Massillon Jackson won the 20th annual Wheeling Recreation Shootout championship as Ohio squads dominated the event – again. Jackson needed overtime to get by a game Logan Elm outfit, 54-49, in the championship, while fellow Stark County and Federal League foes, North Canton Hoover and Canton GlenOak rounded out the Final Four. Bellaire and Shadyside players went off too…
It wasn’t easy, But Massillon Jackson won the 20th annual Wheeling Recreation Shootout championship this past weekend with a 54-49 overtime win over Logan Elm in the championship game.
Jackson was joined in the final four by fellow Stark County and Federal League foes, North Canton Hoover and Canton GlenOak.
The Braves held the lead for the majority of the contest only to see their lead fade as the clock was winding down in regulation. Both teams had opportunities to win the game in regulation, but to no avail.
Jackson’s depth, size, quickness, and execution were the difference in the extra session.
Kent State commitment Mark Henniger scored 16 points to lead the Polar Bears. Senior guard Brad Dupont and junior guard Michael Shull evenly divided 20 markers, while big man Josh Egner added seven points despite being saddled with three fouls in the first half.
Cory Whaley and big man Logan Hauserman led the Braves with 12 points a piece. The latter was showing off an array of post moves using both hands. Senior stalwart Adam Blake added 10 points.
Head Coach Mike Fuline’s Polar Bears used a decisive height advantage to knock off Hoover in the semis, while LE used its quality guard play, timely shooting, and maximum effort to slip past GlenOak on Sunday morning.
Jackson advanced with a 61-54 victory over rival Hoover, while the Braves handed GlenOak a 56-49 setback.
The Polar Bears were led by the 6-foot-8 Henniger with 17 points, while the 6-foot-7 Akron commitment Egner added 16 points.
Senior Tyler Fausnight and junior point guard Nyles Evans evenly split 26 markers for the Vikings.
In the other semi-final the savvy Blake scored 17 points to lead the Braves, while lengthy 6-foot-4 forward Tyler Pritchard finished with 12 points, Whaley tallied 11 points and the 6-foot-8 Hauserman added 10 lightings.
Next level prospect senior Storm Sanders led GlenOak with 27 markers.
In the consolation game, Hoover scored a 62-56 triumph over bitter rival GlenOak.
Evans totaled 24 points, and Fausnight poured in 13 markers with 6-foot-4 senior Cory Velhuizen adding 10 points for Hoover.
Canton McKinley transfer Brandon Means led the Golden Eagles with 20 points, as Sanders chipped in 13 markers and senior Jimmy Darnley added 10 lightings.
The championship bracket All-Tournament team consisted of: Dupont, Shull, and Henniger of Jackson; Blake, Pritchard, and Jake Thomas of Logan Elm; Evans and Veldhuizen of Hoover; Sanders and Turon Parker of GlenOak; T.J. Thompson and Cody Thompson of Preston (WV); David Graham of Baldwin (PA); Anthony Dallier of North Allegheny (PA); and Bubby Goodwin and Michael Griffin of Wheeling Park (WV).
The tournament MVP was Jackson’s Mark Henniger who averaged 18 points per game and well over 10 boards a game playing for a talented Polar Bears squad.
Jackson’s Josh Egner was named the tournament’s leading rebounder.
Bellaire’s 6-foot senior Ryan Feller and Shadyside’s 6-foot-2 senior Jared Andes tied for the scoring title with 129 points in five games for an average of 25.8 points per contest.
Jackson got solid play from all five starters and its bench. Junior lefty Michael Shull shot lights out from behind the arc. The improvement of the guard play and the depth of the bench will be huge keys for Polar Bears this winter.
Adam Blake from Logan Elm was outstanding. The senior, with a high basketball IQ, will assume more of the scoring duties this year with Brandon Amann (Tiffin or Wilmington) and Timmy Congrove (Walsh University) graduated.
For those who think the Braves will be down, better think again. Head Coach Doug Stiverson is one of the best in the state, and each year players in his system step up and this year will be no different. Also keep an eye on Tyler Pritchard and the improvement of Logan Hauserman.
Hoover got good guard play from junior Nyles Evans, seniors Dan Daugherty and Jimmy Wackerly, while Cory Veldhuizen and Tyler Fausnight battled on the interior but the Vikings are missing that one true scoring threat. Though, one can bet Head Coach Randy Montgomery will have this team competing for a Federal League title come February.
GlenOak played okay at times, but didn’t seem quite right. Perhaps it was the loss of Lehigh commitment C.J. McCollum and the 30 points per game he is leaving behind, or maybe it was just lethargy. Whatever the case, the Eagles struggled on Sunday losing both games. At times, they weren’t even hustling back on defense and giving up easy lay ups to the opponent. Sanders, who missed the first game and most of the second game of the tournament, shot the ball poorly on Sunday but did manage to get streaky hot on occasion.
GlenOak’s Brandon Means is making himself known in the Eagles lineup. The 6-foot-2 junior averaged 15 points per game over the two-day event. However, his biggest weakness seems to be settling for the outside shot when his strength is slashing in the lane and getting to the tin.
Mansfield guard Darrin Harris had a solid weekend for the Tygers.
Malvern’s one-two punch of senior guard Adam Wackerly and 6-foot-4 sophomore wing Travis Tucci could help in the recovery process of losing 1st Team All-Ohioan Tyler Tucci to graduation.
Buckeye Local’s 6-foot-7 forward Joe Rine enjoyed a solid weekend despite his team’s 2-3 record. The big lefty averaged 16.4 points per game showing he can score inside-out.
Zanesville, a team that enjoys the trip to Wheeling every year, quietly finished the weekend with a 4-1 mark behind senior Raheem Forman and junior guard Tanner Gibson. The latter started the weekend off slow, but proceeded to dial up 17 points in a win over Wheeling Central, 16 in a triumph of Mansfield, and erupted for 27 in a hard-fought win over a very good Shadyside team.
The Blue Devils are rebuilding for their standards, but dropping back down to Division II means bad news for the rest of the East District. Zanesville will be in the mix come March.
Louisville had a good showing with three wins in five tries led by senior guard Michael Brown and junior guard Owen Gramoy.
Coshocton, who is returning quite a bit from last year’s 13-8 team, didn’t play particularly well as a team but 1st Team All-Ohio performer David Brown still found ways to score the basketball. The sharp-shooter scored 98 points in the five contests.
The Shadyside Tigers enjoyed a fantastic weekend losing to only Jackson and Zanesville, which both were close contests. Justin Andes was the leading scorer of the tournament, but he certainly wasn’t performing alone as fellow senior guards Nick Schuetz and Dylan Kimble along with junior Ellis Brown were lights out. The Tigers do an incredible job of spreading the floor with the dribble drive and kick out for three-point attempts.
The Black and Orange connected on 12 triples against mighty Jackson and 10 versus Zanesville. In all, the Tigers nailed 45 three-point goals in the five games. Amazingly, Andes made good on 26 bonus goals throughout the weekend with six in two games, five in a pair of games, and four in another.