Pickerington Central had thoughts of playing a tough boys basketball game at Gahanna Lincoln.
And the Ohio Capital Conference Ohio Division matchup was close for a while, like when the Tigers went behind 10-7 early in the second period Friday, Dec. 18.
The first meeting between the Central Crossing and Grove City high school boys basketball teams did not feature the intra-district intensity other communities have experienced in recent years.
Perhaps it was because Grove City entered the game with just one loss and Central Crossing was winless. Perhaps it was because the outcome was decided early as the Greyhounds went on an 18-2 first-quarter run. Perhaps it was because the crowds' thoughts were more on the start of winter break than the berth of a potential rivalry.
The Pickerington High School Central boys basketball team's Tuesday game at Delaware marks the end of a scheduling anomaly. The Tigers' first six games this season and seven of their first eight are on the road.
It has made coach Jerry Groves' job of adapting his young team to varsity play much more difficult.
When the Reynoldsburg High School boys basketball team captured its first Division I district championship in 2006, a pair of players who were seniors that season averaged a combined 40 points, and both ended up earning Division I scholarships.
While the Raiders still have questions to answer before they can be considered a district-title contender this season, they do have one striking thing in common with that team.
Seniors Kevin Gray and Branden Rushton give Reynoldsburg a tandem that might be as good offensively as any in central Ohio.
Who would have thought shooting free throws with your eyes closed could pay off in the long run.
After suffering through the beginning of the season from the free throw line, the Lancaster Gales connected on 17-of-21 from the charity stripe to down visiting Groveport 60-51 in a Ohio Capital Conference-Ohio Division matchup.
Hilliard Bradley coach Mike Limbird is far from unfamiliar with the Orange Pioneers, seeing how he was on the Orange bench as an assistant just a season ago.
Limbird’s Jaguars did a solid job staying with the Pioneers in the first half, but the host team took charge in the second and closed things with an 81-64 Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division victory Friday night at Orange High School.
It's hard to imagine, as every girl on the floor and both coaching staffs were giving their all in a sweltering environment, that the Westerville South and North girls basketball programs now face off at least twice a season.
The once-annual event, now turned into a two-game affair due to the fact the squads are in the Ohio Capital Conference Cardinal Division together, got its start with a 45-39 South win at North Wednesday, Jan. 6.
Before the opening tip-off, Gahanna's guard-oriented boys basketball team doesn't exactly cause opponents to quake in their shoes.
But two or three trips down the floor, after being trapped, pressured and run circles around, teams begin to see why the Lions are unbeaten at the halfway point of the season.
Deep, balanced and talented, visiting Gahanna overwhelmed Reynoldsburg to win 68-49 and improve its Ohio Capital Conference Ohio Division lead to two games.
Sometimes looks can be deceiving.
A tough loss last week and an injured starter may look like things are not going well for the Pickerington North boys basketball team.
But Panthers coach Pete Liptrap believes the Panthers are far from down and out.
"In the last few years, we have won six or eight games throughout the season," said Liptrap. "This year, we've won seven so far.
After jumping ahead by 30-plus points, the Pickerington Central girls basketball team never looked back in its 57-42 win over visiting Grove City Friday, Jan. 8.
"I was a little disappointed we didn't finish like we should have," said Tigers coach Wade Brockwell. "We let (the lead) get back down to 15. We played some extra kids and tried some new things.
"But I thought mentally they were there for a majority of the game, and it helped maybe build some confidence and stuff as we move forward to the second half of the season."