The West Jefferson boys basketball team stayed in contention for a Ohio Heritage Conference North Division title with a rewarding 57-44 victory over Springfield Catholic Central Friday. The team then followed that win up with an impressive 87-61 triumph Saturday over Horizon Science Academy.
The Roughriders sport a 9-5 overall record and are 7-3 in the OHC North Division. The squad is a half game behind Triad (10-3, 6-2) and Fairbanks (6-5, 6-2). In the win Friday over OHC South Division leading Catholic Central, Jared Vermillion (16), Ben Casey (14) and Lance Lambert (12) combined to score 42 points.
Against Horizon Science, five players reached double figures with Lambert (15), Casey (13), Trent Kincade (11), Vermillion (10) and Scotty Hunter (10). Brendan King finished with eight and Jordan South added seven.
For the season Casey leads the ′Riders in scoring (191 points — 14.7 avg.) and is followed by Hunter (146 points — 10.4 avg). Vermillion is tops in rebounds (102 — 7.3 avg.) and Hunter leads the way with 70 assists (5.4 avg.)
Shekinah Christian 65,
Delaware Christian 61
The Shekinah Christian boys basketball team defeated visiting Delaware Christian 65-61 in a MOCAL rivalry game Saturday. The win improves the Flames record to 9-3 overall with a perfect conference mark of 8-0 in league play. The loss dropped the visiting Eagles to 2-10 overall and 1-5 in conference play.
Shekinah jumped out to an early 12-3 lead against an energetic and active Delaware Christian team that was playing with a full roster for the first time all season.
”Before the game I told our players to ignore the records because I knew we would be in for a battle,” Flames coach Keith Lambert said. “Delaware came out with lots of energy, so I was pleased that we were able to break their pressure early and get out to a early lead.”
The Flames would never trail after the quick start. Delaware Christian’s depth allowed it to play an aggressive full-court defense for the entire game. The defensive pressure was not without consequences, however, as Shekinah took 37 free throw attempts for the game and held a 26-8 scoring advantage at the charity stripe.
“We had several opportunities to extend the lead to a more comfortable margin throughout the course of the game, but turnovers and missed free throws made it difficult for us to capitalize on our momentum,” Lambert said. “However, I was pleased with how we started each quarter strong and how our guys remained calm by knocking down our pressure foul shots in the fourth quarter.”
Austin Lynn paced the Flames with 14 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. Kent Gingerich and Joel Headings also reached double figures with 12 and 10 points respectively. Isaac Rindfuss led the Eagles with 12 points, 10 of which came in the fourth quarter.
The Flames will have a week out of conference play to participate in the inaugural Rosedale Invitational. They will next play on their home court on Thursday, Jan. 25, at 7:40 p.m. against Calvary Christian (11-3). It will then be a quick turnaround match-up at 1:20 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26 against Faith Christian from Wilmot, Ohio. A third consecutive day of playing will conclude the tournament on Saturday, Jan. 27, against an opponent yet to be determined.
Following the tournament, a pivotal home contest between Shekinah Christian and AP No. 7 ranked Tree of Life (10-1, 6-0 in MOCAL) is rescheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 30, at 7:30 p.m.
Columbus Academy 59,
The Red Raiders (5-9) came up well short in this Mid-State League Ohio Division clash Saturday afternoon.
The Vikings (12-0) are undefeated and looked the part in shutting down London.
London High School scored in single digits in all but the fourth quarter and no player reached the individual double-figure scoring mark.
Jake Andrich (five), Josh Handley (four), Ben Kennell (four) and Cameron Greenhill (four) were the top scorers for London.
Jonathan Alder 59,
Kenton Ridge 51
The Pioneers (11-2, 6-0 in CBC Kenton Trail Division) stayed undefeated and atop the Central Buckeye Conference with a hard-fought road win at Kenton Ridge Friday night.
Sophomore Jackie Santa-Emma had himself quite a night as he scored 18 points, grabbed nine rebounds, dished out eight assists and collected three steals. Backcourt mate Jacob Koenig scored 17 points and had five assists. Daniel Heinig had nine points and seven boards in the win.
Madison Plains 48
West Liberty-Salem 75,
The Golden Eagles (3-6, 2-6 in OHC South) were unable to come away with a win in either of their two OHC contests Friday and Saturday.
The home loss to Northeastern Friday was much more competitive than the trip to West Liberty-Salem Saturday.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.