Although it took place during the opening week of the high school boys basketball season, the matchup Dec. 5 between revamped Gahanna Lincoln and defending Division I state champion Westerville South didn't disappoint.

Although it took place during the opening week of the high school boys basketball season, the matchup Dec. 5 between revamped Gahanna Lincoln and defending Division I state champion Westerville South didn't disappoint.

The host Lions lost seven players to graduation, including four starters, after falling to the Wildcats 68-59 in a regional final last season, and they struggled to stop South senior post player Kaleb Wesson throughout the rematch.

The Wildcats never had it easy, though, trailing by six points at the end of the first quarter and never leading by more than seven before making the biggest shots at the end of a 58-53 victory.

Wesson scored 27 points and went 11-for-12 from the free-throw line as South improved to 2-0. Gahanna dropped to 1-1.

"I thought we played really hard," South coach Ed Calo said. "We forced them to take some bad shots and we rebounded really well. We played a really quality basketball team with a lot of ability and potential, but we were able to finish."

South's Antoine Smith, who scored 15 points, hit a 3-pointer with 2 minutes, 37 seconds to go to tie it at 50 and Wesson scored with1:56left to make it 52-50.

Jake Garrison made a pair of free throws with 1:36 to play to give South a 54-50 lead and added a basket with 53 seconds left for a six-point lead.

Gahanna sophomore Jordan Mitchell, the team's only key returnee, sat out more than five minutes of the fourth quarter with cramps. He finished with 10 points while Seth Goodson had nine points and Josh Corbin and Randy Olverson both scored eight.

"I'm very proud of our effort tonight," Lions coach Tony Staib said. "This was the first time for 12 of our guys to be in a big-time environment. It had a district final type of feel."

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