In what was truly a game of runs, it was Summit Country Day who put together the final run to take down rival North College Hill 62-54 Tuesday night. In what was the Silver Knights season and home opener they were able to overcome 19 points from Trojans senior G Lorenzo Sparks (PHO #162 c/o 2018) and a poor shooting 1st half to claim the victory.
The first half saw the Trojans get off to a fast start lead by the before mentioned Sparks, who had 15 of his 19 in the first half. There combination of speed, athleticism and hustle gave Summit fits on the offensive end, causing TO’s lead to transition opportunities. Luckily Coach Pat Cosgrove has senior stud G Xavier Johnson, whose athleticism and play-making ability helped keep the game close for the Silver Knights in the 1st half. Johnson lived in the lane the whole night finishing at the rim and creating opportunities for teammates like 2018 W Sam Gosiger. Gosiger came off the bench in the 1st half for 8 keys points including two 3’s.
After being down 33-27 at the half, Summit began knocking down shots and forcing their own TO’s which helped them regain the lead. While the defense of senior G Rylan Woods helped to slow down Sparks, he started getting help from a pair of underclassmen to help keep NCH close. Guards Kaden Warner (2021) and DeAirius Baker (2020) both were able to knock down big shots to help keep the Trojans in the game, especially in the 4th quarter. Baker (14 points) was really good using his dribble to create separation to knock down perimeter shots. But in the end, it was Johnson who got the most help as Summit pulled away for the victory. Guard Terry Evans (2019) also has a nice game for the Silver Knights with 14 points as well.
Five Takeaways/NCH at Summit
- If I were a low-level D-I program I would kicking the tires to see if Xavier Johnson is really done with basketball after this season. Johnson was by far the most athletic player on the court and just seemed at least a half-a-step faster than almost anyone else on the court. He showed great body control on a few finishes in the paint along with the ability to break down defenders off the dribble. I know it looks as if football will be his choice at the next level, but Johnson has the talent to excel on the hardwood as well if he chose to.
- Like the situation talked about in the 1st takeaway, programs at the next level should take a hard look at NCH guard Lorenzo Sparks. While one of the better two-way players on the gridiron, Sparks is also one of the better scorers in Cincinnati as well. He can score from all three levels and is not afraid of drawing contact at the rim. More importantly he competes on both ends while also being looked at as a leader on and off the court for the Trojans. D-II/NAIA/JUCO programs looking for a backcourt competitor should have eyes on this young man.
- Summit guard Terry Evans (2019) must continue to play at an all-league level if Summit is to repeat as champions of the Miami Valley Conference-Scarlet Division. After Johnson, Evans is the teams most talented all-around offensive player and showed that in the 2nd He was able to use his handle to get in the paint and finish at the rim while also knocking down a few perimeter shots as well. North College Hill is not going any-where and Clark Montessori has gotten a year older and better. Evans must average double-figures if Summit is stay at the top of the mountain.
- NCH has a backcourt to watch for the future in 2021 G Kaden Warner and 2020 G DeAirius Baker. Warner finished with 8 points and showed no fear on the court, taking the shots that were available and driving to the rim with confidence. His poise and IQ along with his ability makes him a name to know for the future. Baker, who we touched on earlier, showed a great ability to use his handle for an array of pull-up jumpers in the lane. Look for both to be more and more of a factor as the season goes along.
- Summit senior Rylan Woods defense on Sparks was a key in the 2nd half as well. 4 of Lorenzo 19 points came in that half with Woods playing a big part in that. Rylan did a good job forcing Sparks into tough, contested shots without fouling and was great at forcing the NCH senior toward help. His defense was a huge part of the Silver Knight dub.