Jackson Center, Ohio — The SCAL boy’s basketball season tipped off on Friday night as Jackson Center hosted Botkins for a heavyweight battle to open up the season. The top matchup on display was reigning SCAL player of the year Aidan Reichert going up against Jacob Pleiman.
Botkins defeated Jackson Center in overtime last year in their second matchup on the season. This game had the potential for another great game.
Zane Paul got the scoring started for Botkins immeditatley as he nailed a deep three right after Botkins win the tip. Paul then kicked it out to Jayden Priddy-Powell who went up for the layup to give the Trojans an early 5-0 lead. After a three from Jackson Center’s Carson Regula, Paul pulled up in transition and swished home another three.
Then the physical play began. Pleiman blocked Reichert on one end, and Reichert drew an offensive foul from Pleiman on the other end. The battle between these two in the post would decide the winner of this game.
The elite shooing in the first quarter continued as Carson Regula and Camdyn Reece each hit a three for J-C and Jameson Meyer knocked down a three for Botkins. Pleiman would hit a three for Botkins off of the assist from Priddy-Powell. Then following a block from Denton Homan, Zane Paul would drill another corner three, giving Botkins a 19-16 lead at the end of the quarter.
Botkins got the second quarter started off with a bang as Jacob Pleiman took the feed from his brother Carter Pleiman and dunked it home. A pretty wild sequence occured when Denton Homan swatted a Jackson Center shot of the backboard then on the other end, Reichert blocked a shot which then led to an and-one three from Botkins’ Jameson Meyer.
Jackson Center finally took back the lead late in the first half when Carson Regula caught a lob from Camdyn Reece for an easy two points. A pair of baskets from Pleiman gave the Trojans back the lead. Then a corner three from Pleiman extended the lead to 31-27. That lead would get cut to 31-29 at the half as Trevor Sosby knocked down a jumper at the buzzer.
The third quarter was very back and forth. Whenever it seemed like Botkins was about to pull away, Jackson Center was get a couple of stops and was suddenly right back in the game. Regula and Reichert continued playing well for the Tigers, while Zane Paul and Pleiman led Botkins.
Jayden Priddy-Powell’s runner gave Botkins back a 47-46 lead and then the Trojans held the ball for around 30 seconds to get the last shot. Priddy-Powell kicked it out to Meyer who knocked down the contested three at the horn. Botkins held a 50-46 lead going into the final quarter.
Jayden Priddy-Powell dished an assist in transition to Jacob Pleiman to get the 4th quarter started. Then Priddy-Powell drove passed the defender and score to give Botkins an eight-point lead.
Then quite possibly the biggest momentum changing play in the game came when Jameson Meyer nailed a contested three in the corner with some contact but no foul was called. Then Zane Paul stole the inbound pass and layed it in to give Boktins a 61-50 lead with just 4:50 remaining.
That final run by Botkins gave them enough as Jackson Center went cold. The Tigers only managed to score 5 points in the final 5 minutes and Botkins went on to win 68-55. This was also the first time Botkins has defeated Jackson Center on the road since 2008. The Trojans’ ability to double team and trap Reichert was the difference in this game.
Botkins was led on the night by Zane Paul who finished with 20 points, Jayden Priddy-Powell had 16, and Jacob Pleiman had 14. Jackson Center star Aidan Reichert only had 12 points as the Tigers were led by Carson Regula who finished with 17 points.
Botkins will look to continue their hot start as they travel to Anna next Friday. Jackson Center will look to rebound against a tough Fort Loramie team in another SCAL game on Friday as well.