COLUMBUS, Ohio -- With both Division II and Division III sectional semifinal action taking place on Monday, we had a excellent slate of games take place. Let's take a look at the matchups.
In one of the more promising Division II matchups of the night on paper, No. 8 London used lockdown second half defense and a big second quarter to storm past No. 13 Hamilton Township, winning 61-42.
Leading for the entire game, the Red Raiders dominated Hamilton Township from the opening tip. Coming out in attack mode, sophomore Trey Woodyard fueled the Red Raiders to a 12-8 lead after one behind an eight point first.
Blowing the game open in the second, London used great defense to set the tone and create easy baskets. Mixing up their looks in both man to man and a 1-3-1 trapping zone, the Red Raiders frustrated the Rangers ball handlers greatly in the quarter.
London went on a 12-0 run to end the quarter, sending them into the half ahead 30-12. Going scoreless for the final 6:02 of the half, Hamilton Township looked desperate for a scoring option as senior big Corey Hise scored all eight of their points in the first but failed to produce in the second frame.
Behind the play of Woodyard and fellow sophomore Jainaz Cameron, London was in cruise control for the second half, never letting their lead be cut to any less than 13 points. The two combined for 41 points and impressed once again in another great showing.
Going off for 26 points, seven rebounds, a block and a steal, Woodyard thoroughly dominated the Hamilton Township defense all night. Going 11-of-15 from the field, he was extremely efficient and scored from all three levels. He hit several tough contested jumpers, scored through contact and knocked down the only three-pointer that he attempted in the contest. Standing at 6-foot-5 with a good frame, Woodyard is slowly making his name known as one of the best sophomore wings in the entire area.
Cameron put together one of the best all-around stat lines that I have seen all season by going for 15 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and three steals. At 6-foot-7, Cameron is a physical load to handle and was too much for the Rangers tonight. Scoring inside consistently, the lefty used his body to his advantage around the rim and also scored by being rewarded on the offensive glass. He impressed most by showing off improved ability as a transition handler, as he had a couple of impressive coast to coast takes off of the offensive glass.
Senior Jake Andrich also had nine points on a solid shooting night and junior guard Isaiah Hatem finished with just four points but was excellent on defense, coming up with five steals on the night.
They will advance to take on No. 5 Granville in the sectional finals on Saturday at 7pm on the road.
For Hamilton Township, they simply could not find a consistent scoring option all night. They were led by Hise with 13 points and he was followed up by senior wing Tyler Block with 13 points.
Finishing off the season at 11-12, the Rangers are not satisfied with their final results. However, they have the potential to compete at the top of the MSL-Buckeye again next season as they return several solid juniors in Marquis Moore and Ato Forson.
Using a huge 48-10 first half, top-seeded South raced past Olentangy Berlin tonight.
Austin Corley and Grant Schrieber each scored five points to lead Berlin.
South will host No. 20 Marion-Franklin on Saturday at 1 p.m. in another promising matchup for the Bulldogs.
Jonathan Alder jumped out to a quick double digit lead and never looked back. Junior point guard Jackie Santa-Emma led the Pioneers early with eight points in the first quarter. The Pioneers used a balanced attack to help keep their lead throughout the game. Sophomore Jackson Izzard led all scorers with 18 points.
Jonathan Alder will now host No. 14 Buckeye Valley on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Although they led all game, a 24-9 fourth quarter proved to be the deciding factor in DeSales win over Independence tonight, allowing them to completely run away with this one.
Senior Ben James led Independence with a team-high 14 points.
For DeSales, they will now now host No. 15 Highland in the sectional finals on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Holding Bloom-Caroll to just two second quarter points, Beechcroft locked the Bulldogs down on their way to a 49-30 win.
Junior Otto Kuhns finished off a great season by leading the Bulldogs with 13 points.
For Beechcroft, they will now host No. 17 East in a City League North rematch on Saturday at 7 p.m. They have taken down the Tigers twice already this season already.
Jumping out to an eight point lead after one quarter of play, Eastmoor rode this advantage all night in a tight win over River Valley.
AJ Kenney led River Valley with 22 points in the loss.
As for Eastmoor, they will have a tall task on this Saturday at No. 4 Bishop Hartley in the sectional finals.
They say it’s hard to beat a team three times in a season and that statement held true . After suffering two losses at the hands of Linden this season, Myles Martinez and the Centennial Stars would not be content with a third loss.
Martinez’ 22 points and nine rebounds powered No. 11 Centennial to an epic 58-57 comeback win over No. 12 Linden on Monday in the Division II sectional semifinals.
Linden attacked early and often jumping out to a 13-4 lead. Centennial offered no fight back as they appeared to be sleep walking from the tip. Linden took full advantage leading 15-6 after a quarter of play. Linden showed no let up in the second quarter extending their lead to 16 points during the quarter to lead 32-18 at the half.
The Stars came out the second half looking like a different team. They played with a lot of energy on both ends of the floor. Paced by Martinez, who scored eight points in the third quarter, Centennial went on a ferocious 16-4 run and outscored Linden 22-9 in the period.
Linden maintained a small advantage heading into the fourth at 41-40, but clearly momentum had shifted. The fourth quarter appeared to be all Linden as freshman guard Lason Walker had it going scoring 12 points in the period.
Linden led 53-43 with 4:16 remaining in the game. Centennial had one last push in them, as their trapping defense forced turnovers left and right. The Stars trailed by one with 8.5 seconds remaining in the game and Linden holding possession.
The ensuing inbound pass was stolen by Centennial junior Luchene Davis and passed to Martinez, who finished a huge And-1 to take the lead for Centennial at 57-56. Things quickly took a turn for Centennial as Martinez was called for a taunting technical giving Linden two shots and the ball with 2.2 seconds left after Martinez failed to convert the free throw.
The freshman Walker went to the line for the biggest free throws of his young career. He missed both giving Linden one last chance trailing 57-56. Martinez redeemed himself and sealed the deal for the Stars with a steal to complete the comeback.
Martinez led all scorers with 22 points while adding nine rebounds, a block and the game-deciding steal.
Walker led Linden with a career-high 19 points and four rebounds.
Centennial will move on to the sectional finals where the Stars will play at No. 9 Bexley on Saturday at 1 p.m.
In the opening minute of the Division III sectional semifinal at Fairbanks, Bishop Ready set the tone for how Monday's game was going to go. Scoring on its first three possessions at ease, No. 10 Ready opened up an 8-2 lead and never looked back in a 62-48 win on the road over No. 5 Fairbanks.
While Fairbanks stormed back and cut the lead to 11-10 moments later, Ready responded with a game-changing run that helped them take control of the game. Outscoring Fairbanks 20-6 from the 4:50 mark of the first quarter until the 2:34 mark of the second, Ready knocked down five threes and got big production from sophomores Garrison Budd and Darius Parham.
Carrying a 34-21 lead into the half, Ready controlled the rest of the game, leading by as much as 19 in the fourth quarter. Going up against a senior laden Fairbanks team that came into Monday's sectional game at 18-2 and Ohio Heritage Conference champs, Ready's cast of sophomores paved the way.
Combining for 39 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, Parham and Budd were dialed in from the opening tip. Budd knocked down three triples in the big first half run that opened up the game, as he was deadly on catch and shoot attempts all game long, hitting 5-of-6 threes to finish with 19 points. The 6-foot-1 Budd also performed at a high level on the defensive perimeter, checking 6-foot-5 Fairbanks senior Tyler Beem and holding him to 12 points.
Parham, who has improved as much as any sophomore in the area, added a game--high 20 points, eight rebounds and three assists. The 6-foot-3 wing guard is a hard-nosed player that competes on both ends, as his motor and improved ability to knock down outside jumpers made a difference in the first half run.
Outside of its sophomore duo, Ready got 11 points from senior guard Jaishan Norris, who added a game-high four steals. Under first year head coach Tony Bisutti, who won his first tournament game since he guided Dublin Scioto to the district semifinals in 2013, Ready played an elite game on the defensive perimeter, making everything difficult for Fairbanks and limiting the Panthers to just three triples on the night.
For the Panthers, sophomore power forward Braylon Green was outstanding, finishing with 15 points and eight rebounds. The 6-foot-3 forward showed off near freak athleticism, using his high-level vertical to sky for rebounds and shot attempts inside.
Beem added 12 points on all three of Fairbanks' triples, while senior guard Jacob Nicol added 10 points and six rebounds. Fairbanks' top player in senior Cross Hackathorne had a rather quiet night, finishing with eight points and just two after halftime.
Despite trailing for all 32 minutes, Fairbanks fought hard all game, cutting the deficit to 12 points with 2:27 remaining.
With the win, Ready moves on to face No. 8 Pleasant on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Silver Knights already played the Spartans once this season, falling 54-41 on Dec. 22. As long as Budd and Parham continue to play like they did on Monday, Ready will have a chance to win on Saturday and beyond.
Under one of the area's elite coaches in Bisutti, Ready's deep group of sophomores will only continue to get better from here on out.
Jumping out to a 34-1 lead after a quarter of play, Harvest Prep rolled in dominant fashion over International. Junior guard CJ Anthony continued a big-time junior season with 23 points while senior wing Andrew Tate added 14 for the Warriors.
For International, first team All-City selection Yayi Conde finished with 18 points in his final game for the Lions.
Harvest Prep advances to take on No. 26 Utica at home on Saturday at 7 p.m.
After a slow start to Monday's sectional semifinal, Worthington Christian used a 24-7 third quarter to blow past Northridge, 66-46. Sophomore wing guard Tyler Kindberg continued a current hot streak with 19 points (42 points in the two games prior) as Worthington Christian rolled in impressive fashion.
For Northridge, junior forward Zion Carpenter led the Vikings with 17 points.
With the win, Worthington Christian advances to take on No. 22 Mount Gilead on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Jumping out to a 25-11 lead after a quarter of play, Columbus Academy never looked back in a 71-42 win in the sectional semifinals. With four players in double figures, senior forward Dalyn DeCree led the Vikings with 15 points, while senior Dorrian Moultire chipped in 12.
For Elgin, Stormy Goddard led the way with 13 points.
Columbus Academy will move on to the sectional finals to take on No. 12 Wellington on Saturday at 7 p.m. Academy took down Wellington 62-50 on Feb. 11, which will make Saturday's sectional final an interesting one.
Grandview used a 29-4 third quarter to slam the door shut on Heath in a 66-28 sectional semifinal victory. Brian Collier, Luke Lachey and Manny Day combined for 53 points as the trio powered the Bobcats to the win.
For Heath, freshman big man Brandon McLaughlin wrapped up a big-time season with 15 points as the only Bulldog player to score more than five on Monday.
With the win, Grandview moves on to face No. 9 West Jefferson at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the sectional finals.
While only holding a nine-point lead at halftime of Saturday's sectional semifinal against Grove City Christian, Africentric opened up the second half with a 24-7 run to take down the Eagles, 70-46. Africentric freshman guard Dan Wagner powered the Nubians with 21 points, while junior guard Cali Davis added 11.
For Grove City Christian, senior guard Taylor Stauffer finished with a career-high 21 points.
With the win, Africentric moves on to play No. 23 Madison Plains on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Overcoming a 13-7 deficit after the first quarter, Pleasant outscored Northmor by 26 points the rest of the way to cruise to a 54-35 win. Ethan Warner and Cole Ambrose combined for 36 points as the Spartans move on to the sectional finals to play No. 10 Bishop Ready, who upset No. 5 Fairbanks, on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Jumping out to a 20-5 lead after a quarter of play, Wellington had to fight hard to hold off Horizon Science in a 72-63 win. Wellington's backcourt of senior Dallas Patrick and sophomore Marcus Stewart combined for 47 points in a strong showing.
For Horizon Science, Daveion Quinn led the way with 19 points.
With the win, Wellington moves on to play at No. 4 Columbus Academy on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Despite trailing 8-7 after a quarter of play, North Union outscored East Knox 30-7 in the middle quarters to roll to a 56-32 victory. Connor Terrill and Preston Crabtree combined for 29 points as the Tigers move on to play at No. 11 Amanda-Clearcreek at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
In a matchup of two programs about as far apart as any in the district, North Union will travel more than 80 miles to take on the Aces in Saturday's matinee matchup.
Behind a dominant 35-point showing from senior guard Nick Cunningham, Fredericktown went on the road and knocked off Liberty Union.
Outscoring the host Lions by 16 points after the opening period, Cunningham and junior Lincoln Cunningham combined for 57 points as the Freddies picked up its best win of the season. For Liberty Union, senior post Wyatt Sims led the way with 24 points.
With the win, Fredericktown moves on to play at No. 3 Johnstown on Saturday at 1 p.m. in an iconic matchup of the Freddies vs. the Johnnies.