By now, most of you have already heard that Northland notched a 65-52 win over Marion Franklin to claim their 4th consecutive Columbus City league Championship on Saturday. Also, you no doubt already heard the Jarred Sullinger paced the Vikings with 27 points and 13 rebounds, while JD Weatherspoon contributed 16 points and Trey Burke dropped 12 points and 3 steals. Because you already know the particulars, I want to spend a few minutes to discuss some of my observations of the day.
First of all, big ups to Marion Franklin for making a game of it and providing just enough drama to keep the capacity crown at East High School entertained and committed to the game. Although most in the crowd thought it was only a matter of time before the Vikings machine started hitting on all cylinders; the Red Devils made us think the game was still in doubt well into the second half. Despite be overwhelmed from a talent perspective, Marion Franklin competed until the very end. Of course there was the customary trash talk and extra bumping in the paint, but like the hundreds in attendance, everyone one was on their best behavior on and off the court (except for a few double technical fouls in the closing minutes).
Besides the on-court happenings, the game was a "coming out" of sorts for the brand new basketball facility at East High School. I have to admit, I was very impressed with the new facility, and I think that Columbus Public Schools has reason to be proud of the final product. However, although the game was sold out, and off limits to anybody who had the nerve show up without a ticket (unless you were somebody, new somebody or had a secret entrance mapped out), there was more than enough seating still available after the doors were closed. I also have to admit, I kind of felt sorry for those unfortunate few who were seen with their noses pressed up against the windows and doorways trying to sneak a peak at the over hyped contest.
From my perspective, I got the sense that many of the fans in attendance were there to see history in the making, and to ensure themselves of the ability boast that they were witness to coronation of one of the best teams in Central Ohio history. Yes, the game featured high major individual talent in Jarred Sullinger (Ohio State), JD Weatherspoon (Ohio State), Trey Burke (Penn State) and Elijah Macon (West Virginia), but the feel in the gym was bigger than the individual players; it was about just being there to see everything unfold. All-in-all, it was a great day for central Ohio basketball, the kind of day the Columbus City League can be proud of! Congratulations to Northland, Marion Franklin and Columbus Public Schools for hosting such a great event. Finally, I took a lot of pictures during the event. To see what I saw, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook page!