COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Motivation is a powerful thing and the two first place teams in each division showed that over the past week. The City League championship game could possibly be set, barring upsets and a OHSAA rule that would put a wrench into things. Outside of that, a Warrior went over 1,000 career points and a City League North team picked up its biggest win of the season.
Also, the girls City League championship game is official. The Africentric Lady Nubians will meet the Centennial Lady Stars this Saturday afternoon at the historical East High School. Centennial will look to stop the dynasty that is the Lady Nubain basketball team.
In an absolutely insane week for the City League, let’s take a look at the week that and look forward to the week ahead.
The Week That Was: Everything held steady on Tuesday night, with all the favorites capturing a victory. Northland got a win over East, Mifflin and Whetstone had a battle that ended with Mifflin coming out on top, Linden defeated Centennial and Beechcroft beat International behind 21 points from recent Ohio Dominican football commit, Rosean Burns. The senior guard has been one of the most consistent players in the City League over the past two seasons, averaging around 20 points per game both seasons.
On Friday, the biggest game of the season in the North Division took place at Linden-McKinley. The reigning North Division and City League champions Northland Vikings, could not overcome the hostile environment or the 19 points poured in from senior point guard Phil Towns and were defeated by the Panther 49-37. This puts Linden-McKinley in first place and gives them the inside track to representing the City League North in the title game. An issue may come in the amount of games played by Linden-McKinley, the Panthers are on their 23rd game so far this season with two more remaining before the championship game. Stay locked into 270 Hoops for the latest developments with this situation.
Elsewhere on Friday night, Whetstone picked up its biggest win of the year as they upset Beechcroft by a 58-56 score. It was by far the Braves’ best victory of the season, and something they can build confidence on. Mifflin and Centennial also both picked up wins Friday night as well.
The Week Ahead: With the championship almost locked in, Linden-McKinley looks to avoid any upsets this week. They travel to rival Beechcroft on Tuesday followed by getting a visit from Whetstone on Friday night. Northland has the flip side of the Panthers’ schedule, the Vikings go to Whetstone and host Beechcroft to end their week. Also this week, Whetstone junior Noah Knostman could join two City League South players as the third to score 1,000 career points, as of this article, he is 50 points away from the accomplishment.
This Past Week: Before their big showdown, both Walnut Ridge and South High School held serve on Tuesday night. Ridge defeated Marion Franklin behind a career-high, 36-point performance from Scot senior LJ Foster while South took care of Briggs at home. Africentric continued their late-season surge, winning three straight and seven-of-nine, beating West handily. Eastmoor Academy beat Independence as well, in a game where James Nowell joined Walnut Ridge point guard Dom Aekins as the second player to score 1,000 career points on the season. Nowell achieved that goal at the free throw line in the third quarter, en route to scoring 21 points on the night.
The game of the night on Friday night happened on the east side of Columbus, right off of Livingston Ave. Walnut Ridge battled hard at home, but a putback from Chris Stokes (who has been excellent for the Bulldogs) at the buzzer gave South the 53-52 win and the outright City League South title.
Also on Friday in the South Division, Independence, still fighting hard despite being winless, Eastmoor blew Briggs off the Bruins home floor and Africentric continued to roll.
The Week Ahead: South looks to complete their perfect South Division record as they take on Independence then finish up on the road at West. South will represent the division in the City League Championship game on February 17th.
Africentric, who is a sleeper team in Division 3 once the tournament rolls around, will look to increase their win streak to five games when they travel to Briggs then host Eastmoor.