Northland wins fourth straight Columbus City League Championship

Image

Northland beat Marion-Franklin to run its Coulmbus City League record to 59-0 since 2006.

Greatness is often times described as first-rate, very good,
notable, remarkable and sometimes exceptionally outstanding. Any of those will
do in describing Columbus Northland. The Vikings captured their fourth-straight Columbus City
League championship on Saturday afternoon inside the beautiful Columbus East
High School gym with a 65-52 triumph of South division winner Columbus
Marion-Franklin.







Greatness is often times described as first-rate, very good,
notable, remarkable and sometimes exceptionally outstanding. Any of those will
do in describing Columbus Northland.

The Vikings captured their fourth-straight Columbus City
League championship on Saturday afternoon inside the beautiful Columbus East
High School gym with a 65-52 triumph of South division winner Columbus
Marion-Franklin.

With the championship, seniors Jared Sullinger and James
‘JD’ Weatherspoon became the first group of kids to run the table in a
four-year span in city league play. The Vikings are an unthinkable 59-0 over
the past four years in league action. What’s more impressive, Northland is 93-3 in the Sulliger/Weatherspoon Era with three unbeaten regular seasons
along with the 2009 D-1 state championship.

Saturday’s contest started like most of Northland’s games
with the Vikings jumping out to an early lead. The Green and White led 17-7
before Marion-Franklin head coach Orland McCoy had to call his second timeout. Northland
increased its lead to 21-10 by quarter’s end behind a Weatherspoon jam and a
basket by junior Trey Burke.

Weatherspoon scored nine of his 16 points in the opening
quarter, while Burke added seven.

Northland began opening up its lead in the second quarter
culminating with one of the day’s best plays. Burke led a two-on-one fast break
that ended with a precise lob pass to a streaking Sullinger. The 6-foot-9 Ohio
State signee properly grabbed the orange and slammed home a two-handed dunk
giving the Vikings a 30-17 lead. The play led McCoy to call his third TO.

However, the Red Devils slowly inched back into the game
cutting the lead to 31-23 with just a few ticks remaining in the half. Then,
much like he has done his whole career whether it is in high school or AAU,
Sullinger responded with a game-changing play. The senior caught the ball in
the right corner with time winding down and proceeded to knock down a fade-away
triple as time expired sending the Viking crowd into a frenzy while leaving the
Franklin fans in total shock. The dramatic shot gave Northland a 34-23
intermission lead.

Sullinger scored eight points and grabbed five of his
game-high 14 rebounds in the second quarter.

Out of the locker room, the Red Devils quickly got the lead
down to 36-28 following a 3-pointer from junior Nate Spears. Franklin would get
no closer.

Weatherspoon put an exclamation point on the third quarter
with a vicious two-handed put back to give Northland a 47-34 edge while
Sullinger did the rest from the free-throw line giving the Vikings a 55-42 lead
heading into the final quarter.

Sullinger scored 13 points in period including an impressive
7-of-8 performance from the foul-line. Ohio State signee Weatherspoon added
five points in the quarter.

Junior Jeremy McCoy scored six in the period for the Red
Devils.

A lot of jawing and bumping took place in the fourth
quarter, which could be expected considering the competitive nature of the game
and how hard both teams were playing.

“It was fun,” Sullinger said. “We all play AAU together and
are all friends off the court, but out on the court we are all playing hard and
want to win.

“We knew we were going to get their best.”

Both the Vikings and the Red Devils scored 10 points each in
the fourth  quarter with the game
ending on a classy showing of sportsmanship between the two high-quality
schools.

The loss dropped the Red Devils to 15-4 on the year, but
look for this unit to be a major player in the upcoming D-I Central District
tournament. For Northland, this was the start of season No. 2.

“Today was the start of our playoffs,” Northland coach Satch
Sullinger said. “Now, we just want to win the last game of the season. These
kids have certainly earned everything they have accomplished thus far, but we
aren’t finished yet.”

The reigning Mr. Basketball, Jared Sullinger, echoed his
father’s sediments.

“This is a one game season from here on out,” Sullinger
stated. “Our goal is to win back-to-back state championships.”

Sullinger led Northland (19-0) with a game-high 25 points
along with his 14 rebounds. Penn State commit Burke added 10 markers. Sophomore
guard Jordan Potts tossed in six points on two 3-pointers. Weatherspoon chipped
in with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

One of the unsung heroes for Northland was junior Jakly
Cornely who gave big minutes off the bench and finished with six points and
eight rebounds.

McCoy led the Red Devils with 13 points, while Spears and
senior Trevon Youngblood each scored 10. Senior guard Dejuan McGaughy was held
to just seven points, and 6-foot-8 sophomore Elijah Macon tallied five points
and five rebounds.

Northland held a distinctive 38-18 advantage on the glass.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *