Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lions Win Senior Night Thriller

Austin Rutherford & Arron Jackson Led Gahanna With 14 pts Each

On Senior Night, and in front of a near capacity crowd, the Gahanna Lincoln Golden Lions boys basketball squad sent their seniors out with a bang, as they held off Reynoldsburg on their way to a 38-39 victory. Early in the contest it appeared the Raiders would spoil the Senior Night festivities, as they scored in the game’s opening possession on a pull up jumper by Spencer Kirksey, then used a 6-0 run early in the first quarter to claim an early 8-2 lead. A mid range jumper by senior guard Isaiah Israel stopped the Raider run with about 3:30 left in the period.

After Spencer Kirksey sparked a 5-0 run with a deep a trey, Reynoldsburg found themselves up 13-4 by the 1:40 mark. Aaron Jackson’s 2 free throws curbed the Raiders’ run and cut the lead to 13-6. Manny Powell found Jackson for a lay-up, and Gahanna’s 4-0 run trimmed the Raiders lead to 18-8 with 1:07 remaining in the opening quarter. Austin Rutherford would later finish an old fashion 3-point play as the Golden Lions finished the first quarter with a 7-0 run, and finished the period down by 2 points (13-11).

Gahanna started the second quarter on a 5-0 run, as Ronnie Stokes struck first with a lay-up to tie the contest at 13-13; Austin Rutherford scored on a lay-up to give Gahanna their first lead of the game (15-13), and Stokes later finished 1 of 2 free throws to extend the Gahanna lead to 16-13 at the 5:42 mark. Although senior guard Christian Lee got the Raiders on the board on a lay-up to cut the lead to 1 point (15-16), a 3-ball by Rutherford extended the Gahanna lead to 19-15 with 4:16 remaining in the period. After an Aaron Jackson put-back, a Spencer Kirksey trey and 1 of 2 free throws by Jackson, Gahanna was still up 22-21 to finish the first half. Gahanna’s Austin Rutherford led with 10 halftime points, while Spencer Kirksey paced the Raiders with 10 points.

Although he was held scoreless in the first period, junior Wendell Davis went to work early in the 3rd quarter with back-to-back buckets that gave Reynoldsburg the 25-22 lead. After losing the lead on a Grant Patch trey (27-27), Davis scored his 6th point of the half with an old school baby hook to retake 29-27 lead. Both teams took turns with the lead after that, but the Raiders entered the final period up 33-30.

Ryan Carter Finished With 14 Points

As was the case in the third quarter, the final period featured multiple ties and lead changes. With senior wing Spencer Kirksey relegated to the bench for an extended period of time, Reynoldsburg’s Ryan Carter in came up big for the Raiders in the 4th, hitting a couple of big buckets to keep his team in the hunt. The final outcome of the game would come down to free throws, both made and missed. Although Carter would sink to freebies to give the Raiders a 1 point lead with 2:30 remaining, Davis’ 2 missed free throws late left Reynoldsburg with only a 1 point lead with less than a minute left.

Gahanna would take advantage of the missed opportunity as Isaiah Israel scored on a layup with only 25 seconds left. The Raiders still had a chance to tie or take the lead in the contest when RJ Raglin stepped to the line for a one-and-one, however, he failed to convert, and the missed opportunity led to a Gahanna rebound.  After Gahanna’s Ronnie Stokes was whistled for a 5 second violation on an inbound attempt, Reynoldsburg had another chance for the win.  However, Isaiah Israel blocked a Spencer Kirksey 3-point attempt with only 9’8 ticks left in the game. Coach Tony Stiab's squad would eventually hold off the Raiders to claim a 39-38 victory, and run their overall record to 13-6. Both Austin Rutherford and Aaron Jackson paced Gahanna with 14 points apiece. Ryan Carter led the Raiders with 14 points, while Spencer Kirksey finished with 10 points.

Game Pictures

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