Although he hopes this will be his most talented team in three seasons as Pickerington High School Central girls basketball coach, Johnathan Hedgepeth still admitted the Tigers exceeded his wildest expectations Dec. 8.

Although he hopes this will be his most talented team in three seasons as Pickerington High School Central girls basketball coach, Johnathan Hedgepeth still admitted the Tigers exceeded his wildest expectations Dec. 8.

Freshman guard Madison Greene had her best game yet in a young season full of solid performances, scoring a game-high 22 points as Central routed visiting Pickerington North 71-29 in an OCC-Ohio Division game.

Another freshman, forward Maliya Perry, added 19 for the Tigers, who improved to 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the OCC-Ohio and used a smothering defense to keep the Panthers (3-2, 2-1) off kilter from the start. They made just five field goals for the game, 11 fewer than the number of free throws Central made in 24 attempts.

"I could not have seen this. Never," Hedgepeth said. "We were in foul trouble early so a few of our starters were out. Our girls were great. The bench players played a great game. We continued to keep pressure on them."

The Tigers outscored the Panthers 22-5 in the second quarter, limiting North to 0-for-5 from the field.

Central, meanwhile, hit nine of 12 shots. Perry hit a basket in transition, and added two layups and consecutive putbacks to help push the lead to 40-12 at halftime.

"I am becoming a better leader and I feel like I'm maturing more every day," said Greene, who is averaging 13.8 points. "I feel like I play really good defense. I have great teammates to help me out wherever I am. I think I am a good shooter, sometimes, but I work really hard on defense. I just try to stay in front of the ball."

Paige Matijasic led North with nine points.

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Team 1 2 3 4 Final PICKERINGTON NORTH
7 5 7 10 29 PICKERINGTON CENTRAL
18 22 18 13 71