Canal Winchester's 7-foot-1 center and Ohio State recruit B.J. Mullens put a bow on the sixth annual Flyin' to the Hoop tournament with 62 points in a 79-69 win over Our Savior New American (N.Y.) wowing a near capacity crowd Monday night at Fairmont's Trent Arena.
And Canal Winchester center B.J. Mullens was most certainly in the zone Monday night at the sixth annual Flyin’ to the Hoop tournament.
After tying a school record with 46 points Saturday against Fairfield Union, Mullens netted an astounding 62 points and pulled down 21 rebounds in a 79-69 win over Our Savior New American (N.Y.) Fairmont’s Trent Arena in the FTTH finale.
He also had three blocks in the contest.
The 7-foot-1 Ohio State recruit, who is averaging 24 points per game on the season, came out strong showcasing rim-rattling dunks and scoring all of Canal Winchester’s 20 first quarter points wowing the near capacity crowd.
“I had to miss a game not long ago with a health problem and I don’t like basketball getting taken at anytime and I think that has put a little flame in me,” Mullens said.
The first player not named Mullens to score for Canal Winchester (13-2) was Jarmod Woodly at the 7:35 mark in the second quarter extending the Indians lead to 22-18.
Mullens took over again from there, though, scoring the rest of Canal Winchester’s second quarter points tallying 36 of the Indians’ 38 points at the half.
“Our kids did a good job at getting him the ball,” Canal Winchester head coach Kent Riggs said. “We’ve got a lot of kids that can score that have to hold themselves back to get him the ball. We have to win with the surest way and that’s what it was tonight. When (Mullens) can score almost every time he touches the ball, you’ve got to keep throwing him the ball.”
Canal Winchester carried a narrow 38-35 lead into the break.
“I thought we had a good lead but then had a couple turnovers and they hit some big shots,” Riggs said. “I thought we could have had a little better lead at halftime but thought we covered them well after halftime.”
Mullens’ 62 points ties him at No. 31 in the Ohio High School Athletic Association record book for most individual points in a game (Gary Kesler, Parkway vs. Mendon (11/11/1955), Hank Josefczyk, Yorkville vs. Lingly (12/1955)).
OSNA (12-4) struggled in the game matching up against Mullens’ height advantage with two of its tallest players sidelined. Ring Ayuel, OSNA’s 7-foot-5 center, was recently hospitalized with blood clots in his legs and missed Monday night’s action. He is reportedly out for up to six month’s.
Eric Deng (6-foot-7) had two points and one rebound in just over nine minutes of action before suffering an ankle injury.
“(Mullens) is a very good player – one of the best. It was a little bit more than we were able to handle,” OSNA head coach Ron Stelzer said.
Gerardo Suero had 24 points and 16 rebounds for OSNA eventually fouling out in the fourth quarter.
“(Suero) had a fair game but he averages about 31 (points per game),” said Stelzer. “I think the one who really had a sub par game shooting-wise was Rayner (Moquete). He usually comes up with 15 or 16 points and he just wasn’t hitting tonight. So, that was the (player) we probably missed the most as far as offensive production.”
Moquete was 2-of-9 from the floor and had six points.
Mullens was 28-of-34 (82 percent) shooting and Canal Winchester had 12 second chance points. He went 3-for-5 on free throw attempts in the first half and was from the charity stripe 6-of-12 in the game.
“The kids are looking at him more because of his size and he is so good down low. He is real quick and agile for a big boy,” Riggs said. “He is just so athletic for a big kid.”
The Indians out-rebounded OSNA 45-30 but allowed 25 points off of 23 turnovers.
Mullens and Suero were both named to the all-tournament team.
“It was a good game. We learned from it,” Mullens said.