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Cleveland, OH – If Cleveland basketball fans thought the Cavs/Timberwolves OT thriller last night was exciting, the matchup between Garfield Heights and Cleveland Central Catholic was about to top that — with both teams ranked in the top 10 in cleveland.com’s top 25.
Garfield Heights entered the matchup with their heads held high coming off their victory against Medina. Their biggest challenge was yet to come as the CCC Ironmen entered with a 14-1 record, third-ranked in the city and undefeated at home, but the Bulldogs were able to complete the upset with a 58-48 victory.
The first quarter contest was back and forth with both teams showing their strengths at a packed and loud gymnasium. It was the Ironmen keeping a close contest with an 18-11 lead. The second quarter found the Bulldogs picking up the pace and getting right back in the game ending the first half with a tight 30-29 lead.
In the second half, it was all Garfield Heights as the Bulldogs cruised to the upset win that left the traveling fans in celebration and the Ironmen home crowd in shock. CCC’s loss ended the 8-0 undefeated home streak for the 2017-18 season.
Notable scorings from the Bulldogs include Donovan Forte with 17 points, Alex Heath with 16 points and Meechie Johnson with 15 points. CCC’s Delshawn Jackson scored a game-high 18 points for the Ironmen with Jerry Colemen and Dyshawn Jackson splitting eight points each.
“We were prepared,” said Heath. “Our coaches had us ready for anything coming our way. We knew coming in here it was going to be a dogfight and that it wasn’t going to be easy. They hit first but as the game came around we hit last. Now we got to put this one away and just keep rolling and moving in the right direction.”
“It was a good win,” said Garfield Heights head coach Sonny Johnson. “We played some of the best teams in the country and beat a few of those teams but it was a good win in a hostile environment. We’re becoming a complete team right now.”
It wasn’t just the basketball that got everybody talking about the game. The cheerleaders from both Garfield Heights and CCC had ongoing dance-off battles before and during the game, showcasing who was the loudest in their own “Bring it On” moment. In the end, just like the game itself, Garfield Heights (12-5) definitely stomped the yard.
“It was special because we got the best cheerleaders in the city,” Heath said on his reactions to the cheerleading battle. “Even when we went on that five-game losing streak they never gave up on us. We love them, they part of the team and a part of something special.”