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State of the City League: Week 7

By Mark Francis Jr., 01/10/22, 12:15PM EST

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A weekly look into City League basketball

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Welcome to the state of the City League, an article about the happenings in and around the area’s most passionate league! With all games canceled on Friday night, this week will only surround the games played on Tuesday and this past Saturday. There were plenty of big-time performances along with a standout junior receiving another Division I scholarship offer after his performance on Saturday night. So without further ado, here is the state of the City League for week 7! 

North Division

In what should have been the week of the season for Linden-McKinley, a week in which they were slated to play Northland and division leading Beechcroft, the Panthers only played on Tuesday when they took down Northland 57-54 (1/4) behind City League player of the year contender LA Walker and his 27 points. The senior continues to be hotter than fish grease during the 21-22 campaign, showing his versatility on the offensive end and showing his power on the defensive end. Senior LB Towns Jr. added 11 while senior Malakhi Armstead dropped 10 as the only Panthers to score in double digits. 

Northland, in the loss to Linden-McKinley, was led in scoring by senior Deangelo Mitchell who scored 20 while senior Rob Dorsey III poured in 12 for the Vikings. Northland looked to regroup on Saturday when they battled Olentangy Orange at The Challenge event hosted by Africentric, they ultimately came up short by a score of 70-58. The senior Dorsey III led the team with 28 points in a game that was closer than the final score indicated. Dorsey is an extremely underrated talent, feels like he’s been at Northland since Devon Moore but that’s because of the experience he has gained as a four-year varsity player. A big-game type of player and a pure winner, Dorsey will be a welcomed addition to any college program. 

The Beechcroft Cougars, who dropped from the No. 1 spot in the district, put up 103 points in a 103-69 win over Whetstone (1/4). The Cougars were led by three seniors; both Antwoin Reed and JJ Simmons scored 20 while Amani Lyles added 19. On Saturday, the high octane offense of Beechcroft had something wrong with their engine as they were defeated by Hilliard Bradley 63-46. The 46 points are 32 points lower than their previous low of 78 points scored. Amani Lyles scored 16 points to pace the Cougars, Antwoin Reed added in 15 while JJ Simmons was held to only seven points. 

An undefeated week for the Mifflin Punchers started off with a 51-48 win over East at home (1/4) where junior Abdiaziz Mohammed tallied 22 points in the win and sophomore LJ Foster Jr. added 17 to take down the Tigers. Then on Saturday, they traveled to Hamilton Township and held them to 31 points in the 43-31 victory. Foster Jr. scored 12 points to lead the way for the Punchers.

Centennial lost to International 50-45 (1/4) in a hard fought game on both ends as Centennial senior Marlin Byron led all scorers with 24, although he was the only Star in double figures. The 6-foot junior has been playing tremendous lately, being the reliable scorer that his team needs. International junior Sam Whitaker III dropped 16 to lead his team while junior Jujuan McLester added in 14 for the Lions. 

South Division

Division leading Africentric hosted The Challenge on Saturday evening, but first they took care of business against Marion Franklin on Tuesday in a 95-40 rout of the Red Devils. Explosive senior Dan Wagner, who recently received another football scholarship offer (this time from Ohio Dominican) led the team with 20 points while junior Dailyn Swain added 19 for the Nubians. Junior Preston Steele dropped 13 and senior Josiah Smith added 11. 

At The Challenge, the Nubians took down a $2 steak tough Dublin Coffman team who was fresh off an Ajay Sheldon performance for the Shamrock history book. Fresh off Sheldon’s 38-point masterpiece, Coffman got 31 from their senior star but his team fell short, as the Nubians won 76-71.

Wagner followed up his terrific Tuesday showing with another 20 ball and the biggest shot of the game to end the third quarter. Dailyn Swain scored 28 points to go along with 11 boards, seven assists, eight blocks and followed it up with a scholarship offer from Virginia Tech. The statement win stamps Africentric as No. 1 in Division III, and a favorite for a giant run in the state tournament. 

The second place Warriors were dominant in their 70-29 win over Briggs (1/4). Sophomore James Nowell was electric out the hand, threatening the Warrior three-point record of nine by draining seven in the win. Senior point guard Aaron Lawson added in 13 points and six assists. Senior big man Dennis Asoro only scored six points, but raked in 18 rebounds. Asoro is the best rebounder in the City League and it’s not even close.  At The Challenge, Eastmoor Academy fell to Pickerington North 83-69, a game in which the Warriors led by a point at halftime. Asoro and Nowell finished the game with 18 each while Lawson scored eight and had 11 assists. 

Walnut Ridge took care of business Tuesday with a 72-57 victory over South. The sophomore duo of Dominique Aekins and Na’Varion Adams went for 25 and 19 points respectively as the Scots flexed their muscle over the Bulldogs. Senior Mekhi Sherrell-Foster led South with 13 total points. The Scots followed that game with a hard fought loss to New Albany at The Challenge, 58-56. 

Independence also beat West (1/4) 59-46, junior guard Antony Lowery continues his underrated season, leading the Sixers with 12 points. The fearless freshman from West Kahdon Johnson had 14 points to pace the Cowboys in the loss. 

Upcoming This Week

The action kicks off Monday with a South Division match as South travels up Refugee Rd (both of them) to take on the Sixers in what should be an intriguing game. Mifflin also travels to Whetstone Monday evening, looking to continue their hot streak. 

Everything intensifies on Tuesday as Northland goes into Beechcroft looking to take down the defending champs of the City League. Also Tuesday, Africentric visits Eastmoor Academy in a game with sole position of first place in the South Division on the line. 

Friday, the Bulldogs from South High School take another east side trip, this time to Eastmoor Academy to face the Warriors. Eastmoor Academy looks to right the wrong of their only South Division loss up to this point in the season. Linden-McKinley will also go to Mifflin to take on a confident Puncher team in a game that the Panthers cannot take lightly. 

All the activity comes to a crescendo on Saturday as Africentric will participate in the Flyin To The Hoop event and take on Oakwood in Kettering. Other City League teams will be participating in the event at Ohio Dominican as South takes on Dayton Ponitz, Walnut Ridge faces Thurgood Marshall and Northland goes against Dublin Jerome. 

With critical makeup games surely on the horizon, the City League is set up to have an amazing race down the stretch of the season!

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