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End of the Road: Harvest Prep's run ends against Lutheran East

By Mark Francis, 03/18/23, 4:45PM EDT


Warriors play hard, but overmatched in 65-44 defeat

DAYTON, Ohio -- In the second Division 3 matchup of the day, the Harvest Prep Warriors battled the Falcons of Lutheran East. While the Warriors put up a big fight, especially in the opening quarter, the size, length and athleticism of Lutheran East was too much for the undersized and undermanned ball club from Central Ohio. After getting an early game scare, the Falcons got up nine at halftime and did not look back, cruising to a 65-44 victory.

“We brought back 85% of our roster,” Lutheran East head coach Sam Liggins said after his team's victory. “We made it our goal to get back to this moment, and to be successful this year, it’s gratifying.”

Warriors sophomore point guard Brandon Roddy began the game on a scoring binge, showing why he is such a high level prospect in the Central Ohio area by scoring the first 10 points for his team as his squad took an early 10-5 lead in the first quarter. The Falcons from Lutheran East stayed the course and fought their way back to a 10-10 tie after senior Cody Head drained a three.

After another tied ballgame, Harvest Prep junior London Foggie hit a three off of a Brandon Roddy assist to give the Warriors the 15-12 lead after the opening quarter.

The second quarter started with Brandon Roddy still being the best guard on the floor, getting out in transition and finishing with a lay-up to put his team up by 5. Lutheran East freshman TJ Crumble began to show why he is one of the most highly sought after freshmen not just in the state, but the country with a big showing in the second frame. He scored three straight times to give the Falcons their first lead, 18-17.

After that point, Lutheran East went on an 11-3 run to end the half, along with the final 3:35 of game action where they held Harvest Prep to 1-for-11 shooting. With the effort put forward by the Warriors, their 29-20 deficit at the end of the first half was a tough pill to swallow.

Roddy finished the first half shooting 5-of-7 from the field, but his teammates going 3-for-15 put them behind the proverbial 8-ball as the Falcons continued to find ways to score.

“He’s a good player, he’s going to get off,” Liggins said when speaking of Roddy’s early success against his team. While speaking on the slowing him down after his explosive first quarter, Liggins said “we just kept pressuring him, we say it all the time ‘can he do it for 4 quarters?’”

Out of the second half gate, Lutheran East allowed six third quarter points while scoring 19 themselves. Harvest Prep was held to 1-of-10 shooting as a team in the third quarter, with the Falcons really tightening up on the defensive side of the court. Lutheran senior Cody Head had a dunk that brought the crowd to its feet as the Falcons took a 37-24 lead in the third. The blue and white took a commanding 48-26 lead into the final frame.

As the time salted away and the reality began to set in, Harvest Prep still competed at the highest level they could. Lutheran East freshman TJ Crumble was as advertised in this game, doing a little bit of everything for the Falcons and making it known that he will be a force in this state for another three seasons.

“He’s going to be a special player, he’s a highly talented kid, he’s probably one of the best freshmen I ever had, he loves the lights, he loves the big games and that's what great players do, they show up when the lights are the brightest,” coach Liggins said of his spectacular freshman.

“I may have looked more comfortable, but to be honest I was even more nervous today,” said Crumble after telling the media about how nervous he was before the regional final game. His confidence during the game took away every nerve he had.

“Playing in this game again, I knew I didn’t want to feel the feeling that I felt last year and with this being my last year going out, I might as well go out with a bang,” senior guard Cody Head said about the feeling of being one win away. “I’m happy we made it to this state championship, now we got to win it, we not done yet.”   

For the Harvest Prep Warriors, another state final four trip ends in defeat, but they have nothing to hold their heads down about, as head coach David Dennis said after the game “I’m proud of my boys for getting here, nobody expected us to be here, a 5-seed, we played a tough schedule, underdog every game, tonight wasn’t our night.”

Sophomore sensation Brandon Roddy explained how he’ll use this experience in his game going forward, saying “push my teammates harder in practice, during the offseason, I can help myself, pushing myself to exhaustion.” This young man understands what is needed to get better and to help his team grow as well.

Roddy led his team with 17 points and three assists, senior Zyaun Hutson finished with 11 points, two rebounds and two assists. Junior Adonus Abrams added six points and five rebounds, freshman Ephraim Campbell along with Judah Haynes-Lee and London Foggie pitched in with three a piece and Alan Chiles hit a free throw to round out the scoring. Senior forward Nyelle Shaheed did not play for what was described as personal reasons.

Lutheran East was led in scoring by T.J Crumble with 23 points to go along with eight boards. Senior leader Cody Head added 13 points and four assists. Big man Jesse McCulloch scored 11 points and snagged 12 rebounds as well. Anthony Bruce pitched in seven points and Ronald Taylor had 5 for the Falcons. Lutheran East outrebounded Harvest Prep 38-13 and scored 48 points in the paint compared to 18 for Prep.

Lutheran East advances to face Ottawa-Glandorf in the state finals. Meanwhile, Harvest Prep's season ends with their eighth trip to the state semifinals.

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