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Battle in the 614: Day 3 Recap

By Greg Glasser, 01/16/23, 9:30PM EST


Walnut Ridge, Hilliard Davidson get big wins at Ohio Dominican

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The second annual Battle in the 614 presented by Elevated Sports Events had a full six-game schedule at Ohio Dominican on Monday. We were on site to scout and break down two of those; Walnut Ridge versus Licking Heights followed by Reynoldsburg versus Hilliard Davidson.

Below we recap those two contests that featured thrilling ends, along with scores from the other four.

Walnut Ridge 52, Licking Heights 47

After a tied score of 21 at the half, Walnut Ridge would go on an 18-0 run between the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarter, only to nearly give it all away at the end.

The Scots held a nine-point lead with 1:15 left, but the Hornets applied maximum defensive pressure and forced back-to-back-to-back turnovers, as the Scots had challenges getting across half court.

Down two points and under 20 seconds, Licking Heights junior Alieu Ceesay forced his third steal and was fouled with an opportunity to tie the game with two free throws. He would go one-of-two, which would be the final point for the Hornets.

Walnut Ridge junior guard Dom Aekins calmly clinched the victory at the foul line, going a perfect four-of-four on his attempts to give the Scots a necessary non-conference win.

The game-winning free throws marked the end of an MVP-like day for Aekins, who received his first Division I offer, from Youngstown State, last week. The 5'9 speedy guard finished with 16 points, along with six assists and three steals.

Aekins was joined in support by seniors Zanis Tucker and Xhavier Hunter, who had 10 a piece. Hunter was particularly a difference maker in the post, especially as a defensive interior threat as he notched five blocks.  

Ceesay was the top performer for the Hornets and led with 14 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Seven other players would score for Heights, but none more than six points.

For a team that's had more shares of downs than ups, the win over Heights may have been Walnut Ridge's (6-8) best victory of the season, so far. They'll have a quick turnaround and hope to pick up another victory against Independence on Tuesday.

Licking Heights (6-9) has now dropped three straight, but can get back on track when they host Newark Catholic on Tuesday.

Hilliard Davidson 61, Reynoldsburg 60

Leads were apparently not safe on Monday, as Hilliard Davidson nearly lost a double-digit advantage of their own. The Wildcats went into the fourth quarter with a 15-point difference, only for Reynoldsburg to have the score tied at 55 with just over a minute left.

Raiders sophomore Jordan Fisher was fouled behind the arc by Davidson senior Peyton Frey, his fifth of the game, and sank all three of his attempts. On the ensuing Davidson inbound pass, Reynoldsburg freshman Jorden Bowens poked away the ball, which then found its way into Fisher's hands who hit an easy lay-in to even the score.

Even with Frey, Davidson's lead scorer and top player, fouled out on the bench, the Wildcats remained composed, took care of the ball and most importantly, finished at the charity line. Davidson would get eight free throw attempts under 43 seconds and made all eight. Senior guard Cole Carter connected on the final two, as he went a perfect eight-of-eight at the line, which included seven in the fourth. The Wildcats scored ten of their 13 fourth quarter points on free throws.

Reynoldsburg's Noah Smith would hit a corner three to cut the deficit to one, only for the regulation to immediately expire.

Davidson played an excellent brand of two-way team ball, but were ultimately led by Carter and Frey, who finished with 17 points each. Sophomore Drew Remlinger connected on a trio of triples to finish with nine points while junior Ben Oakley was a defensive standout with three steals along with seven points.

After a difficult 1-6 start to the season, Hilliard Davidson (6-7) has now won five of their last six. They'll look to avenge their earlier loss to Olentangy Orange when they host the Pioneers on Friday.

Meanwhile, after Reynoldsburg (6-7) beat previously undefeated Pickerington North, the Raiders have now dropped three of their last four. They have an opportunity to change their ways when they host Groveport Madison on Friday.

Other Scores From Day 3 at Battle in the 614:

Warren 46, Zane Trace 30

Warrior junior Trent Taylor was game MVP with 14 points.

Johnstown 47, North Union 41

Johnnies senior Cody Siegfried was game MVP with 13 points.

New Albany 45, Sylvania Northview 35

Eagles senior Will Powell was game MVP with 14 points.

Fairfield Union 40, Bishop Hartley 39

Falcons senior Ted Harrah was game MVP as he hit a game winning shot to give the Falcons the one point lead at the buzzer.

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