Northland High School boys basketball coach Satch Sullinger first noticed how versatile of a team he might have this season in the midst of its win over Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep 53-52 on Dec. 17 in the Otterbein College Rike Center.

Northland High School boys basketball coach Satch Sullinger first noticed how versatile of a team he might have this season in the midst of its win over Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep 53-52 on Dec. 17 in the Otterbein College Rike Center.

Since that time -- and in particular in its most-publicized games -- the Vikings have done nothing but solidify that position.

Whether it goes with a lineup that features a trio of guards or more of an inside-dominant lineup, Northland's options have been difficult for opponents to adjust to.

In an 88-67 victory over Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Luers last Saturday in Ohio State's Schottenstein Center, the Vikings at times used senior Jared Sullinger on the perimeter as a way to create a new look.

They also at times went with either a three-guard lineup that included some combination of Trey Burke, Jordan Potts, Ke'Chaun Lewis, Lavante Justice and Jakyl Cornley.

In addition, while building a 28-12 lead by the end of the first quarter, they tried a lineup that included forwards J.D. Weatherspoon and Jalen Robinson along with Jared Sullinger before getting Devon Scott into the action in the second half.

At 6-foot-9, Jared Sullinger is the tallest among a huge frontcourt along with Weatherspoon (6-7), Robinson (6-8) and Scott (6-8) for the No. 1 team in USA Today's Super 25.

"The game against Findlay Prep was when we realized that we can go big sometimes or we can go small and be very effective," Satch Sullinger said. "Jalen is one of the best backline defensemen that we have. (Last Saturday) you saw everything was clicking. I have no expectations of them other than to play within ourselves, and I'm satisfied that this team is able to do it all."

In what was the sixth of seven games last Saturday at the Play-by-Play Classic, Jared Sullinger earned the game MVP trophy after finishing with 24 points and nine rebounds.

Burke was equally as effective, finishing with 23 points and seven assists.

Burke had 15 points in the first half as the Vikings built a 51-28 lead on 22-for-28 shooting.

Luers' Deshaun Thomas, who will join Jared Sullinger and Weatherspoon in Ohio State's freshman class next season, made five 3-pointers and finished with 36 points as his team slipped to 10-4.

The Knights attempted to double-team Jared Sullinger early and he burned them with a pair of first-quarter 3-pointers.

"When we put Jared on the perimeter, it kind of spreads our offense out a little bit," Burke said. "We've got a lot of depth from the bench."

•The girls basketball team's hopes of competing in a second consecutive City League championship game suffered a major blow last Friday when it lost to visiting Brookhaven 48-47.

After leading by as many as 14 before hanging on to beat the Bearcats 47-45 on Dec. 15, the Vikings trailed 40-35 with 5 minutes, 43 seconds remaining but came back to lead 44-43 with 3:05 to go.

Northland's Tiffany Hudson's 3-point attempt in the closing seconds swirled around the rim before missing, and Taren Mahone was fouled while grabbing the rebound with no time remaining.

Mahone, who made a season-high four 3-pointers in the game, hit the first free throw but missed the second.

Mahone scored 13 overall to lead Northland, which fell into a first-place tie atop the City League-North with the Bearcats.

Heading into last Tuesday, the Vikings would lose the tiebreaker in terms of which team will represent the City-North in the conference final to Brookhaven because they have been in the game more recently if both teams win out.

"(Mahone) played a heck of a basketball game," coach Dean Washington said. "She shoots the 3 extremely well. It's like I told her, we missed a big layup late, and all of the things that led up to that point were the reason we lost the game."

•OF NOTE -- The defending state-champion boys basketball team will look to avenge its only loss from last season when it plays host to Canton Timken at 7 p.m. Saturday in the final game of a boys-girls doubleheader that includes freshmen and junior varsity games.

The girls play at about 1:30 p.m. against South Euclid Regina, which was No. 1 in the Division III state poll released Jan. 20.

Timken and Regina each won 12 of their first 14 games.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Northland boys basketball, girls basketball, boys and girls bowling, boys and girls swimming & diving and wrestling teams:


*Jan. 12 -- Defeated Linden-McKinley 95-33 *Jan. 14 -- Def. Beechcroft 76-49 Jan. 16 -- Def. Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy 47-46 in the Hoophall Classic in Springfield (Mass.). J.D. Weatherspoon scored 21 points. *Jan. 19 -- Def. Mifflin 104-38 *Last Friday -- Def. Brookhaven 73-40 Last Saturday -- Def. Fort Wayne (Ind.) Luers 88-67 in Ohio State's Schottenstein Center *Last Tuesday -- Played Centennial *Friday -- At Columbus East. Northland won 103-67 on Jan. 5. Saturday -- Home vs. Canton Timken (7:30 p.m.). Last season, the Trojans handed the Vikings' their only loss, 67-61 in overtime in Canton. *Tuesday -- Home vs. Whetstone. Northland won 82-26 on Jan. 11.

Of note: The Vikings were 11-0 overall and 8-0 in the City League-North Division before last Tuesday.


*Jan. 12 -- Def. Linden 90-25 *Jan. 15 -- Def. Beechcroft 75-34 *Jan. 19 -- Def. Mifflin 44-28 *Last Friday -- Lost to Brookhaven 48-47 *Last Tuesday -- Played Centennial *Friday -- Home vs. Columbus East. Northland won 58-27 on Jan. 5. Saturday -- Home vs. South Euclid Regina (1:30 p.m.) *Tuesday -- At Whetstone. Northland won 90-21 on Jan. 11.

Of note: The Vikings were 12-2 overall and 9-1 in the City-North before last Tuesday.

*City-North game


*Jan. 14 -- Boys: Lost to Brookhaven 1,898-1,876 at Sequoia; Girls: Def. Brookhaven 1,359-1,336 at Sequoia *Jan. 15 -- Boys: Def. East 1,696-1,673 at Sequoia; Girls: Def. East 1,330-1,128 at Sequoia *Jan. 19 -- Boys: Def. Linden 1,705-1,582 at HP Lanes; Girls: Def. Linden 1,456-1338 at HP Lanes *Last Tuesday -- Boys, girls: Competed against Beechcroft *Monday -- Boys, girls: At Eastland Lanes vs. Walnut Ridge *Wednesday -- Boys, girls: At HP Lanes vs. Mifflin

Of note: The boys were 3-1 overall and in the COC-Gold Division and the girls were 4-0 overall and in the COC-Gold before last Tuesday.

*COC-Gold match


Jan. 13 -- Boys: Finished second (102) behind Centennial (150) and ahead of Beechcroft (25) at YMCA North; Girls: Finished second (66) behind Centennial (124) and ahead of Beechcroft (58) at YMCA North Jan. 19 -- Boys: Def. Eastmoor Academy 71-23; Girls: Lost to Eastmoor 45-42 Saturday -- At Stars Invitational at Columbus Aquatic Center


Last Friday-last Saturday -- Finished 10th (72) in 15-team Grandview Tournament. Brandon Neal (130) was a runner-up.