Peebles sophomore Blake Justice enjoyed a solid return to the court this past weekend in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After spending the last
month resting his right knee, the 6-foot-2 scoring machine made his 2009 AAU
debut. However, Justice’s Team CBIZ 16 and under squad faced a very tough
challenge getting out of pool play at the Bill Hensley Memorial Run
‘N Slam. They were up to it though.
Peebles sophomore Blake Justice enjoyed a solid return to the court.
The 6-foot-2 scoring machine from southeast Ohio made his 2009 AAU debut this past weekend in Fort Wayne, Indiana after spending the last month resting his right knee that was being treated for tendonitis.
However, Justice’s Team CBIZ 16 and under squad faced a very tough challenge of getting out of pool play at the Bill Hensley Memorial Run ‘N Slam.
“We were placed in a very tough pool in the Run ‘N Slam, and in order to get out I knew we would have to shoot the ball well,” said CBIZ coach Brian Bishop. “Blake Justice returned this weekend, so that was a huge boost.”
Team CBIZ answered the coach’s thoughts with a great shooting performance in a back-and-forth contest with The Family out of Michigan. In the end, it was Upper Arlington’s Brian Sullivan who sank two clutch free-throws and then scored a back door lay up with seconds to go in sealing the win.
Sullivan finished with 22 points, while Justice added 13 and Upper Arlington’s Wes Richter helped out with 11.
After the hard-fought triumph of The Family, CBIZ found itself in a rematch of last weekend’s Gold Bracket game with All Ohio Red at the King James. All Ohio came out victorious a week ago.
Bishop’s bunch jumped out to an early lead and maintained it to halftime and continued with a strong third quarter stretching the lead to 17 points behind breakaway finishes from Wheelersburg’s Andy Stegman.
“I told the guys at the end of the third quarter, like every good team, All Ohio will make a run,” Bishop stated.
Bishop was correct.
CBIZ led by 12 points heading into the fourth, before Columbus Northland’s Trey Burke started dialing up from distance. The fast rising sophomore hit several 3-point field goals with the last tying the game with 13 seconds showing on the clock.
The dramatic ending was about to unfold.
“We drew up a play that All Ohio defended well, so Stegman ran over and set a ball screen for Collin Barth,” Bishop noted.
The Olmsted Falls guard did the rest. Barth came off the screen, pulled up, and calmly knocked down the jumper giving CBIZ a 71-69 upset win over All Ohio Red.
CBIZ squeaked by Spiece Gym Rats (IN) in the third pool play game behind a late three-point goal from New Knoxville’s Marcus Reineke with just under two minutes to play breaking a 66 all tie. Justice led the way with 18 points, while Stegman was next with 17 lightings and Reineke added 12 points.
Team CBIZ U-16’s finished (3-0) in pool play to advance to Gold Bracket tournament play.
CBIZ beat a very good Spiece Indy Heat squad in the first round of tournament play. However, the contest went four overtimes and CBIZ won the game but lost Stegman for the remainder of play.
“We were moving on, but I knew losing Stegman was going to be huge,” Bishop mentioned. “Andy broke his nose at the end of the regulation and was finished for the tournament.”
Stegman led the way with 17 points, followed by Richter’s 15 tallies, Barth was next with 13 points, and Justice added 11 counters.
With the win, CBIZ advanced to play a much bigger King James outfit.
“With Andy out, I knew we had to play 2-3 zone defense to protect the paint,” said the CBIZ mentor. “Brock Ammons (Findlay) came out on fire scoring 12 points and snatching several rebounds in the first quarter to give us a small lead.”
King James was able to get in the paint in the second quarter allowing it to score and draw several foul calls. The Akron-based contingent pulled ahead for a 33-28 halftime edge.
Massillon Jackson’s Michael Shull came out of half on fire connecting on several triples putting Team CBIZ even further behind.
Justice kept things close hitting back-to-back three’s, but King James did a nice job of spreading the floor and running out the clock.
“King James did a nice job of changing their style of play throughout the game,” Bishop said. “After a very tough pool play and losing Andy Stegman, I think we were a bit gassed down the stretch. They have a very balanced team and played well together.”
Team CBIZ’s U-16 unit was aided by Justice’s return. The Peebles sophomore averaged nearly 25 points per game for the Indians this past winter earning him Division III 3rd Team All-Ohio honors.
Justice, who is well known for being a sharp-shooter with unlimited range, converted 79 three-point baskets for the (18-4) Indians. Peebles won 12-straight games before bowing out to Chillicothe Zane Trace.
As a freshman, the 6-foot-2 combo guard scored 508 points for an average of 22.1 points per game. For his career, Justice has amassed 1,039 points.
Justice is hearing from Butler, Eastern Michigan, and several Mid-American Conference schools.