COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The high school basketball season is in full swing as we enter the mid point of the year. Friday’s slate features more than four dozen games across the area. Let’s take a look at some of Friday’s top matchups.
#3 Upper Arlington (10-0) at #9 Dublin Coffman (5-2): Upper Arlington takes its undefeated show on the road to Dublin Coffman in a matchup of top teams in the OCC-Central. This Central division is so loaded that every league game can be considered a big game. The Golden Bears will be greatly tested against a Coffman team led by one of the area’s elite players in Ajay Sheldon.
#8 (D2) DeSales (3-3) at St. Charles (5-5): Every game in the Central Catholic League is a war and tonight’s rivalry matchup will be no different. DeSales has played just one league game thus far and will look to remain unbeaten against a Cardinals team that enters at 2-1 in the division. It will be interesting to see if DeSales’ size up front can handle St. Charles junior center Chase Walker - the biggest matchup problem in the CCL.
#1 (D3) Bishop Ready (6-1) at #9 (D2) Bishop Watterson (3-4): Much like DeSales, Ready has played just a single CCL game, knocking off St. Charles more than a month ago. The Silver Knights are looking to return from a long layaway with a big win on the road. Watterson needs a win desperately, as the Eagles are 1-1 in the division and can stay in the hunt for a league title with a victory.
Canal Winchester (3-5) at #2 Westerville South (8-0): Unbeaten Westerville South hosts Canal Winchester in a game that felt a lot more intriguing a month ago than it does today. The Indians have really struggled out of the gate this year, however, they have enough scoring in the backcourt between Doogie James and Cortez Freeman to make things interesting. Westerville South will have a major size advantage in their quest to remain undefeated.
Olentangy Liberty (3-6) at #7 Hilliard Davidson (7-2): The OCC-Central is unequivocally the best top-to-bottom division in Central Ohio. This matchup is an indication of that with a 3-6 team having a chance to beat a first place team on the road. Liberty enters with a 1-2 record in the division and will need to win badly to stay in the hunt for a league title. Davidson is off to a strong start at 7-2 and is unbeaten in the league, with its only losses coming to No. 2 Westerville South and No. 5 Pickerington North.
New Albany (6-2) at #5 Pickerington North (6-1): An important OCC-Ohio battle tips off tonight at Pickerington North as the Panthers host New Albany. Both of these teams are looking to stay in contention with Gahanna for the league title, with the Panthers tied with the Lions at 3-0 in league play. A win over New Albany is critical to stay in the hunt for a league title, as North has traditionally matched up really well against Gahanna in recent years.
#6 (D3) Centerburg (9-1) at #7 (D3) Columbus Academy (6-2): A rare non-conference top 10 matchups tips off in Division III tonight at Columbus Academy. The Vikings will look to hold home court against a Centerburg team that is not unfamiliar with the MSL-Ohio. The Trojans knocked off Worthington Christian and Bexley earlier in the year, while having their only loss coming to Grandview Heights.
#7 (D2) Jonathan Alder (6-2) at Shawnee (7-2): First place in the CBC-Kenton Trail is on the line tonight when Jonathan Alder travels out to Springfield to take on Shawnee. Both teams enter at 3-0 in the league, as sole possession of the division will go to the winner. Shawnee has played a tough schedule with its two losses coming by a combined eight points to Newark and defending Division IV state champion Botkins. Alder is allowing only 28.6 points per game this year, half of what Shawnee has averaged on the offensive end.
Whitehall (3-5) at #1 (D4) Grandview Heights (8-1): An important MSL-Ohio tilt tips off at Grandview Heights in a rare matchup between Division I and Division IV league opponents. Grandview is by far the top team in Division IV this year and will look to pick up a huge win for their strength of record. At 2-1 in the league, the Bobcats host a Rams team that enters at 1-2 and is desperate for a win.
#4 (D4) Grove City Christian (5-3) at #9 (D4) Berne Union (6-5): One of two top 10 matchups in Division IV, Grove City Christian hits the road to head to Sugar Grove to take on Berne Union. The Rockets are on fire, winners of their last five games. Berne Union can climb up the rankings with a win over a Grove City Christian team that has struggled in ranked matchups this season.
#10 (D4) Northside Christian (3-4) at #6 (D4) Tree of Life (6-3): We have a northside tussle in the MOCAL between two teams looking to contend for the league title. Tree of Life sits a half game behind Madison Christian in the league and will look to defend home court against a young, but contending Northside Christian squad. The Lions are 1-2 in the league and will need to show up on the road tonight to stay in contention against an experienced Tree of Life squad,