NEW ALBANY, Ohio -- It was ultimately the balanced attack of the Licking Heights Hornets that led them to a road win against the New Albany Eagles on Wednesday, 60-49.
New Albany guard Jayden Lewis was able to keep the Eagles in the game for the first three quarters as they headed into the final frame tied at 35 with Licking Heights.
The x-factor of the game was Licking Heights combo guard Markeece Brown, who returned early in the fourth quarter after struggling with foul trouble all game long. The 6-foot-2 junior wing hit two big threes to help the Hornets pull away from the Eagles in the final quarter of play.
Head coach Sam Davis will have his work cut out for him this year as he will attempt to lead a New Albany team full of fresh faces to a successful season.
Licking Heights is a program that has plenty of young individual talent, the challenge for them this year will be to get that young talent to play at a high level. If head coach Matt Faska can continues to develop his team, Licking Heights could very well be a force in the Licking County League.
Tyrese Hughey (6’7 PF / Licking Heights/ 2021): Hughey has some of the highest upside of anyone in the 2021 class. The 6-foot-7 sophomore isn’t your typical post player, as he can do a lot more for his team than just control the paint and score down low. Hughey had his fair share of highlight plays on Wednesday night which included an opening tip alley oop slam, and a third quarter block that gave the team an extra competitive edge throughout the rest of the game. Hughey finished the game as Licking Heights' leading scorer with 15 points. The biggest change in Hughey's game over the last year is his improved motor, which has allowed him to be more productive on both ends of the floor and show off some of the impressive physical tools that he has. As Hughey continues to develop, he should begin to receive some serious interest from Division I programs in the region, as Ohio State and Dayton have already brought him in for unofficial visits.
Markeece Brown (6’2 CG / Licking Heights / 2020): Brown is a freakishly athletic wing guard that is hard to stop when he finds his rhythm. The combo guard is a confident scorer who excels on the offensive end. Despite struggling with foul trouble for the entire game, Brown was still able to play a major role in the Hornets win on Wednesday night. The junior shot at an extremely high level from behind the arc, nailing four three pointers over the course of the game. After spending his sophomore season at Bloom-Carroll, Brown and Licking Heights are happy to be reunited, as the junior guard gives the Hornets an edge on the perimeter that they were sorely missing a season ago. If Brown can continue to shoot at the level he did on Wednesday, in addition to his above the rim exploits, look for the 6-foot-2 guard to develop into one of the better perimeter players in the area.
Jayden Lewis (6’1 CG / New Albany / 2020): Lewis was impressive in our first viewing of him, as the combo guard showed an ability to score in the lane and draw fouls in Wednesday’s loss to the Hornets. Lewis was New Albany’s biggest offensive threat in the game, as the junior chalked up 24 points on the night. On a young team with a need for consistent scoring, Lewis will be greatly relied upon to score in bunches for the Eagles team this winter, much like he did on Wednesday. Look for Lewis to be one of the top scorers in the OCC-Capital this season, as he has already established himself as one of the best guards in the division.