Northland rolls in OT
Sunday, March 22, 2009 3:15 AM
LEONARDO CARRIZO Dispatch
Marco St. John of Dubin Scioto attempts to corral a rebound in front of Northland's Javon Comley in the second quarter.
As fans from Northland and Dublin Scioto roared in unison before overtime of a Division I regional final last night, Northland junior center Jared Sullinger wanted to be heard, so he interrupted his father and coach, Satch, which is a Herculean task in itself.
"I looked the four seniors straight in the eyes and told them that I
was going to take over in overtime," said Sullinger,
Sullinger, who missed a district semifinal loss to
Westerville South in 2008 for falling behind in his schoolwork, made several
pivotal plays to lead Northland over
The top-ranked Vikings (25-1) will face Warren Harding (22-3) at 5:15 p.m. Friday in Value City Arena.
"They've got two great players inside who are going Division I and they
showed why tonight," said senior guard Bradley McDougald,
Sullinger had 17 points, 20 rebounds and six blocks and J.D. Weatherspoon had 17 points and eight rebounds. Trey Burke also played a big role with 15 points and 5-of-6 free-throw shooting in overtime.
Weatherspoon scored on the first possession of overtime and Northland, which trailed by as many as nine points in the third quarter, never gave up the lead. On a set play after a time out, Sullinger took a backdoor pass from Burke, missed but tipped the
ball in for a 49-45 lead with 48 seconds left.
"The three things I put on the blackboard today were, No. 1, do what we do; No. 2, do what we do more; and No. 3, close out the game," Satch Sullinger said.
The last part didn't come easy.
McDougald, who forced overtime by hitting a tightly defended three-point shot with 6.8 seconds left, couldn't repeat the feat. His 25-foot three-point attempt rimmed out, and Eric Stamets tipped it in as time expired.
"It was an unbelievable game," Dublin Scioto coach Tony Bisutti said. "I couldn't ask any more of one guy or of a team tonight."
Midway through the third quarter,
"Some of their jump shots disappeared and I think that tends to happen when the game gets longer and legs get tired," Satch Sullinger said.
Said Jared Sullinger, "Bradley just kept bailing them out. I know he's a good football player, but he's really good at basketball."
After being ranked No. 1 and being favored the past two years to take the state title, finally getting there will be a relief for Satch Sullinger.
"When you're favored every day from day one, it's like we were swimming in waters with sharks," he said. "I had to convince the guys that there weren't any man-eating sharks. From this point on, it's time to have some fun."