Grandview Heights Roundup: Up-tempo style suits Bobcats boys basketball team

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
By turning up the defensive pressure, Tre Holliman and Grandview Heights turned around their season, winning four of five contests before playing Buckeye Valley on Feb. 12 in the third-place game of the MSL-Ohio tournament.

Ray Corbett saw something when his Grandview Heights boys basketball team played at Wellington in late January, and it turned out to be season changing.

The Bobcats, who trailed by 19 points at halftime, rallied before losing to the Jaguars 56-49 on Jan. 29 in MSL-Ohio Division play.

The second-half outburst gave their coach an idea to let his players go all-out, full-throttle on the defensive end, and the offense would build momentum from that energy.

The philosophy has worked, with the Bobcats going 4-1 in their first five games after Jan. 29, including a 73-57 win over Liberty Union on Feb. 11 to improve to 6-8 overall.

The game before that, the Bobcats blitzed host Wellington from the opening tip-off en route to a 62-46 win Feb. 9 in the second round of the MSL-Ohio tournament.

“The second half we played here (at Wellington) last time, I told them after the game that this is how we’re going to play from here on out,” Corbett said. “We’re going to go full-court and get after people. We did, and that’s how we’re going to play.

“We’re just going to play as hard as we can defensively. That’s what our kids are good at.”

In the rematch against Wellington, the Bobcats forced 12 second-half turnovers, including nine in the fourth quarter to hold the Jaguars at bay. Adam Bechtel had as many steals as points – seven – for Grandview. 

“That was fun. I’m proud of the way we played,” Corbett said. “Adam Bechtel played so hard defensively. He was so dominant defensively. His hands were all over the place. What we’re doing might be good for his style and athleticism. We were excited as a staff to see how well we could play, and we played great.”

Danny Claypool scored 18 points with four 3-pointers and Tre Holliman also had 18 points for the Bobcats, who shot 11-for-14 on free throws. Aiden Leslie added 10 points.

“Coach wants us to execute our plays and just hustle,” Claypool said. “When you hustle and try harder than the other team and bring the intensity, it’s a lot easier to win.”

Grandview was 1-7 in the MSL-Ohio before playing Buckeye Valley on Feb. 12 in the third-place game of the league tournament.

The Bobcats lost to Whitehall 58-44 on Feb. 5 in the first round.

Grandview is seeded fourth in the Division IV district tournament behind Cardington, Patriot Prep and Newark Catholic. The Bobcats open the postseason Feb. 27 at home against 16th-seeded Fairfield Christian in the second round.

“We play in a tough league and no one in Division IV plays a schedule like this,” Bechtel said. “We have (Division) I, DII and DIII teams in our league. We’re the only Division IV so that definitely should help us.”

Corbett taps the brakes on that philosophy. A difficult schedule can help prepare a team for the postseason, but there is no substitution for showing up ready to play on game night.

“You have to go out and play,” he said. “I know a few years back (2017), we beat a Centerburg team by 40 points (82-39) in the regular season, and they came into our gym and beat us (48-45 in the second round in Division III). Anything is possible, and I don’t want this to be a one-and-done deal.”

Girls basketball team

works toward district

The girls basketball team had a busy week heading into its Division III district tournament opener.

The Bobcats were 3-10 overall before playing Tree of Life on Feb. 13 and 1-7 in the MSL-Ohio before playing Columbus Academy on Feb. 15.

Grandview is seeded 17th in the district tournament and opens Feb. 20 at fifth-seeded Mount Gilead or 15th-seeded Ready in the second round. The winner plays in a district semifinal Feb. 23 against top-seeded Worthington Christian or 18th-seeded Amanda-Clearcreek at the home of the better seed.

Hannah Yochem scored 22 points with three 3-pointers to lead the Bobcats past Whetstone 51-22 on Feb. 10.

Jason Reaser and the Bobcats are preparing for a Division III sectional tournament Feb. 26 and 27 at Madison Plains.

Wrestling team wins

dual against Academy

The wrestling team won its first dual of the season, defeating Academy 37-36 on Feb. 5 to improve to 1-3 in the MSL-Ohio.

Kellen Dowdy (170 pounds) won by pin. Mikael Black (160), Parker Black (182), Will Doolittle (heavyweight), Gabrahan Downer (220) and Ian Matney (106) all won by forfeit.

The Bobcats compete at home Feb. 20 against Centennial.

Grandview will participate in a Division III sectional Feb. 26 and 27 at Madison Plains. The Bobcats did not compete in the postseason last year.

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