In the biggest moments of the game, Westerville North boys basketball teammates Charles and Chace Perkins know exactly where the other is going to be on the court.
The senior twins are in tune. Their connection is almost a sixth sense.
Charles, a 6-foot-4 forward, and Chace, a 6-2 guard, are the top two scorers for the Warriors, who had won four consecutive games and were 8-7 overall before playing Upper Arlington on Jan. 21.
"We have a strong connection because we have been together for so many years," said Charles, who was averaging team highs of 14.3 points and 6.5 rebounds along with 2.1 assists through 15 games. "It kind of just like snaps. I know when he is going to cut to the basket. I know when he's going to shoot the ball. I know everything."
That includes the two connecting for a last-second game-winner in a 42-41 victory at Olentangy Orange on Jan. 10 in OCC-Buckeye Division play.
"They have a special connection, the two of them," coach Shan Trusley said. "You can just sense it during practice and during games.
"The other night against Orange, we're down one with 5.5 seconds left. (The Pioneers) miss a free throw, Cam Ledford rebounds it and throws it to Chace. Everyone in the gym thinks Chace is going to dribble it down and try to score at the buzzer, and out of nowhere his brother is sprinting past him down the floor. Chace bounces a pass to Charles, who lays it in at the buzzer for the win."
Chace took over in a 60-51 overtime win against visiting Westerville Central on Jan. 17 as the Warriors improved to 3-3 in the OCC-Buckeye. He scored eight of his 14 points in overtime, and Charles had 16 points and 13 rebounds.
"I know that when I get the ball to him, he will score," said Chace, who was averaging 11.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.4 steals through 15 games. "If he's in the post, he knows when I am going to cut, and he can get the ball out to me."
The brothers moved to central Ohio from Houston before their freshman year to be closer to family. They first attended Pickerington Central before moving to Westerville North in October of their sophomore year.
Their mother, Graciela Howell, was a standout athlete at Columbus East. She competed in the Class AA state track and field meet as a senior in 1984, finishing second in the shot put (41 feet, 5 1/2 inches) and third in the discus (129-0).
The twins are three-sport athletes at North, also competing in football and track. Last fall, Charles was second-team all-league as a tight end defensive end and Chace played defensive back.
"We started playing basketball in the third grade," Chace said. "We used to love football, but when we transferred here we started to love basketball. The coaches made me feel comfortable."
The two have not decided whether they want to play basketball or football in college. Charles has looked into football at Toledo and Walsh and a pair of Kansas community colleges in Coffeyville and Garden City. For basketball, he has looked into Otterbein, Bethany in West Virginia and Westminster in Pennsylvania.
Chase has looked into Heidelberg and Marietta for basketball and Akron, Toledo, Walsh and Garden City for football.
"Being three-sport athletes helps immensely," Trusley said. "They like being involved, they are really good teammates and the kids in those three sports love having them as part of the team. It's good that they stay active like they do, representing the school and the community as much as they do."
Trusley said the two bring their own identities to the court. Charles takes over in the paint and Chace is a slasher on the perimeter.
"Charles has really good feet and really good hands," Trusley said. "He has great balance because he takes a lot of contact when he's down there. He's able to stay on balance and lay the ball in. He's a kid who loves playing around the basket, which is unique because nowadays kids -- no matter their size -- want to step out and shoot 3s. He's content shooting layups.
"Chace can really get it to the basket and he's a wonderful defensive player. He always has the responsibility of guarding the other team's top offensive player. He moves well laterally, and he's hard to score on. When you combine the fact that he moves well laterally and he's always challenging shots and passes, that makes him a really good defender."
Charles is the older brother, born one minute before Chace, who doesn't think that's a big deal.
"He doesn't think it counts because it's only a minute, but it does," Charles said. "I'm the older brother."
"We do everything together," Chace added. "We know what the other is going to do."
Wrestling team wins Licking Heights title
Connor Euton (138 pounds) and Jake Gooding (120) won championships as the wrestling team finished first in the Licking Heights Invitational on Jan. 17 and 18.
The Warriors scored 198.5 points to win the 20-team event ahead of runner-up London (180).
Jacob Grant (152) and Gabe Ohle (113) were runners-up, and Nate Morse (132) was third. Sylvester Bockarie (145) and Dallas Reed (182) were fourth, and Josh Borden (160), Eli DeTemple (182), Bryce Long (195) and John Holzapfel (heavyweight) placed fifth.
Girls basketball team continues to roll
The girls basketball team won its fifth consecutive game, improving to 13-3 overall by defeating Cincinnati Walnut Hills 33-32 on Jan. 20.
The Warriors, who played UA on Jan. 21, moved to 5-2 in the OCC-Buckeye by beating Central 60-10 on Jan. 17. Charia Smith had 17 points and Alyssa Wright scored 16.
Through 15 games, Smith was averaging a team-high 10.7 points and Imari Martin and Wright both were averaging 10.3.
Below are the coming schedules for the North boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Jan. 24 -- At Olentangy. The Warriors defeated the Braves 51-50 on Dec. 13.
Jan. 28 -- At Logan
*Jan. 24 -- At Olentangy. The Warriors defeated the Braves 35-34 on Dec. 13.
Jan. 28 -- Home vs. Big Walnut
*Jan. 27 -- Olentangy at Delaware Lanes
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 25 -- OCC-Buckeye meet at Kenyon College
*Jan. 23 -- At Westerville South
Jan. 25 -- At Hilliard Davidson with Cincinnati Moeller