Mr. 2000 - CJ Anthony


CANAL WINCHESTER, Ohio -- The house was packed at The Cave at Harvest Preparatory Academy. Star senior guard C.J. Anthony was about to do what few players ever do statewide, score more than 2,000 points in his high school basketball career.

Ironically, this milestone would be achieved in a rare match-up of teams rated No. 1 in both the Division III and Division IV basketball polls for the state of Ohio.

The Bishops of Zanesville Rosecrans came to Harvest Prep with the intention of slowing down the Warriors high-scoring guard and staying undefeated on the season. They weren't able to accomplish either.

Harvest Prep, who is the reigning state champion in Division III, is looking like a huge threat to cut down another pair of nets as the Warriors now stand at 12-2 with their only two losses coming to to out-of-state teams.

The Warriors struggled for the first eight minutes, as their star guard was held to a pair of free throws in a sluggish first quarter that found the teams deadlocked at 11 all.

The discipline Bishops effectively spread the court, penetrated, and dished off for open looks, but we're unable to knock down open 3-pointers that could have given them the advantage after the first quarter.

The restless crowd at The Cave was ready to see their star guard Anthony take over the game. He sat just five points away from scoring 2000.  Ninety seconds later, Anthony would get a kick out pass and swish a 23-foot three point shot that would give him the milestone.

After Rosecrans committed a charging foul, play with stop for a short time to honor the senior guard at Center Court. To few of the Warriors fans surprise, this was just the calm before the storm, Anthony would explode for 10 more points in the final six and a half minutes to lead the Warriors to a 31-24 halftime lead behind his 17 points.

The Bishops led by coach Todd Rock, came out of the half and continued to execute well.  Rosecrans displayed excellent spacing, got strong drives from the perimeter players and found open teammates for good looks, however the lid that was on the basket in the first half for the Bishops, remained tightly secured throughout the entire game.

A promising start to the third quarter was quickly answered by another scoring explosion by the All-Ohio guard Anthony who would score 11 points in the quarter, making four field goals and two free throws. After 24 minutes, the Warriors had taken a dominating 49 - 36 lead and were not going to be overtaken on this night.

Harvest Prep would keep the Bishops an arm's length away the rest of the night  winning comfortably 63- 51, as Anthony would add a pair of field goals in the final 8 minutes to finish with 32 points.

"Anthony is a great leader for us, " said head coach David Dennis Sr, reminiscing about the career of his star guard. " He is a great player and a great person as well, he is a great leader for our young players, always giving them encouragement and a pat on the butt when they need it."

The Bishops were led in scoring by post player Weston Nern who scored 15 points and forward Marcus Browning who had 13 first-half points. Point guard Jack Goggin effectively drove to the basket most of the game but struggled to finish some shots in the paint. Steady perimeter players Paul Nern and Josh Merva were held to just three field goals on the game.

The Warriors were assisted by the steady play of Brian Beavers, Malachi Henry and Kenneth Sykes.

The loss took Zanesville Rosecrans to 11 wins against only one loss.

Anthony, who now stands at 2,025 career points, became the first Central District player since Seth Towns to surpass 2,000 points. Towns finished at 2,016 points, while Anthony has a chance to become the all-time leader in Central Ohio history - an honor that comes once a century.