JCU’s four seniors contribute to win that secures No. 4 seed in OAC Tournament


From left to right: Corbin Anthony, Emil Hess, Luke Hippler, Jackson Sartain and Ryan Hite

Ashley McCall, Staff Reporter

In a classic back and forth fashion, the John Carroll University Men’s Basketball Team closed regular season play with an 81-64 victory over the Otterbein Cardinals. 

Before the game, the Blue Streaks honored their five seniors: Jackson Sartain, Luke Hippler, Emil Hess, Corbin Anthony and team manager Ryan Hite. The seniors’ parents attended and celebrated this special occasion, as they cheered for their sons in what might be one of the final games of their careers. 

The Blue and Gold had earned a significant victory the previous night in Westerville against the Cardinals in an overtime thriller that boosted John Carroll’s confidence going into senior night. 

This Saturday night event was a typical type of basketball game for the Blue Streaks, as the lead teetered from one side of the scoreboard to the other for almost the entire game. 

John Carroll moved to the forefront with a Sartain three-pointer, which improved their lead to eight with 6:51 left in the opening half — the largest of the first 20 minutes of play.

The Cardinals battled their way back into the match-up, as they grasped the lead with 1:10 before halftime with scores from Jake Justice, Dallas Patrick, Cam Evans and Brennan Rains.

With only 23 seconds left, Hugh Brown was sent to the free-throw line where he nailed both shots to retake the lead for John Carroll by a score of 39-38 at the break in action. 

The second half started the same way the first half ended: the teams exchanging leads until Anthony prompted a nine-point run for the Blue and Gold. 

Otterbein’s Cam Evans squashed this momentum with a layup, which was quickly answered by sophomore Eric Hanna, who drained a shot from behind the arc on the next possession. That shot made the score 62-51 and put John Carroll in the driver’s seat.  

With just under three minutes remaining in the contest, the Blue Streaks held a double-digit lead when the fouls started to accumulate in University Heights. 

Both teams were pushed into the bonus as players were continuously called for fouls on either end of the court. 

As the clock ticked down, Head Coach Pete Moran subbed the remaining seniors out of the game, giving them their standing ovation. 

Contributing to the triumph were Sartain and Hippler, who led JCU with 20 and 14 points, respectively. Junior Emmett Chambers added eight rebounds. Sartain totaled five assists, while Hanna and Brown chipped in three assists apiece. 

“We’ve had some great practices lately. It’s good to see it translate in a game,” said JCU Assistant Coach Frank O’Brien. “[Sartain] is the best shooter I’ve coached, and I’ve coached 40 years of high school and college. To his credit, no one works more than him. It’s contagious: Other kids hit shots because of him.”

With this win, John Carroll placed fourth in the Ohio Athletic Conference and will host the first round of the tournament at the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center on Tuesday, March 2, at 8 p.m. Unfortunately, no fans are permitted to attend the game.