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Stars of the Night: Friday's Top Boys Scorers

By Jake Spegal, 01/08/22, 11:15AM EST


Taking a look at some of the top scorers around Central Ohio on Friday night

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Sometimes the heroics of one player can outshine an excellent team effort and that was exactly the case on Friday night as Dublin Coffman senior Ajay Sheldon exploded for 38 points to lead the Shamrocks to a rivalry win over previously unbeaten Upper Arlington.

While Sheldon was dominant for all four quarters, Dublin Coffman never controlled the game until the final few minutes.

It looked like Upper Arlington was going to run away with the game as they took some long possessions with the lead midway through the fourth, but Sheldon refused to lose.

Helping Dublin Coffman end the game on a 22-7 run, Sheldon scored 12 of the Rocks 22 in this run, doing whatever he wanted against the Upper Arlington defense and willing his team to a huge victory.

The senior guard is one of the most talented scorers in the entire state as he showed off his entire arsenal on Friday night.

Sheldon plays with an elite pace and seemingly never gets sped up as he keeps defenders off balance and gets to the rim with ease. He carved up Upper Arlington's defense all night on Friday, getting inside for a handful of easy scores while also hitting a few very, very tough three-pointers off the dribble.

With Upper Arlington entering the game extremely hot as of late and undefeated, everyone in the gym knew that Sheldon would have to turn in a monster performance if Dublin Coffman wanted a chance to win it.

Doing exactly that, the senior guard turned in a performance for the history books as he will forever be remembered in this rivalry similar to guys like former Upper Arlington guard Dane Goodwin.

While Friday night was their biggest win so far this season, Dublin Coffman turns around and faces another tough test tonight as they will travel to Africentric and take on the Nubians in the nightcap of The Challenge.

We would not be shocked if Sheldon exploded for another dominant performance tonight as not many guys in the area can fill up the scoring column like he can.

Outside of Sheldon's legendary performance on Friday, a few other local players put up big numbers, so let's take a look at them below.

Dior Conners (6'2 HG / Pickerington North / 2022): In a big league game last night against New Albany, Conners came up huge for Pickerington North, going off for a career-high 34 points in the win. Getting things going early on in the contest, Conners scored seven first quarter points and kept things going all night, scoring 17 of his points in the first half and 17 in the second half. The senior guard was very hot from deep in the contest, knocking down four triples and converting on 10 two-point field goals. Conners is a very talented hybrid guard who can create for himself and others. After dealing with injuries for most of his high school career, the senior is really enjoying a great year this winter and should be on the radar of programs in the region needing a versatile guard.

Grant Burkholder (5'9 PG / Newark / 2023): Also tallying a career-high last night, Burkholder scored 28 points to lead Newark to another league win over Groveport Madison. While some people may have had their doubts about Newark this season, Burkholder is following in the footsteps of former Wildcat guard Kade Bafford and currently has his squad sitting at 9-2 with just one loss in league play and a huge win over Pickerington Central. Burkholder may not be the biggest guard, but he has a great understanding of the game and knows how to create offense for himself and others. The junior never seems to force things, consistently playing at a great pace, taking care of the ball and creating easy looks for his offense. Turning in one of the most efficient performances we have seen all season last night, Burkholder shot 12-for-15 from the field, 3-for-4 from three, dropped four assists and only turned the ball over once.

Isaiah Johnson (6'4 SF / Westerville South / 2022): Yet another player who tallied a career-high last night, Johnson poured in 27 points to help Westerville South remain the only unbeaten team in the area as they took down Canal Winchester at home. Johnson is an intriguing prospect who grew a few inches over the last year and is enjoying a solid senior season for Westerville South. Johnson took advantage of his size in the contest against Canal Winchester, converting on 10 two-point field goals while also knocking down a pair of triples. While Westerville South has a star player in Drey Carter, they have a very well-rounded team and if they keep getting performances like this from guys like Johnson, they are bound to remain unbeaten moving forward.

Cortez Freeman (6'2 SG / Canal Winchester / 2024): While Canal Winchester suffered another loss last night at the hands of Westerville South, Freeman turned in yet another impressive showing, scoring 24 points in the loss. Despite going scoreless in the second quarter, Freeman was consistent for the rest of the night. He was extremely consistent in getting to the rim in the contest, converting on 11 two-point field goals and also going 3-for-3 from the free throw line. Despite Canal Winchester struggling a bit this season, Freeman has enjoyed a really nice sophomore campaign and is a major bright spot for the Indians to build on moving forward. He is one of the most pure bred scorers in the class of 2024 and seems to fill it up almost every time out.

Other Notable Scorers

Quinn Corna

  • Chase Oullette (6'7 SF / Wellington / 2022): 24 points in a 79-57 loss to Worthington Christian
  • Derrick James (5'10 PG / Canal Winchester / 2022): 23 points in a 74-59 loss to Westerville South
  • Quinn Corna (6'2 HG / Upper Arlington / 2022): 23 points in a 57-52 loss to Dublin Coffman
  • Sam Johnson (6'6 dual forward / Worthington Christian / 2024): 22 points in a 79-57 win over Wellington
  • Evan Dozer (6'0 HG / Bloom-Carroll / 2022): 22 points in a 50-25 win over Logan Elm

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