Chris Livingston followed up his 41-point performance last week with another strong showing on Friday night. The Buchtel freshman went for 26 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in an 83-60 win over East. Livingston has improved rapidly throughout the season.
His latest stretch might be a signal of what to expect in the future. Getting the green light, and playing more with ball in his hands has unlocked Livingston’s entire repertoire. Livingston displayed an improved feel for the game, a willingness to seek contact on dribble drives, and a defensive mindset that rubs off on teammates.
Buchtel head coach Matt Futch is especially excited about the future of Livingston. After his 41-point career-high in a 85-60 win over Firestone, Futch noted that his breakout game has been on the horizon for quite some time.
“He has been efficient all season. It was like a breakthrough performance Friday,” Futch told Ohio.com. “Since he played his first game, I have been seeing that potential in him to have that type of game pretty much on a consistent basis.”
“Same as every other game, I was just hitting that game,” Livingston said about his breakout performance. “I was just zoned-in at the beginning of the game, I was hitting. I had a good game, and our team got a good win.”
On the floor, Livingston has also developed a connection with sophomore Ronnell Perie, The duo has a connection that dates back to the St. Vincent-St. Mary basketball camp.
“Funny thing is, me and Chris been together at St. V camp when we were real… real little. So me and him have been together for a lot of years now.” Perie said after scoring 14 points against East. “We knew each other for a long time, we practice together, we train together, so we just play hard on the court together and it all works out.”
Last season, Perie spent his freshman season at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s, but joined the Griffins for his sophomore campaign.
When combined with Livingston— Perie’s scoring, facilitating, crafty handles, finishing ability and pure perimeter shot provides the Griffins with one of the best underclassmen 1-2 punches in the area.
Next week, Buchtel will face another deadly underclassmen combo in Garfield Heights sophomore Meechie Johnson and freshman Sonny Johnson Jr.
“We try to treat every game like it’s a big game, but I know it’s a going to be a good game, Livingston said. “So we’re going to play hard, but we’re still going to be amped-up for every other game. So we’re not trying to eye in on one key game, we’re just trying to run the table the rest of the season and get every win.”
Darnell Jones is a contributor for Mars Reel based in Northeast Ohio