Category Archives: City League

Help basketball in Columbus: Support and Donate to Coach Vic’s Weekly Showcase

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I have been covering basketball high school basketball in Columbus for the better part of five years now, but just last year I was introduced to some great basketball before the regular season starts. On Sunday nights last year at The Hoop on E 5th Ave, former Northland book keeper and player consultant Victor Dandridge put on a weekly open gym/showcase for the top players in Columbus and around the state. 

In order to keep this great event going, Coach Vic is asking for donations of any and all denominations, and the end goal is a total of $5,000.

If you want a direct link to the donation page, visit here: Coach Vic’s Weekly Showcase

“Bearcat Till I Die”: The story behind Brookhaven’s closing and its impact

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — “I’m (gonna) be a Bearcat ’till I die, no matter where I am at, I’m gonna always represent Brookhaven.”

This quote came from sophomore starting quarterback Macyah Fleming, and I’m not sure there is a better way to end the video story above. Our video, edited and shot by fellow Ohio State student Dan Hessler and I, was a final project for our Multimedia Journalism class and it had to deal with an “issue in the community”.

The closing of Brookhaven High School is certainly one of the biggest issues to me, but more importantly to the students, faculty and community of people who spent countless hours at the school on 4077 Karl Road.

I grew up watching high school basketball, and almost religiously from 1999 onwards. One thing that I will always remember is Brookhaven’s run of dominance over Columbus in Division I in the early 2000s, and still to this day their success and prowess, finishing their final year in Division II.

The banners will still hang in the gym and parts of the history will carry on, now at Mifflin HS, where there will be a special hall of fame-type section dedicated to Brookhaven athletics. The decision to carry on some traditions at Mifflin was simple, as most of the students who did attend Brookhaven will spend the rest of their high school days there, as the attendance lines are being redrawn.

Some students however, like Macyah, will attend Beechcroft next year. The new attendance boundaries will funnel most of the kids to either of the two schools. The open enrollment policies of Columbus Public still do allow kids to attend whatever school in the district they choose.

The Upset: Brookhaven 67, Northland 66

With the fate of the school up in the air, the boys basketball team played on, and was able to snatch the spotlight one final time.

“Before the game, I told everybody that this was gonna be a special night,” senior guard Ronnie Williams said of the Feb. 10 match-up with Northland. “I told everybody to come and play for each other, and just play together and make smart plays.”

The night was special for Williams and his teammates, knocking off state-ranked and longtime rival Northland 67-66, as his made free-throw with two seconds left gave the Bearcats the lead for good. The win ended the Vikings’ 118-game City League win streak, and sent the Bearcats to the City Championship game, where five days later they defeated Walnut Ridge 44-42 in overtime to bring the title back to Brookhaven for the first time since 2006.

“When I first thought about Brookhaven closing down, it was detrimental to me and my teammates,” Williams, the ODU signee said. “I told my team, and everybody in my school that we need to come together as a unit, and just finish strong throughout the year, and we did so.”

Best of Central Ohio: Finish of the Year 2013-14

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Now that the high school season has ended and the dust has settled, we can now truly take the time to dish out some awards for all the great things that have happened in Columbus over the past five months of boys basketball. Starting with the Coach of the Year award (which Pickerington Central’s Eric Krueger won convincingly), we are continuing on today with asking the readers to decide what game this year had the best finish.

The polls will be open for 7 days, and you can vote once every 12 hours. (Poll is at bottom)

There will be no doubling up of games, so one game cannot be in both the Best Finish and Best Game category.

Other awards to come: Best Game, Player of the Year, Team of the Year

Africentric 49, Fairfield Christian 46 (District Final)

After trailing 42-30 through three quarters, it looked as if the Nubians were going to be denied a district championship for a second straight year. That would change when JaQuan Harrison and his teammates led Africentric on a run for the ages, and Harrison’s bucket with just 15 seconds left gave the Nubians the lead for good at 47-46, who closed the game by outscoring the Knights 19-4 in the final quarter.

Brookhaven 44, Walnut Ridge 42 (OT) [City League Championship]

Just five days after a thrilling win over Northland the Bearcats were back in another tight one, this one for the City League title against Walnut Ridge. Scoring was not exactly what made this game a wild one, it was the defense that helped earn that title, as the Scots held Brookhaven to just three points in the fourth quarter. Brandon Paschal tied the score at 40 for Walnut Ridge, and kept the Bearcats at bay for the final 4:35 of regulation.  Much like the win over Northland, it was Ronnie Williams who sealed the deal late with two game-winning free throws, this time with :38.7 left.

Newark 66, Pickerington Central 63 (OT)

Every game in the Ohio division of the Ohio Capital Conference is a war, and this one was nothing short of that, needing the final seconds of regulation and overtime to determine the winner. Newark’s Jordan Dartis scored a career-high 33 points, including a bucket to put the Wildcats up two with less than 20 seconds left in regulation, but Rodney Culver’s tip-in at the fourth quarter buzzer would send the game into an extra frame. The raucous Newark crowd supported their ‘Cats in full force in those four minutes, and after a Connor Kern three was off the mark at the buzzer of OT, there was a deadlock once again in the race for the Ohio division crown.

Delaware 38, New Albany 37

In a pivotal early season match-up, New Albany beat Delaware 57-40 on Dec. 10 to take control of the OCC-Capital. However, it would be the Pacers who got the last laugh in the season series, knocking off the Eagles twice in a two-week span in February. The first of the two wins came thanks to junior forward Khalil Iverson, who developed a knack for being clutch with a lay-up at the buzzer to beat New Albany 38-37 on Feb. 15. Iverson twice rebounded his own missed free throw in the final ten seconds, finishing the second time with a putback that sent the Delaware faithful into a frenzy, storming the court as the Pacers won their first OCC title in boys basketball since 2006.

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