You know a middle school basketball game is really big when the game is moved from the middle school to the community’s high school facility. Such was the case on Thursday when crosstown rivals Pickerington Lakeview and Ridgeview Middle Schools squared off at Pickerington Central High School for ultimate bragging rights. Entering the game with a perfect 16-0 record, Ridgeview appeared to be the slight favorite over an 11-1 Lakeview.
Lakeview controlled the opening tip and took early lead when Ely McNamara converted 2 free throws. Ridgeview answered on the next possession with 2 free throws of their own. Both teams suffered from turnovers early, but a 6-0 run by Lakeview put them up 8-2 with 3:37 left in the opening quarter. Ridgeview stopped the Lakeview run with a field goal at the 1:06 mark, and would actually cut the lead to 6-7 to close the first quarter.
Lakeview scored first to start the second period on a Tyler Potts free throw. The second quarter was marked with Ridgeview turnovers and limited scoring by both teams. However, Ridgeview would make a mini run and would take a 10-8 lead with 2:28 left in the half. Lakeview responded with consecutive layups by Jimmy Weirick to retake the lead and finish the opening period up 12-10.
A baby hook by Ridgeview’s Juan Elmore ignited a 6-0 run that resulted in a 16-12 lead to start the third quarter. Later, a Jimmy Weirick trey knotted the game at 16 at the 1:15 mark. Xavier Henderson’s layup put Ridgeview ahead 18-16, but a Tyler Potts floater tied the game at 18 to close the 3rd quarter.
A Jimmy Weirick layup put Lakeview up 20-18, but a Juan Elmore layup tied the game at 20. Lakeview got out to a fast start in the 4th quarter and was up 26-21 with 1:33 left in the contest. Despite Lakeview’s attempts to run time off the clock, Ridgeview would later cut the lead to 23-26. A Xavier Henderson layup cut the lead to 1 point (25-26) with only 25 seconds left in the game. After Henderson drove the length of the court and failed to convert a layup, and several missed opportunities by Ridegview to win the game, Lakeview got the victory by a score of 27-25.
The star of the game was Lakeview’s Jimmy Weirick who dropped a game-high 12 points. Xavier Henderson was the high man for Ridgeview, finishing with 6 points. Keep an eye on Lakeview’s Dondre Palmer, a 6’2 WF with good length and the ability to handle the ball. Palmer is more potential than production right now, but he’s the type of player who could come out of nowhere down the road and develop into a legitimate college prospect with continued development. Congratulations to both teams for a hard fought game.