With a full slate of games in the Licking County League on Tuesday, let's take a look at the top action from the conference.
Johnstown 47, Lakewood 33 - The Lancers kept it close on the road against the Johnnies for a large part of the game, but Johnstown was able to pull it out on the back of a game-high 14 points by senior leader and West Liberty commit Owen Hazelbaker. Sophomore point guard Gavin Foe added 10 points. Lakewood falls to 5-11 on the season, while Johnstown climbs to 13-2 and officially clinches the LCL- Cardinal division. The Johnnies came in at No. 4 in our last Division III power rankings but can make a big splash with a win Saturday when they travel to No. 1 (D2) Columbus South.
Watkins Memorial 56, Utica 31 - Watkins led throughout in a game that featured three double-digits scorers for the visiting Warriors. They were led by junior Reece McNeely with 14, followed by backcourt mate Bryce Small with 13, and high-flying junior post Marcus Peaks chipped in 10 points. No Utica player scored more than six points. Utica falls to 2-16 and remains winless in LCL play, while Watkins climbs to 7-12, and after a rough start to the season, has won five out of their last six games.
Northridge 51, Licking Valley 48 - Licking Valley’s hopes of winning the LCL-Buckeye title were essentially shattered as they fall to the Vikings in a close one. The Panthers led by eight at halftime but Northridge came out firing in the second half, outscoring Licking Valley 16-5 in the third to gain he lead. They were able to maintain that slight edge throughout the fourth and pulled out the huge home win on the back of juniors Travis Neumeyer and Zion Carpenter, who both had 11 points. Licking Valley falls to 9-6, whole the Vikings climb to 7-9 on the year.
Granville 53, Heath 46 (OT) - The Blue Aces survive a scare on the road with a crazy overtime win over Heath. Up 16 in the fourth quarter, Granville saw their lead crumble right before their eyes after a three-point barrage by Heath which led to them being down three points with the ball as regulation was winding down. After a desperation three-point attempt that rimmed out, Heath freshman Brandon McLaughlin gathered the rebound and was fouled with 1.8 seconds left for an and-one. He converted the ensuing free-throw and sent the game to OT. The Bulldogs led at on point in the extra period, their first lead of the game, but the Aces were able to regain control pull out the win, remaining undefeated in league play.
Heath was led by the freshman McLaughlin with 13 points but fall to 7-11 in the nail-biter. Granville was led by junior Jake Stone, who put together his second consecutive 20-point total with a game-high 24 after dropping 22 just last week against Watkins. Stone and the Aces came in at No. 6 in our latest Division II poll and have clinched at least a share of the LCL-Buckeye division with Licking Valley’s loss on Tuesday to Northridge with three league games left.