- Codey Larsen
Lions Roar to Pull Away in Second Half
NEW ALBANY (OH) - The unbeaten Gahanna Lions almost fell victim to an upset on Tuesday night -- at least that is what it looked like in the first half. In the end, the Lions of Gahanna pulled away against the New Albany Screaming Eagles because of a strong second half.
For a chilly Tuesday night in New Albany, both teams brought the heat in a matchup of two ten-win teams. At the beginning of the game, New Albany was able to feed off of the energy of the near-capacity crowd, and withstood the Gahanna attacks, allowing only five points in the first quarter.
The offensive struggles were not just for Gahanna. New Albany could not overcome the Lions locked-in defense scoring only six points in the first quarter themselves. Neither team could find a substantial rhythm offensively in the first half, and as it turned out for New Albany, the entire game.
Gahanna began the second quarter on a five-to-nothing run. Eventually, New Albany was able to tie the game at ten with 3:30 left in the second quarter. The first half was back and forth, with the score being tied at 16 at the end of the second quarter.
The second half looked like an entirely new game. The Lions came out running with a 14-0 run to start the third quarter, with their lead now blossoming to 30-16. For comparison, New Albany scored 21 points total through three quarters, while Gahanna scored 21 points in the third quarter alone.
This was due to inconsistent and sloppy play, which led to too many turnovers, by the Screaming Eagles. The fourth quarter was closer, but with the game at hand. Gahanna kept their perfect season alive, improving to 16-0, defeating New Albany, who fell to 10-8, 47-28.
Senior Chris Benseler led the way in scoring for New Albany with eight points, followed by sophomore Justin Perry with six. The Screaming Eagles as a team scored six points in the first quarter, 10 in the second, five in the third, and seven in the fourth.
For the undefeated Lions, sophomore Sean Jones led the way in scoring, tallying up 16 points. Junior Maceo Williams followed with 12 points, and junior Jarius Jones scored nine points. As a team, Gahanna scored five points in the first quarter, 11 points in the second quarter, 21 points in the third quarter, and 10 points in the fourth and final quarter.
New Albany remains tied for second in the OCC-Capital Conference, and will next travel to Big Walnut, who happens to be the team New Albany is tied with. Gahanna stays atop the OCC-Ohio Conference and will host Pickerington North, who is two games behind Gahanna, on Friday.