Saturday, March 12, 2011

Westerville South Claims District Title

The Westerville South versus New Albany district championship game last night represented a rematch, as South defeated New Albany earlier in the season at home by about 10 points. Because Sam Davis’ club played the Wildcats close on the road, there was every reason to believe the Eagles could get the win on a neutral court. Westerville South controlled the opening tip and drew first blood with a Treavon Jackson Layup. New Albany answered right back with a jumper by Ryan Mayle. The Eagles took their first lead (7-5) at the 4:20 mark, but South knotted the game at 7-7. An Isiah Rogers steal, dish and layup from Ben Jones led to 9-7 South lead with 3:10 left in the opening quarter. The Wildcats would eventually run the lead to 16-9 to end the first quarter.

New Albany scored on their first possession to start the second period to close the gap to 15-11. From there, South went on a 5-0 run and increased the lead to 20-11, before Davis called a timeout at the 6:15 mark. Coming out of the time out, Ben Jones scored on a layup to increase the South lead to 22-11. By the 4:00 mark, Westerville enjoyed a comfortable 27-13 lead. By the end of the quarter, South had ballooned the the lead to17 points (37-20)

The Eagles scored on their first possession to start the second half, but South answered back (37-23). By the 2:01 mark, New Albany had cut the lead to 7 points (36-43). A Ryan Mayo trey with 1:10 left in the period cut the lead to 39-46. Later, New Albany’s Nick Sosh sunk 2 free throws with 32 seconds remaining in the period to cut the South lead to 6 points (46-41). With time running out, Westerville’s Ben Jones hit a layup to finish the first period 48-41.

Ben Jones continued his hot shooting, and his jumper at the 7:25 mark increased the South lead to 51-43. The Wildcats went on a mini run, as Jones converted consecutive jumpers to keep New Albany at bay. South would go on to claim their third district championship in school history. The star for the Wildcats was Ben Jones who dropped an impressive 23 points on the night. Treavon Jackson added 13, Stephen O'Daniel contributed 12 and Zeek Rogers finished with 8. For the Eagles, Tom Smotrich led with a team-high 22 points, while Ryan Mayle added 12 points. The difference in this game was the persistent pressure from the Wildcats and their ability to make the Eagles' marksmen uncomfortable.  Westerville will face the winner of the Lakota East v Princeton winner in the regional semi-finals.  To see the pictures I took at the game, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

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