Boys Basketball: Grandview Heights, Worthington Christian capture district titles

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group

Aiden Leslie dominated on both ends of the floor to help the fourth-seeded Grandview Heights boys basketball team defeat second-seeded and host Patriot Prep 57-40 on March 5 for its third consecutive district championship and the 500th career victory for coach Ray Corbett.

The Bobcats improved to 9-9 and advanced to play New Boston Glenwood or Lucasville Valley in a Division IV regional semifinal March 9 at Chillicothe Southeastern. Grandview won its second Division IV district title in a row after winning one in Division III in 2019.

Leslie scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half while limiting Eagles standout forward Darius Ogburn to seven points in the final two quarters. Patriot Prep scored only 15 points in the second half.

“(Ogburn) dominated in the first half (with 11 points) and we knew we had to make some changes,” Corbett said. “We played straight up man and we adjusted for a couple other kids and Aiden Leslie wanted to guard that kid. Sometimes you have to rely on your players to make plays for you.”

Leslie said the Bobcats wanted to get back to where last season ended. Grandview defeated Glouster Trimble 62-32 in a regional semifinal at Ohio University but never played another game after the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic forced a premature end to the season.

“No one expected us to get this far after losing (2020 graduates) Luke (Lachey) and Brian (Collier) and everyone,” said Leslie, who was 6-for-6 on free throws. “We’re jelling as a team and playing well right now.”

Grandview Heights coach Ray Corbett, left, and Aiden Leslie, right, point at teammate Tre Holliman as he hoists the Division IV district championship trophy after the Bobcats' 57-40 win over Patriot Prep on March 5.

Tre Holliman had 15 points and Ian Gecse added 12 for Grandview.

Ogburn was the only Patriot Prep player in double figures with 18 points. Chris Towns added seven.

Corbett said the 500th win was a product of longevity and good players and assistant coaches.

“One thing that was special about it was I had a buddy from my high school team in 1975 at Ready named Rick Brown,” said Corbett, who is in his 34th year at Grandview and also coached one season at Ready. “He was here along with my kids and my wife, and (Grandview athletics director) Mr. (Brad) Bertani was kind enough to get them passes.

“That means the world to me. They lived it with me, so to be able to share it with them and the rest of the people in the community, it means a lot.”

Worthington Christian's Tyler Kindberg (22) dunks against Harvest Prep during a Division III district final March 5.

Worthington Christian 50, Harvest Prep 25

In a Division III district final, top-seeded and host Worthington Christian beat second-seeded Harvest Prep to win its eighth district championship under coach Kevin Weakley and 12th overall. 

The win avenged a 49-47 loss to Harvest Prep in a district final last season and advanced Worthington Christian to a regional semifinal March 10 against Wheelersburg at Chillicothe Southeastern. 

“For us it was a redemption game,” junior guard D.J. Moore said. “We come back 365 days later and we just wanted another piece of them. With that mentality, we just wanted to keep it going, just play, and we basically wanted to run them off the court. With our scouting report, we basically did that.” 

Worthington Christian led 11-10 after one quarter and held Harvest Prep scoreless in the second quarter. The Warriors then stretched the lead to 38-19 heading into the fourth. 

Worthington Christian improved to 25-1 and Harvest Prep finished 18-1. 

“It was (our) defense (that led us to the win),” senior wing player Tyler Kindberg said. “I don’t think they’ve seen a defense that was disciplined like that before. We got in the passing lanes and kept them in front of us and that was huge. They’re used to getting offensive rebounds easily, but we made them only get one shot. We rebounded, and that was the game honestly.” 

Moore finished with 13 points and five assists, Kobe Buford had 11 points and Kindberg had nine points, eight rebounds and five assists to lead Worthington Christian, which outrebounded Harvest Prep 34-24. 

Nyelle Shaheed, who picked up his fourth foul midway through the third quarter, led Harvest Prep with nine points. 

—Jarrod Ulrey 

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