During its Division III state championship season last winter, one of the Africentric Early College girls basketball team's three losses came at home to Detroit Edison in the Nubian Classic.
The Nubians traveled to Michigan for a rematch Dec. 15, a game that continues a non-league schedule filled with high-profile matchups.
Heading into the meeting with the Pioneers, Africentric and Edison were fourth and fifth, respectively, in MaxPreps.com's top 25 national rankings.
The Nubians, who lost to Edison 65-62 last season, won 65-60 in a rematch that featured Africentric senior guard and Tennessee recruit Jordan Horston and the Pioneers' Rickea Jackson, a 6-foot-3 senior wing player who has committed to Mississippi State.
Horston and Jackson both scored 14 points, while Africentric's Alexia Smith led all scorers with 22.
"They're really good," coach Will McKinney said of Edison. "They beat us last year in overtime and they're (ranked) by MaxPreps."
The Nubians, who beat Independence 76-7 on Dec. 14, were 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the City League-South Division before playing West on Dec. 18.
Africentric should have its toughest league contest to date Friday, Dec. 21, when it plays host to Eastmoor Academy, which was 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the City-South before playing South on Dec. 18. The Warriors beat Trotwood-Madison 64-52 on Dec. 13, Briggs 94-34 on Dec. 14 and Logan 76-47 on Dec. 15.
The Nubians then play Friday, Dec. 28, in the Lady Rocks Classic at Dublin Coffman against the host Shamrocks and Jan. 4 at Chicago Kenwood in matchups that McKinney expects to further challenge his team.
While Horston was last year's Division III district Player of the Year, Coffman is led by senior guard and Ohio State signee Jacy Sheldon. A Division I district runner-up last season, the Shamrocks were 8-0 after beating Olentangy 91-41 on Dec. 15.
Sheldon is averaging 27.5 points and has more than 1,800 career points.
"(The game with Coffman) will be really good," McKinney said. "(Sheldon) is really good. You'll be hard-pressed to find two better ones (than Sheldon and Horston)."
The Nubians opened Nov. 24 with a 60-55 victory over Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame in the Journey to the Tourney at West Chester Lakota West. Mount Notre Dame was a Division I regional semifinalist last season.
Kenwood won eight of its first 10 games and is led by 6-3 senior forward Tamara Nard, a Missouri-Kansas City signee, and 5-9 senior guard Kimeira Burks, an Illinois-Chicago commit.
City boys basketball action gets started
On the opening night of the City boys basketball schedule, results occurred that could impact the eventual title races in both the North and South divisions.
Defending City champion Beechcroft lost its North Division opener 70-66 to Centennial on Dec. 11 and was 3-3 overall before playing Linden-McKinley on Dec. 18.
Northland opened league play with an 89-55 victory over International on Dec. 12 and beat Linden 64-61 on Dec. 14 to improve to 2-2 overall and 2-0 in the league before playing Whetstone on Dec. 18.
Beechcroft will play host to Northland on Friday, Dec. 21.
In the South Division, two teams that figure to be in the mix to win the league met Dec. 11, with South beating Walnut Ridge 78-74 in overtime.
VonCameron Davis had 33 points and Kaveon Ross scored 22 for the Scots, but the Bulldogs had three players in double figures, led by Tre'ohn Watkins with 25 points and Trevell Adams with 15.
South was 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the City-South before playing defending City champion Eastmoor on Dec. 18, while Walnut Ridge was 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the league before playing Briggs on Dec. 18.
Collins leading Cougars bowlers
The Beechcroft boys bowling team has one of central Ohio's top competitors in senior Reece Collins, who was averaging 222 through six games.
During a 1,913-1,442 victory over Linden on Dec. 11 at HP Lanes, Collins rolled games of 300 and 240.
Seniors Gideon Adjei, Ali Mojtabaei and Andrew Zigarevich and junior Mycah Jordan also are key bowlers for Beechcroft, which was 3-1 overall and in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-D Division after losing to Eastmoor 2,274-1,792 on Dec. 14 at Eastland Lanes.
"We've started off really well," coach Joe Begeny said. "We've still got a goal of winning the City championship. We've got a lot of new faces and are trying to stay competitive."
The girls team lost its best bowler from last season in 2018 graduate Heather Lyons, who advanced to state as a sophomore and district last winter.
The Cougars beat Linden 1,036-1,032 on Dec. 11 at HP Lanes and were 1-2 overall and in the COHSBC-D after losing to Eastmoor 1,406-1,105 on Dec. 14.
Senior Noel Tinnes, junior Victoria Simmons, sophomores Ciarra Reeder, Hawa Gboya and Ta Aliyah Palmer and freshman Tiwa Adediran are among the competitors for the Cougars.
"Noel Tinnes and (Ciarra) Reeder are the two veterans, and we have four brand new bowlers that we're working into it," coach Matt Bell said. "They're learning the game, so it's been pretty cool so far."
Vikings bowlers off to strong starts
The Northland boys and girls bowling teams are 3-0 overall and in the COHSBC-C.
Junior Aaron Holley is leading the boys team with a 163.5 average through six games, while juniors Rameses Holland, Naseer Broadnax, Rasi Bailey, Dal Kap, Husam Ahmed and Jason Barnes and sophomore Trejuan Pitts also are on the team.
"All of the kids are juniors except for one, so I'll have them all for two years and one of them for three," 11th-year coach Robert Pea said. "I'm excited."
The girls team, which won the City title in 2013 and was City runner-up three other times under 11th-year coach Peggy Holley, beat Columbus Academy 1,349-1,319 on Dec. 12 at HP Lanes as junior Tara Odari led with a 292 series.
Others on the team include seniors Amara McCuen and Keyerra Norris, juniors Kopila Khanal and Ankrita Subba, sophomore Isabel Alberto and freshmen Nasia Bailey and Essence Pitts.