starting to feel like 2014. The Upper Arlington Golden Bears are on top of local basketball and remained unbeaten on Tuesday when they traveled to Hilliard Darby for a non-league OCC matchup.

The Golden Bears (10-0) used their swift ball movement and excellent cutting and screening to roll past Hilliard Darby (4-5), 56-39.

The beginning of the game was tightly contested with each team exchanging blows. Upper Arlington held a 13-11 lead after a quarter of play and extended its lead with a 7-0 run to begin the second period.

Darby inched back, however both teams were held scoreless in the final 2:30 of the quarter, with Upper Arlington taking a 23-17 lead into halftime. 

Upper Arlington continued to dominate the middle quarters, as the Golden Bears outscored Hilliard Darby 17-8 in the third quarter. The hot shooting of senior Nick Heath and strong finishing of Drew Graves were too much for Darby to handle, as Upper Arlington took a 40-25 lead into the final frame.

The fourth quarter was much of the same, as Upper Arlington imposed its will and led by as many as 20 points. Darby cut the deficit to 17 on the final possession, falling 56-39.

The Golden Bears were led in scoring by Quinn Corna, Nick Heath and Drew Graves who combined for 40 points. The senior trio has been outstanding at putting the ball in the bucket and that was the case once again on Tuesday. 

The backcourt of seniors Geoffrey Schoeny and Owen Gawel was terrific once again, combining for 12 points and nine assists to pace the Golden Bears.

Upper Arlington has remained flawless this season, as the Golden Bears have been the most consistent team in the area. The chemistry and cohesiveness of the senior class is very apparent, as this Golden Bears team is the best in the area at moving without the ball and running fluid offense.

Rarely does Upper Arlington take bad shots, as the Golden Bears are patient and smart enough to move the ball, cut and screen until the best shot comes. That has allowed them to put away talented teams, along with tough team defense that helps Upper Arlington eliminate second chance opportunities and easy looks.

Much like their state runner up team in 2014, this Upper Arlington team does not have a true post presence and is not elite athletically, however, the chemistry and togetherness of this unit allows them to play above their potential. It's been a magical year for Upper Arlington sports with the Golden Bears football squad winning the region in thrilling fashion of Pickerington Central.

The basketball team is hoping to have similar fortunes in what is setting up to be a highly entertaining district tournament.

Upper Arlington will look to remain unbeaten and improve to 11-0 when they travel to rival Dublin Coffman on Friday.

For Hilliard Darby, junior Cam Gilkerson led all scorers with 14 points, providing the bulk of offense for the Panthers. Darby did not have another scorer in double figures, as senior Gio Roberts was the team's second leading scorer with seven points. 

Hilliard Darby will look to bounce back on Friday at Thomas Worthington. 

Quinn Corna (6'3 SG / Upper Arlington / 2022): Corna is the grizzly old veteran on this team, playing meaningful minutes at the varsity level for most of his career. The 6-foot-3 senior has been a scoring machine this year, pacing the Golden Bears with his microwave perimeter and smooth finishing at the rim. The senior is a guy you can rely on to make a tough shot when you need one, as he can score it on all three levels and has played with great cohesion with his classmates. We would recommend Corna at the Division II level, as he has what it takes to contribute at a scholarship program. 

Nick Heath  (6'3 SG / Upper Arlington / 2022): Heath has been an inspiring story, as he played all of last season while unknowingly having anemia. Now with his health in check, he is in the best shape of his life and is reaping the benefits. The 6-foot-3 senior is an athletic scoring wing who tools similar to Corna. Heath can really elevate and finish and is a streaky outside shooter that can burn a defense when he catches rhythm. Heath and Corna are a dynamic duo that Upper Arlington has relied on heavily the last two seasons, as these guys will have to both step it up in some of the tougher games that await them later in the season.

Drew Graves (6'5 SF / Upper Arlington / 2022): Graves is a flat out bucket. We have loved watching the senior compete since last season, as he is consistently productive and extremely reliable. We were impressed once again on Tuesday, as he was a relentless finisher around the basket, helping Upper Arlington establish a presence on the interior with his patience and smarts around the rim. Graves has great length which allows him to finish so consistently, however, his greatest value might be on the defensive end where he is a versatile weapon that can shut down guards, wings and some bigs. With a third scorer with the consistency that Graves has, Upper Arlington is a dangerous threat in Central Ohio that should not be overlooked by anyone.

Owen Gawel (5'11 PG / Upper Arlington / 2022): The senior Gawel has overcome injuries and adversity and is playing the best basketball of his career. The 5-foot-11 senior is an extremely crafty point guard that gives this team a huge boost in every single area. He was at the peak of his game on Tuesday, dishing out a game-high six assists and grabbing a game-high three steals. Gawel handles pressure well, has excellent vision and is a very good cutter away from the ball. The senior is another pesky defender that gives Upper Arlington a weapon on the perimeter, as he can pressure the ball very well without fouling. Division III programs looking for a quality guard should take a look at Gawel and his backcourt mate Geoffrey Schoeny.

Geoffrey Schoeny (6'1 PG / Upper Arlington / 2022): We absolutely love the backcourt that Upper Arlington has, as the Golden Bears have two unselfish winners in Schoeny and Gawel. Schoeny is a very talented ball handler and play creator. We love watching him operate on the offensive end, as he can break down defenders off the bounce and is a high level passer with a great feel for the game. Any scoring that Schoeny gives the Golden Bears is just a bonus on top of his outstanding playmaking ability. With great positional size and a swagger that rubs off on his teammates, Schoeny is the type of confident guard that could help this team get over the top in Central Ohio this year. It's been a long five years since Upper Arlington's last district title, as the Golden Bears are looking to reverse their fortunes behind a 2022 class that has done nothing but win since they entered high school. 

Cam Gilkerson (6'4 SF / Hilliard Darby / 2023): Gilkerson was the only source of consistent offense for the Panthers, finishing with 14 points and showing the ability to score it from the inside and out. With a wide, strong frame, Gilkerson is a matchup problem for most high school defenders, as he is too big for guards and too skilled for bigs. We like how he scores it offensively, as he can back you down and hit a turn around jumper, while possessing catch and shoot ability from three and the ability to score off the bounce. If he weren't a Wright State baseball commit ranked among the top 20 players in Ohio, Gilkerson would be a quality small college basketball recruit. 

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