Regional final preview by Adrian Curry
The game was a high-intense game and a big crowd of a February game. This has a match-feel to it as the top 2 seeds in the upcoming district tournament battled it out. This was Newark’s 5th game in 9 days and 4th game this week so you wonder how much was left in the tank and for pickerington central it was a chance to make a statement heading into tourney play that starts this coming Saturday. The game was played tight early on as both teams felt each other. A key turning point occurred late in the 2nd quarter as a double technical foul was called on Morgan sharps and Nicole Stephens. At the point the momentum turned towards pickerington centrals way as Newark couldn’t make any shots which allowed pickerington to stretch their lead to 7 at the half. This continued into the 3rd quarter where pickerington central played suffocating defense where they dominated the 3rd quarter where they outscored Newark 19-8 to extend the lead to 18 going into the 4th quarter. At one point the lead was at 21 points over Newark. However pickerington central soon let off the gas and turning the ball over as Newark started to make a run as great teams do making shots and was able to get to the line. Newark went on a 17-4 run to cut the lead to 57-50 with less than 2 minutes left. A skye Williams basket stemmed the tied and allowed pickerington central to close the game out and win 61-50. Pickerington central were led by their Star seniors maliya perry and Madison Greene with 18 and 13 points respectively. Newark was led in scoring by Katie shumate with 17 points in defeat. With the win pickerington central closes the regular season at 21-1 and will host #38 seeded groveport on Saturday in round 1 of the tournament, with the loss Newark closes the regular season at 19-3 and will host #42 seeded mount Vernon on Saturday in round 1 of the tournament. Don’t be surprised if you see this matchup again in a few weeks at Otterbein in the Westerville regional final.