In a non-conference matchup of previously unbeaten teams, the Upper Arlington High School boys basketball team beat New Albany 61-51 on Jan. 22. It was the Golden Bears' 31st consecutive regular season victory, as they improved to 12-0 overall.
"New Albany is absolutely a top-caliber team in central Ohio," UA assistant coach Greg Allocco said. "They are an experienced group, a physical group, and we feel very fortunate to come out of here with a win. It's as quality as a win as we may have had to this point."
Since neither New Albany nor Upper Arlington have a post player taller than 6-foot-4, the two teams are guard oriented, and the up-tempo first half was characterized by a back-and-forth exchange of baskets. UA guards Carter Smith and Brian Sullivan combined to score 28 first-half points, as the Golden Bears led the Eagles 30-25 at halftime.
"We were moving the ball around well and attacking," said Sullivan. "When everyone didn't have a shot we tried to get shots for others."
Upper Arlington led 43-35 midway through the third quarter when New Albany's Ryan Mayle elbowed a driving Alec Santa Emma of Upper Arlington. Santa Emma converted both free throws and the Golden Bears later cemented the victory on a deep 3-pointer from junior Connor Casey.
Smith finished with 16 points while Sullivan added 28 points. New Albany was lead by Scott McDonald's 13 points. New Albany, who suffered their first lost, still remains first place in the OCC-Capital Division at 9-0.
Upper Arlington's next game is Tuesday, Jan. 25 at home against Worthington Kilbourne. UA defeated Kilbourne 50-48 in the first meeting on Dec. 10.