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Chatman finds fit on boys team

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Senior Lloyd Chatman has learned to accept his role with the Reynoldsburg High School boys basketball team.

"I'm a two (guard) stuck in a point guard's body," he said.

What might be a limitation for some is something the 5-foot-9 Chatman has turned into a positive. After averaging 7.4 points in his first varsity season a year ago, he was averaging 18 points through three games this season.

In the Raiders' opening 72-67 win over Westerville South on Nov. 29, Chatman made four 3-pointers and scored a career-high 26 points.

He made three 3s and had a team-best 21 points in a 76-66 win over Grove City on Dec. 10.

Reynoldsburg lost to Pickerington Central 69-66 on Dec. 13 to fall to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Ohio Division before playing Gahanna on Dec. 17.

"It's actually an advantage for me to play the two (guard position) because I'm quick," Chatman said. "I've got a quicker release and I'm quicker off the dribble."

"He was kind of a supporting cast member last year, but this year there's more weight on his shoulders," coach Scott Davis said. "He's a great kid and is a pretty complete player. He elevates very well for his size."

Chatman has found opportunities to shine despite the Raiders going to their bench more often this season.

Ten players scored against Grove City, with senior Chiante Palm contributing 13 points and freshmen Jarius Ward and Reece Strohm both scoring 10.

Reynoldsburg scored 35 points in the second quarter to overcome a double-digit deficit against the Greyhounds.

The Raiders also put together a 32-point fourth quarter against Westerville South.

"We're still trying to figure some things out, like a lot of teams," Davis said. "We feel like we've got a tremendous amount of room for growth and I'm really excited about how we're going to grow over the next several weeks.

"I feel like we're very, very quick, so this year we want to push the basketball. We're small but we've got experienced guards, so we've got guys who have gone through our league and been through the wars. We feel like we've got 10 guys who can score."

Girls team bounces back from loss

The girls basketball team didn't let an opening 56-46 loss to Cincinnati Princeton on Nov. 23 in the Gary West Tipoff Classic get it down.

After beating five-time defending Division II state champion Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown 47-20 on Nov. 24 in the same event, the Raiders opened OCC-Ohio play with blowout wins over Groveport (78-16 on Nov. 29) and Grove City (68-31 on Dec. 5) before beating Mansfield Madison 77-35 on Dec. 7.

Reynoldsburg beat Pickerington Central 44-34 on Dec. 13 to improve to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the league before playing Gahanna on Dec. 17.

Senior Alyssa Rice, who scored 15 points against Central, passed the 1,000-point mark for her career against Grove City. She entered the Gahanna game with 1,049 career points.

The boys and girls teams travel Friday, Dec. 20, to Pickerington North to close the 2013 portion of the league schedule. The girls game will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the boys game.

"With me probably more than the kids, we just had to focus on getting in the right spots (at the beginning of the season)," girls coach Jack Purtell said.

"We've had the luxury of having (2013 graduate) Yamonie Jenkins at point guard the last four years and we've never had anybody else who's had to play point guard. (Senior) Deshay Thomas has been doing a wonderful job in her spot. We were going to try to do a point guard by committee, but that didn't quite work out."

The other regular starters have been senior Alyssa Rice in the post, senior Nicole Orr at forward and junior Courtney Purtell on the wing. Junior Hannah Leppla and senior Shanice Johnson have been rotating at the other forward position.

"Other than Princeton, we haven't played anybody that's been as athletic as we've been (before the Pickerington Central game)," Purtell said. "Alyssa is so much stronger than she was last year, so she's been getting a lot of attention. If we make our 3s, we'll be pretty tough to beat.

"Courtney and (junior) Chandlar (Hines) have both been seeing a good bit of time at the 3, and (junior) Leah Wallace has been putting in some good minutes. She's always been a point guard in our system."

Bowling teams busy in December

The bowling teams close the 2013 portion of their schedule by competing against Grandview on Friday, Dec. 20, at Holiday Lanes and participating in the Holiday Baker Marathon on Saturday, Dec. 21, at Columbus Square Bowling Palace.

The boys team opened with wins over Columbus South (1,700-1,343 on Dec. 2) and Columbus East (1,795-1,470 on Dec. 9) but lost to Walnut Ridge 2,083-1,798 on Dec. 12 and Teays Valley 2,070-1,797 on Dec. 13. It was 2-2 overall and in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-South Division before facing Lancaster on Dec. 16 and Pickerington Central on Dec. 17.

The girls squad beat South 1,758-1,242, East 1,459-958, Walnut Ridge 1,617-1,313 and Teays Valley 1,638-1,147. The Raiders were 4-0 overall and in the league before facing Lancaster and Pickerington Central.

Chad Szczepanski was leading the boys in average at 195.4 before Dec. 12. Kyree South was averaging 158.0 and Nick Mahan was at 155.0.

Michaela Johnson was among the area's top girls with a 177.6 average before Dec. 12. Other top Raiders have included Bre Harris (140.7) and Lauren Sampson (136.4).

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