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Reynoldsburg defeats Newark in Ohio Capital Conference play behind Jordan Fisher's big second half

The junior scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the second half to lead the Raiders to victory

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – After he spending the majority of the second quarter on the bench with foul trouble, Jordan Fisher was champing at the bit to make a difference in Reynoldsburg’s pivotal Ohio Capital Conference-Buckeye Division game against Newark on Friday night.

Fortunately for the Raiders, the junior small forward more than made up for lost time by scoring 15 of his game-high 19 points in the second half to power Reynoldsburg to a 55-43 home victory over the Wildcats.

With the win, Reynoldsburg improved to 11-5 overall, avenged a 45-41 loss at Newark on Dec. 22 and moved into a first-place tie with the Wildcats in the OCC-Buckeye with a 6-1 league record.

“This was a big game for us for our division title, so I was extra focused and locked in, especially in the second half after (not scoring in the second quarter),” Fisher said. “I’m proud of my teammates that they didn’t let (my absence in the second quarter) mess up the flow of the game. My teammates played well, and then I made sure I got mine, too.”

After Reynoldsburg built a 24-20 halftime lead, and then fell behind by scores of 25-24 and 33-30 in the third quarter, Fisher went on a scoring frenzy to help the Raiders blow the game open in the fourth quarter.

Fisher made all five of his field goal attempts and all five of his foul shots in the second half, while helping the Raiders go up 45-34 by the end of the third quarter and lead by as many as 21 points with five minutes remaining.

“Jordan just has a knack for scoring the basketball, so when we need points we just put the ball in his hands,” Reynoldsburg coach Andrew Moore said. “Jordan’s a popular kid and a leader, and our guys look to him for a lot of things besides just scoring, and he provided us with a lot of energy tonight.”

Fisher scored nine points on 4-of-4 shooting in the third quarter to spark a 25-1 run by Reynoldsburg that started midway through the third quarter and ended with the Raiders ahead 55-34 with 3:38 remaining in the game.

The 6-foot-6 Fisher energized both Reynoldsburg’s fans and his teammates when he stole the ball at midcourt, raced in all alone and finished with a back scratcher dunk to put the Raiders ahead 41-34 with 1:15 remaining in the third quarter.

“Dunking in a high school game is something different,” Fisher said. “We have a great student section, and that back scratcher dunk gave them a lot of energy, and we always feed off of their energy, too.”

Moments later, Reynoldsburg sophomore guard Xavier McKinney stole the ball and passed it to Fisher, who dunked it again to make it 43-34.

“Jordan’s dunks are worth a lot more than two points because they get the crowd and our entire team going,” Moore said. “He can change a game that way.”

Reynoldsburg's Jordan Fisher poses for a photo after a win over Newark on January 26, 2024

Reynoldsburg finished the third quarter with eight consecutive points off of turnovers and three consecutive dunks off of steals, as sophomore forward Jorden Bowens whipped Raiders fans into even more of a frenzy with a dunk with just five seconds left on the clock.

Newark turned the ball over a season-high 15 times on the way to having its 11-game winning streak snapped and dropping to 14-2 overall and 6-1 in league play.

“Turning it over isn’t typical for us,” Newark coach Jeff Quackenbush said. “Somewhere between eight to 10 of our turnovers turned into points for them. We have to control the game with our offense and handle pressure better than that. It’s a team thing. It’s not on just one guy.”

Fisher opened Reynoldsburg’s scoring in the fourth quarter by making four consecutive free throws on back-to-back possessions, and he pulled up for a midrange jump shot to extend the Raiders’ lead to 53-34 with 5:46 remaining in the game.

“He’s a great player and a great scorer, and when we need Jordan the most, he’s there,” Bowens said. “He’s clutch.”

Senior guard Noah Smith helped the Raiders rally from four first-half deficits to take a four-point halftime advantage, by making two of his team-best three 3-pointers in the second quarter. Smith also scored five points in the third quarter and finished with 11 in total.

Rounding out Reynoldsburg’s scoring were Bowens (10 points), McKinney (9) and Se’Ron Calloway-White (6). 

Reynoldsburg accomplished all of this without junior Toby Nwokolo, who suffered a concussion during the Raiders’ 93-83 overtime league win at Pickerington Central on Jan. 19, and has missed the Raiders’ last three contests but is expected back soon.

Senior forward Steele Meister led Newark with 16 points, including a 3-pointer and a three-point play on back-to-back possessions to give the Wildcats a 6-4 lead. Meister made another 3-pointer with 4:48 to give Newark its final lead, 33-30, with 4:48 remaining in the third quarter.

“It was a good learning experience for us,” coach Quackenbush said. “We’ve still got a chance to win the league. There’s not a lot of teams that (still) have a chance this time of year and we do. Our kids work hard… We’ll bounce back.”