New Albany jumps out to early lead, deals Big Walnut 64-46 setback

By Gary Henery Sports Writer

January 8, 2014

The visiting Eagles used its long-range shooting to take control of this one early on.

New Albany, finding the bottom of the net with eight threes in its first nine baskets, jumped out to a 26-8 lead midway through the second quarter en route to a 64-46 Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division victory over host Big Walnut Friday night in Sunbury.

Six-foot junior guard Alex Sparks, who led all scorers with 25 points, accounted for four of the Eagles’ treys, hitting three in the opening quarter to help New Albany to a 15-8 first period lead. Junior backcourt runningmate Austin Schaub contributed a pair of threes in the Eagles’ quick start, including the three- pointer that gave New Albany the 18-point lead second-period advantage.

“New Albany came out and opened the game with eight threes, putting us in an early hole,” Big Walnut head coach Eric Myers said. “While we jumped out to a 4-0 lead, they were quick to answer. They are a good team and once they got on a roll, they were hard to stop.”

New Albany (4-1, 4-0 OCC) stretched its lead to 31-12 at the half before opening up a 22-point, 42-20 on Sparks’ fourth trey of the night as the clock ticked under the 4-minute mark of the third quarter.

But Myers’ Golden Eagles did not back down.

Big Walnut (4-5, 1-4 OCC), which came into the contest riding a three-game winning streak, put together a 12-4 fourth quarter run to close to within 16 of the lead at 57-43 on back-to-back Zac Asher layins and a pair of free throws with 1:41 to play.

“Our kids never backed down after falling behind be as many as 22 points in the second half,” Myers said, noting Big Walnut won the second half 34-33. “We came back out and played hard at both end of the floor.”

Backing Sparks in the scoring column for New Albany were 6-1o junior post John Miller with 12 points and Schaub with 10 points. The Eagles finished with 21 field goals, 9 coming from behind the arc.

Nick Herbert, Big Walnut’s 6-1 senior who canned a pair of treys, paced the Golden Eagles with 15 points. Scoring behind Herbert were Asher with 8 and 6-3 sophomore Josh Seabrook with 6 points on a pair of threes.