The battle of Ohio by Adrian Curry
A rare meeting between two in-state schools happened today at the schott. I have friends on both sides so i had split loyalties going into the game. I’ve had this game circled since they released the schedule this summer. For those that thought osu would just walk over ou far from it. Ou coming off a 30-win season returned the majority of their team back and welcomed in a freshman class that included Westerville south’s Peyton Guice. Also they had the homecoming of Amani Burke. Always overshadowed but her older brother trey. She has come into her own and made her own mark in her career and is starting her senior season with a bang. It is the first time she had played in Columbus during her career. Then you have Gabbie Burris from liberty union who was a great player in her own right and is coming into her own now at ou. Of course you have local products jacy Sheldon and Madison Greene playing on the other side with Kierstan Bell who’s stepfather is bj Cunningham formerly of Westerville south and Michigan state. The game was sloppy at first with no real flow as the officiating really took over the game in the first half. Both teams had key players that had to sit due to foul trouble. Also shooting wise left a lot to be desired as both teams struggled. At the half it was a 2-point lead for osu. The 2nd half it opened scoring-wise and finally got a flow to the game. Ou started to heat up from distance especially Amani Burke and Erica Johnson who had struggled early on in the season. It went back forth until as the score was tied at 45 is where ou’s experience took over as the guards from ou got hot and they made plays going on a 16-6 run to end the 3rd quarter. They started the 4th up 9 points. At one point it was a double digit game and it looked like ou would win the game but osu started to play aggressive defense that led to steals. Kierstan bell had a steal and layup that triggered a 10-0 run and got the crowd back into. They eventually tied the game at 68 with 2 minutes left. The inexperience and youthfulness of osu cost them late and ou made the plays necessary to get the lead and hold onto it for the 74-68 win. A great and emotional game for November. This is a great teaching tool for the osu coaching staff as they move forward with their season. For ou this a resume building win and emotional win that proves they can play with anybody in the country. They fell short of the ncaa tournament last year due to a weak non-conference schedule. It has been beefed up considerably. They still have games against butler, Texas and tcu before conference begins. Seeing the joy on the players from ou after the game said it all for me after the game. They just wanted a bit more than osu did today. They were so excited and jubilant. Getting to say hi to Peyton and her family after the game. Her younger sisters nelia and zoey really look up to her and to see them so excited when she was headed their way made my heart so happy. Also seeing her former teammates and future buckeyes anyssa and gabby support her was great and you can see the emotion when they hugged each other. There is a bond that will never be broken just because you move on to the next level. It was emotional for me because Sara McEnery Guice and Jermaine Guice are good friends and I remember what happened a year ago when I was in my car accident and know how close I was to being paralyzed or being dead. They were one of the few people there for me during that time. The day of the accident I was headed to ou’s elite camp in Reynoldsburg to cover it. I got to meet Stephanie Dietrich Hale again too which was great. Even though jasmine isn’t playing this year but is getting acclimated to life at ou and is much happier puts a smile on my face. Also Amani coming home and scoring 23 points and being a force along with Erica Johnson and Cece hooks. Bright days ahead for both teams. Look forward to following them the rest of the season. I believe there is a possible rematch for next season. Thanks for making a November game a game that I will remember for a long time.