How many titles did All Ohio Red win at its own AAU event in Columbus this weekend? Try all of them


Columbus Marion Franklin’s Elijah Macon (Photo by Kurt Stubbs)

It was a great weekend to be wearing the All Ohio Red uniform. The organization spear-headed by Jerry “JL” Watson took home the championship in each division at this past weekend’s All-Ohio Sweet Sixteen Showcase held at the USA Sports Academy in Columbus.

It was a great weekend to be wearing the All Ohio Red uniform. The organization spear-headed by Jerry “JL” Watson took home the championship in each division at this past weekend’s All-Ohio Sweet Sixteen Showcase held at the USA Sports Academy in Columbus.

All Ohio Red stormed its way through pool play on Saturday with a combined record of 12-0 between the 14, 15, 16, and 17 and under divisions. The four squads won those contests by an average margin of 28 points per game.

The 17 and under squad is no stranger to lopsided wins being known by many as the top AAU team in the country.

This weekend Big Red proved once again why it’s the cream of the cream of the crop.

Columbus Northland’s Jared “Big Smooth” Sullinger and company rolled through Saturday’s competition despite playing without highly touted big man Adreian Payne of Dayton Jefferson. The 6-foot-10 heap of ability was on an official visit to Lexington, Kentucky.

With the injured Jordan Sibert (Cincinnati Princeton) keeping the scorebook, All Ohio Red ran off victories over the Ohio Gators, Columbus Cavs, and the Vipers.

Sullinger was doing his part by scoring at will on the low block and rebounding the basketball on both ends of the floor.

Northland teammate J.D. “Air” Weatherspoon didn’t disappoint the droves of fans surrounding the court each time the No. 1 AAU team in the country took the floor. ‘Spoon finished above the rim with highlight reel dunks and slashed to the hole almost effortlessly.

Findlay Liberty Benton’s Aaron Craft is the glue of this team. The University of Tennessee commit does all the small things, which includes being one of the best defenders in the Midwest.

Reynoldsburg’s Kevin Gray was also solid. Gray is lockdown on the defensive end and a terrific spot-up shooter. Gray connected on five consecutive triples against the Vipers. He is drawing D1 interest.

Juwan Staten, as always, was in high gear. The Oak Hill Academy (VA) guard and Dayton commit showed his great end-to-end speed all weekend and focused quite a bit on dishing the rock. Staten even came over to his father at one juncture and asked him to keep a count of his assists. He was well over the double digit mark against the Vipers.

Lima Seniors’ Anton Hutchins, Lexington’s Courtney Avery, and Westerville Central’s Jordan Devoull did an excellent job off the bench.

On Sunday, All Ohio started with a quarterfinal win over an upstart Cleveland Bearcats squad. The talented Bearcats trailed by just two points at halftime, but couldn’t keep pace second chapter eventually falling victim (53-40).

The game versus the Bearcats marked the return of Payne, who rolled in on Sunday morning. His minutes were limited, but his presence was certainly felt. Payne ran the floor like a thoroughbred, handled the basketball, and scored on a couple put back dunks.

For the Bearcats, Cleveland Benedictine’s Nick Narney was outstanding all weekend and in this game as well. Harney showed off his great athleticism with transition dunks that he finished with relative ease and even showed some outside game. The 6-foot-7 forward is drawing D1 looks, and was a star on this weekend. 


Other kids playing well for the Cleveland-based school were Lyndhurst Brush’s Nait Tate and Streetsboro senior Robert Wilson.

Tate had an incredible dunk on Saturday as Benedictine’s Liam Walsh tossed the ball off the backboard on a fast break and the electric 6-footer caught and finished with a one-handed slam that sent the crowd into frenzy.

After racing past the Bearcats, the two-time national champions met up with rival King James Shooting Stars in the semi-finals.

The game was tightly contested for a little over one half, before King James woke the sleeping giant.

Early in the second half, after getting his shot partially blocked by Massillon Jackson’s Josh Egner, Ohio State recruit Sullinger sent a message to the Akron-based squad.

Sullinger, after his shot being blocked, immediately sprung off the floor and caught the ball just above the rim and sent a monstrous two-handed dunk through the net that nearly tipped the portable basket over to the floor.

From that point on, Sullinger was the “king” of the court scoring 14 second half points and 18 in all to lead All Ohio to a 71-49 victory.

Gray finished with 12 points on four triples, while Payne electrified the overflowing court with a posterizing one-handed slam over Bedford 6-foot-7 senior Robert “Scooter” Johnson. Payne left the ground from nearly eight feet from the basket.

For King James, Canton GlenOak’s Storm Sanders, Cleveland Benedictine’s Cameron Wright, and Johnson all played well.

Kent Roosevelt senior Andre Paulk pleased the crowd on several occasions with his high flying ability.

The finals featured at least two future Ohio State commits in Sullinger and Rising Stars Gold’s (IL) Lenzelle Smith.

The contest featured serious talent including 6-foot-5 Alex Rossi, who has been offered by California, Davidson, Drake, and Northwestern. Rossi is an incredible shooter with an extremely high IQ for the game. The Golden Bears are currently his favorite.

Jordan Threloff, a 6-foot-10 post, also starred throughout the weekend. He is drawing interest from a lot of Missouri Valley Conference schools.

In the end, it was the boys in red coming away with a 66-59 triumph to earn yet another title. The ending couldn’t happen soon enough for Sullinger and Weatherspoon as they were scheduled to be at the Northland championship ring ceremony at 6 p.m.

Other outstanding performances in the tournament were from the Stark County All-Stars, who made the quarterfinals before losing to the Rising Stars. Massillon Jackson’s Brad Dupont shot the ball well and his high school teammate Mark Henniger played well on the interior. The 6-foot-8 Henniger recently committed to Kent State.

The Ohio Gators, who also made the gold bracket, played very well. They went toe-to-toe with All Ohio Red on Saturday behind the quality play of Fort Loramie’s 6-foot-6 Mark Frilling and Toledo Start guard Anthony Henderson.

Dublin Coffman’s Connor Viers, playing for the Columbus Cavs, scored 20 points in an outstanding effort against All Ohio on Saturday

The 16 and under division was highlighted by some intense competition.

Saturday’s action was mainly routs apart from an opening round contest featuring Friends 4 Life taking on a far more talented Spiece Fast Break team from Indiana. The game lasted one hour and 45 minutes thanks to double-overtime and Nordonia’s Nick Robertson being carried off a stretcher only to return later in the day.

Louisville commit Ryan Taylor (6’6) sank a free throw in sudden death double overtime to give Spiece a 42-41 victory.

Spiece also featured Taylor’s Lawrence North High School teammate and fellow Louisville recruit 6-foot-10 Michael Chandler along with P.J. Boutte and Kenny Enoch.

F4L was led most of the weekend by Cleveland Central Catholic’s Anton Grady, Lakewood St. Edward’s Myles Hamilton and Delbert Love, Robertson, and Cleveland Heights’ Tyree Gaiter.

F4L won the silver bracket championship by defeating Team CBIZ.


On Sunday, All Ohio Red played its best basketball. The 16’s bounced back after a tough weekend in Fort Wayne, Indiana a couple weeks ago. 

The champs charged by the Key Players leading to the heated semis contest with Spiece Fast Break.

In the semi’s, Westerville South’s Traevon Jackson led the way with 21 points in what could be considered a mild 51-49 upset. Jackson, who is the son of Jimmy Jackson and a mature kid, played well all weekend.

Jackson’s efforts were backed by the play of Garfield Heights’ Will Weeks. The 6-foot-7 Weeks was scoring inside and out to the tune of 14 points. He and teammate Raphael Carter used quickness to their advantage against Chandler.

The game of the weekend happened in the other semi-final game featuring King James and All Ohio Force.

With King James leading by one following a Michael Shull (Massillon Jackson) steal and hoop, Jamare Mills of Dublin Scioto launched an inbounds pass from half court above the basket with 0.7 showing on the clock and Dayton Jefferson’s Cody Latimer did the rest.

The 6-foot-3 Latimer raised high above the competition and tipped the ball in the hoop as the horn sounded giving All Ohio Force a 50-49 upset win.

All Ohio Force was led by Toledo Sprinfield’s Chester McFadden with 14 points, Kettering Fairmont’s Adam Westbeld contributing 13 markers, and Mills adding 10 lightings.

King James was led by Shonn Miller (6’3) of Cleveland St. Ignatius, Nyles Evans of North Canton Hoover, Zach Price (6’10) of Lakewood St. Edward’s and the sweet lefty Shull.

The finals, however, was a bit of a letdown after the semis. All Ohio used its depth and talent to race out to a 39-26 halftime lead and never looked back en route to a 60-46 triumph. Weeks led the way with 18 points, while Jackson was next with 14.

Other key contributors for All Ohio were Northland guard Trey Burke, Olentangy 6-foot-8 big man Raphael Carter, and Toledo St. John’s Eddie “Cheatum” Norrils.

Teays Valley big man Nate Anderson and Garfield Heights guard Trey Lewis were absent from this week’s competition.

The 15 and under division certainly had a decisive favorite heading into the weekend, but unlike Saturday’s Preakness the preferred didn’t come out on top.

All Ohio Purple came into the weekend as the top U-15 squad in the state, but the absence of one of the best young big men in the state was certainly felt. Cincinnati Roger Bacon’s Adolphus Washington (6’7), who apparently is injured, didn’t make the trip to Columbus. Adding to Washington’s absence was Bacon teammate Orlando Berry not in Columbus either.

Despite Washington’s absence, the Purple bunch made the semis before losing to Team CBIZ (66-59). Purple was led by West Chester Lakota West’s Mark Minch, Roger Bacon’s Josh Lemons, Cincinnati Summit Country Day’s Tommy Kreyenhagen, Cincinnati North College Hill’s Jalen Lowe, and Cincinnati Aiken’s Jamaine Freeman.

The Mid Ohio Panthers were turning heads once again this past weekend. The Panthers are fundamentally sound outfit that plays together as well as anyone in Ohio. Mid-Ohio reached the Elite 8 of the King James Gold Bracket.

The team coached by Bill Kurelic is led by Matt Rhodes of Westerville North, Matt Gump (Bellefontaine/8th Grade), Matt Kurelic of Worthington Christian, Matt Bingaya of Delaware Hayes,  Konner Baker of Ada, and Christian Thompson of Springfield Kenton Ridge.

The Panthers led All Ohio Red by five points with less than 30 seconds to go only to watch its lead evaporate in a game that ended up needing overtime. Head Coach Victor Dandridge’s bunch pulled away in the overtime for a 65-59 win.


In the finals, All Ohio met Team CBIZ in a rematch of Saturday’s night contest, but this time it was for the title. On Saturday, the Red squeaked out a 62-59 triumph despite playing without the star of the show in Columbus Marion Franklin’s Elijah Macon. The 6-foot-8 bundle of talent left early with aggravated shins.

However, on Sunday, Macon’s shins were good to go and All Ohio captured the gold.

Macon scored just eight points but dominated the interior along with Chillicothe’s Malik London (6’8) and Northland’s Jalen Robinson (6’5). The kid from Chillicothe is a defensive star and his offensive game is beginning to catch up.

Waverly’s Jake Kretzer knocked three bonus goals and ended with 11 points to lead the way. The 6-foot-5 Kretzer continues his solid play and is quietly becoming a top prospect in the 2012 class.

Dandridge once again got solid guard play from Northland’s Jordan Potts and Westerville South’s Isiah “Zeke” Rogers. The latter finished with nine points in the championship encounter.

Both have extremely good handles and shoot the ball exceptionally well. Potts, the sixth man on this year’s state championship Northland contingent, is an elite floor general that is rarely seen at this age.

For Team CBIZ it was the usual suspect. Berlin Hiland’s Dylan Kaufman continues to shine on the AAU scene. Kaufman’s skill set is as good as or better than anyone in his class. The 6-foot-4 star in the making can shoot the ball off the dribble, elevate and score in traffic, and play solid defense.

His offense speaks for itself, but it’s his defense that has CBIZ boss Brian Bishop marveling.

“I thought Dylan played extremely well this past weekend,” Bishop stated. “What I was most impressed with was his play on defense. There were multiple games in which he probably had at least four or five block shots.”

Most of the blocks were Kaufman hustling back on defense and pinning the ball against the glass with his sneaky quick elevation.

Bishop continued.

“I thought Dylan played his best game against All Ohio Purple. Dylan hit some big shots early to help build the lead and did a great job defensively and also getting teammates open shots in transition.”

Kaufman scored 23 points in the championship game loss.

One other kid of note in the 15 and under division was King James’ Jordan Hare. The 6-foot-7 Hare from Saginaw Michigan’s Arthur Hill was catching eyes with his smooth game and ability to finish above the rim.

The U-14 tournament was very exciting with a ton of young talent on display.

All Ohio Red, who is building a team that may come close to equaling the 17’s before all is said and done, stormed through the competition en route to the championship.

Head Coach George Howard’s team beat a very good Aim High squad in the semis (61-48) before knocking off King James in the finals by the count of 49-39.

All Ohio’s point guard Jaron Simmons was named MVP. The 5-foot-9 Simmons will be attending Kettering Alter in the fall.

The Huddle will have more information on the 14 and under action in its blog section.

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