Posted On: 01/20/18 8:00 AM

Reynoldsburg outscored Gahanna by 16 points in the second half but still never managed to take the lead as the road team won 60-58. It was Gahanna’s second win in the season series and moved their overall record to 11-2.

In a game of runs, Gahanna outscored Reynoldsburg by 18 points in the second quarter and then was held to 18 total points after halftime. Let’s check out what worked and what went wrong for both teams in our Five Takeaways.

Play of the game

With just over 30-seconds remaining, Reynoldsburg forward Cole Crosby gathered in a loose ball and was about to chuck it deep for an outlet pass that would’ve given them the lead at 60-59. The play looked like it was happening in slow motion for 6’5” Gahanna wing Nate Ward (2018) however.

Just as Crosby caught the ball, Ward snuck in from his blindside and stole the ball from Crosby. Instead of a Reynoldsburg lead, Gahanna took possession, hit a free throw to make it 60-58 and then was able to defend Reynoldsburg in the half-court for the final possession.

The play is emblematic of what makes Ward a nice NAIA prospect. The younger brother of Michigan State’s Nick Ward gives effort on every play and is an athletic, intelligent defender. He currently holds offers from Sienna Heights and Ohio Christian.

What happened in the second quarter? (Gahanna won 26-8)

Gahanna played their starters (Chase Rankin, Elijah Thomas, Josh Corbin, Nate Ward, and Mike Reeves) for the majority of the quarter. They trusted Purdue Northwest signee Chase Rankin to make plays with the ball. The 6’1” point guard dissected the defense in the pick and roll and found cutters away from the ball. Reeves, an unsigned 6’7” finesse big who used his length to defend the rim, played with energy. Thomas was active away from the ball and finished at a high level. Curtis scored efficiently.

When it’s working for Gahanna, it’s really working. If they can put together a complete game, this team can compete with anyone in Central Ohio’s Division I class.

What happened in the third quarter? (Reynoldsburg won 23-6)

Tre Williams became the focal point to Reynoldsburg’s offense after halftime. The powerful 6’7” forward started the half with three buckets and an assist in the opening two minutes of the quarter. After a Gahanna timeout, they came out doubling Williams on the catch. The unsigned big man showed playmaking ability by hitting open teammates opposite once he adjusted to the defensive look. Elijah Thurston and Jamiel Goliday knocked down open shots when the defense scrambled.

More on Josh Corbin

The pressure that 6’3” guard Josh Corbin puts on a defense opens up Gahanna’s offense. From the wing, the junior Division I prospect can score on just one-dribble every time with his deceptive pull-up game. He’s also a big-time slasher who has a good feel when the defense helps over.

Corbin could work his way up to the mid-major level this summer. Currently his offer sheet is Duquesne, Akron, Toledo, Loyola Marymount, and Cleveland State.

More on Elijah Thomas

If nothing else, it was an interesting 13-point performance from 6’1” junior guard Elijah Thomas from Gahanna. We were looking forward to seeing him for the first time this winter after he opened our eyes on the last weekend of the July live period. We know for sure that he’s active away from the ball and can finish in creative ways. However, Thomas’s jumper isn’t yet reliable and he didn’t create for others often. Still need to watch Thomas closely over the next year.