Friday, February 7, 2014

Gahanna West Punches Ticket to Championship Game

On Thursday, I had the opportunity to catch the second semi-final game of the 2014 Gahanna Lion Invitational at Middle School East in Gahanna. The 8th grade game featured a matchup between a 4th seeded Reynoldsburg and an 8th seeded Gahanna Middle School West. Each team featured a player in Buckeye Prep’s Top 30 list, including Gahanna’s Cameron Carlisle and Reynoldsburg’s Jamil Goliday.

By the time I walked into the gym, the game was already knotted at 2-2.  At about the 2:10 mark, the score was locked at 6-6. A 4-0 run by Gahanna put the Lions up 10-6 with 1:10 left in the opening quarter. Despite several attempts by both teams, the score remained at 10-6 to close the first quarter.

A Jamil Goliday corner trey to open the second quarter cut the lead to 10-8. Gahanna’s Randy Olverson answered with a 3 ball to extend Gahanna’s lead to 13-8 with 3:59 left in the first half. Multiple Gahanna turnovers midway through the second quarter opened the door for Reynoldsburg, and a Goliday layup trimmed the Gahanna lead to 1 point (12-13) at the 2:59 mark. The second quarter was marked by turnovers, missed free throws and field goals attempts.  However, Gahanna West hit more shots and would later take a 20-15 lead into halftime.

Cameron Carlisle scored on a layup and a free throw to open the second half and put Gahanna up 23-15. Later in the third quarter, back-to-back buckets by Reynoldsburg cut the Gahanna lead to 20-26. Another layup by Carlisle stopped Reynoldsburg’s 4-0 run and extended the lead to 28-20 with 1:45 remaining in the quarter. By the end of the third quarter, Gahanna was still ahead 33-29.

Cameron Carlise
Another Cameron Carlisle opening quarter layup extended Gahanna’s lead to 35-39, followed by back-to-back treys by Reynoldsburg to reduce the Gahanna lead to 3 points (32-35). Gahanna would respond with a 4-0 run of their own to run their lead to 39-32. Both teams would trade buckets, but another layup by Carlisle would put Gahanna ahead for good. The Lions would go on to collect the 39-48 victory and advance to the championship against the second seeded Pickerington Lakeview Middle School.

Although he was forced to play out of position in the post, Gahanna’s Cameron Carlisle was the catalyst for Gahanna, finishing with a game-high 21 points. Right behind him in scoring for Gahanna was David Miller and Randy Olverson, who finished with 12 and 8 points, respectively.

For the record, Lakeview knocked out Gahanna Middle School East in the first semi-final game of the night. Also, Gahanna’s route to the championship included wins over a 9th seeded Worthington Way and number 1 seeded Westerville Heritage. Lakeview’s path included victories over Blendon (15th seed), Olentangy Shanahan (10th seed) and Gahanna South (3rd seed). Reynoldsburg knocked out 13th seeded New Albany and 3rd seeded Gahanna Middle School East to advance to the semi-finals. Gahanna South and Reynoldsburg will play for third place on Saturday. Congratulations to Gahanna West for earning a spot in the final game.

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