HEATH, Ohio -- Tuesday night’s LCL-Cardinal matchup was important game on the calendar for both programs. Heath (8-2) hosted Utica (8-2) in what ended up in a big 71-46 at home.
The Bulldogs’ scoring was led by senior forward Brandon McLaughlin, who had a game high of 24 points. Utica started the game hot with a 7-2 lead early into the game, but the Bulldogs ended the half with 36-25 lead. They maintained this lead and expanded on it during the entire second half. Alongside McLaughlin, senior Reece Huber added 15 points, Keylan Williams had 14, and Josh Guy finished with 11 points.
Utica’s scoring was led by senior guard Seth Cooper, who was hot from beyond the arc, knocking down 4 threes and finishing with 18 points. Trenton Collins followed right behind with 11 points.
With Tuesday night’s win, Heath remains undefeated in league play and will look to remain unbeaten on Friday as they are on the road at Lakewood.
Utica will look to bounce back and gain their first league win at Johnstown this Friday.
Keylan Williams (6'5 stretch forward / Heath / 2022): Keylan Williams was the star of the night. He had one of the best all-around performances we’ve covered in the LCL this season. Williams ended the ball game with a triple double of 14 points, 15 rebounds, and 12 assists. He also impacted the game defensively as he finished with four blocks. Williams displayed a veteran style of play which consisted of high IQ, good ballhandling, and great offensive decision making. Williams has been an impact player for the Bulldogs over the past few years and he makes a great duo alongside McLaughlin this season. If Heath can get performances like this out of Williams in big games down the stretch, the Bulldogs will be a force in the region in Division II.
Brandon McLaughlin (6'8 hybrid big / Heath / 2022): McLaughlin was a matchup nightmare all night long as there was no real answer for him. He took full advantage of his size as he did most of his damage in the paint offensively. Alongside his 24-point performance, he also grabbed 15 rebounds with many coming from the offensive glass. McLaughlin is one of the area’s best players and will continue to have to big role as the Bulldogs look to make a deep postseason run. The Malone University commit is having a solid senior campaign to finish a stellar career at Heath.
Seth Cooper (6'2 SG / Utica / 2022): Cooper is a sleeper prospect in Central Ohio basketball. Last night, Cooper kept Utica in the ball game early on with his shooting from beyond the arc. He displayed great shooting mechanics which includes a great form, range, and a quick release on his shot. The senior is also having a great season as he is averaging 14.7 points and it does not look like he will slow down at all. Local D3 and NAIA colleges should look no further as he is one of the best traditional catch and shoot guards this season.