PATASKALA, Ohio -- The visiting Blue Aces of Granville got off to a hot start against Licking Heights on Wednesday and never looked back, piling it on the Hornets and winning 66-44. Two bench players wound up leading the Aces, as junior Brody Ley poured in a season-high 26 points and sophomore Will Skerbetz added 16 points.
The scoring got off the ground for good once the Aces inserted Ley into the game a couple minutes into the first quarter, at which point the junior would quickly splash four smooth three-pointers, including one at the buzzer to give the Blue Aces a 15-8 lead after one.
Ley continued his scorching first half with two more triples in the second quarter and would have 18 points in less than 12 minutes of action in the half. The Hornets could not find an answer to the Blue Aces’ characteristically tough mix of defenses and couldn’t keep up with Granville’s three-point barrage, as they would find themselves trailing 27-18 at half.
The second half was even better for the Aces, as they would extend their lead past double-digits and maintain it throughout the entire third quarter. Granville would end up running Licking Heights off their home court with a team effort in the second half and won in blowout fashion, with the final score reading 66-44.
The Hornets had a tough time matching Granville’s discipline and shot-making, but did show that they have more than enough talent to keep things interesting if they play a perfect game.
Junior Markeece Brown had an unusually cold night shooting but still wound up being the Hornet’s leading scorer with 12 points to along with five rebounds. Sophomore Tyrese Hughey continued his strong campaign with another double-double, as he had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Hughey had a monster showing when I last saw him against Clark Montessori in December and, though he did not have nearly as easy a time against the Aces, the 6-foot-7 big man flashed his immense potential as a glass-cleaner and around the rim finisher.
The Hornets fall to 4-5 on the season with the loss.
Brody Ley was completely in the zone for the Aces and showed exactly why he should be regarded as one of the premier outside shooters in the area. The 6-foot-3 wing guard has about as smooth of a stroke as can be hoped for at the high school level and has the confidence to go along with it. Ley will be a dynamic offensive player for Granville down the stretch as a knockdown shooter coming off the bench.
Granville’s other contributors had great nights as well. Skerbetz’ tough 16 points and seven boards off the bench should be nothing new to fans of the Blue Aces, who have been witnessing a great season by the varsity newcomer. Junior guard Jake Stone dropped in eight points, and senior Cam Crouch stuffed the stat sheet with nine rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals. Shifty guard Dominic Varrasso had seven points and five assists on the night.
The Blue Aces pull into complete control of the Buckeye Division of the LCL and climb to 7-2.
Columbus Academy 53, Johnstown 44 - The Johnnies were handed their first loss of the season on Wednesday against Academy. The Vikings were led by senior Dalyn Decree with 15 points, followed by seniors Dorrian Moultrie and Chris Boyle, who each had 11. The Johnnies were paced in scoring by their usual leaders, senior forward Owen Hazelbaker and sophomore Jake Lusk, who had 12 points apiece. Johnstown falls to 7-1 with the loss.
Heath 52, Newark Catholic 36 - The Bulldogs ran past the Green Wave, beating them in every quarter on the back of freshman Keylan Williams, who had 21 points. Newark Catholic was led by senior Heath Jeffries with 19 points, but he didn’t have much help outside of that, having over half his team’s total. Newark Catholic falls to 2-7, while Heath climbs to 5-5.
Northridge 40, Utica 32 - While the Redskins hung around early, the Vikings were able to pull out a win in the low-scoring matchup. Senior Carter Comisford and junior Travis Neumeyer each had 11 points for Northridge in the win, while Utica was lead by Corbin Wygle with 10 points. Utica drops to 2-9, and the Vikings of Northridge are now 5-6.
Licking Valley 51, Watkins Memorial 50 - The Panthers eked out a league win over Watkins to get back on track after their loss to Granville on Saturday. Licking Valley was led in scoring by senior Caleb Thomas with 17 points, and fellow senior Chase Whisner added 13. Watkins was led by senior Ethan Stearns with 17 points. The Warriors fall to 2-10 on the year while the Panthers of Valley climb to 6-4.