Senior Mitch Priest sets himself up for a free throw. (Josh Tu’22/Staff)
On Tuesday, January 21 the injury and sickness filled Columbus Academy basketball team traveled to league powerhouse Grandview Heights to take on the Bobcats. Grandview jumped out to an early lead and wouldn’t allow the Vikes to score, ending the first quarter 4-14. CA was able to hold the hosts to single digits in the second quarter but still found themselves in a 10-23 deficit at halftime. The theme continued in the second half as the Bobcats ran away with it, handing the Vikes a 23-47 loss.
After a few days of recovery and practice, the Vikes hosted archrival Bexley on Saturday, January 28. Bexley hit two quick shots to take an early 0-5 lead, but back to back steals and fast-break layups from Warstler’20 brought the Vikings right back into it. The teams continued to be evenly matched for the rest of the first, resulting in a tie game at 13. The second quarter continued much likely the first as a three-point shoot off began between the two teams, with both sides hitting three quick 3’s before Sophomore Tanner Compton was fouled on another 3 point try, sinking two of the resulting free throws. However, Bexley wouldn’t back down as they hit yet another 3 and a quick 2 after a Viking miss to make the score 24-27 in favor of the visitors with three minutes left in the half. After a timeout, CA went on a bit of a run, retaking the lead thanks to an and-1 offensive rebound and put back from Jared Kass’21 with .4 seconds remaining. Kass hit the free throw giving Academy a 30-27 lead at the half.
After the break, the home team came out firing, jumping out to an early lead with no intention of looking back. Quality offensive possessions with good defensive stops gave the team a 7 point lead that they held through the end of the quarter. Bexley had no answer for the lockdown defense on their star point guard who started the game 4-5 from three, allowing the boys to pull away for a 58-45 win, coincidentally the exact same result as the last time the rivals met in December.
The team looks to build on its rivalry win with three home games in the upcoming week, first hosting Watkins Memorial on Wednesday, January 29, next taking on rival Wellington on Friday, January 31, before finally taking on out-of-town powerhouse Western Reserve on Saturday, February 1.