The Nike Memorial Midwest Showdown and Shootout took place this past
holiday weekend, and as most All-Ohio events go, it was a success with
plenty of talent.
The Nike Memorial Midwest Showdown and Shootout took place this past holiday weekend, and as most All-Ohio events go, it was a success with plenty of talent.
The 17-and-under group was slightly down with the absence of the “Big 3” in All-Ohio Red, King James, and the Ohio Basketball Club. Red and King James were in Los Angeles while OBC was participating in the Bob Gibbons at Chapel Hill (NC).
Despite the absence of the three poweres, there was quality teams, players, and competition in the oldest division.
The 15 and 16-and-under sectors were very strong with most of the heavy hitters involved.
The 17U final was a Shining Star Sports showdown with SSS-Blue out of Ohio meeting SSS- Kentucky.
With both teams looking exhausted, the teams struggled to put points on the board. The Ohio boys got it done with a 31-23 win over the Blue Grass outfit.
Cody Wacker (6’1/2011) of Cincinnati Moeller was named MVP of the Gold Bracket.
All-Tournament selections for Shining Star Sports- Blue were Zach Riddle (6’2/2011) of Columbus Bishop Watterson, RJ Leppert (6’1/2011) of Lakota East, and Josh Johnson (5’11/2011) of Middletown.
They were joined by Shining Star Sports- Kentucky’s Kellen Smith (6’1/2011) and Kevin Shaw (6’2/2011).
SSS- Blue got to the finals with a dramatic 43-39 victory over a tough Friends 4 Life squad out of Cleveland. Trailing 39-37, Blue’s Zach Riddle knocked down a clutch triple to give his squad a one-point lead. Following a missed shot, Riddle answered the bell one more time with an old-fashioned three-point play to end the scoring.
Michael Booley (6’7/2011) of Glen Este played well in this game and for much of the time we were able to see this kid play. Booley was able to score in the paint, rebound, and erase some shots on the defensive end.
F4L really struggled to score in this game for the most part. Anton “Silk” Grady (6’8/2011) of Cleveland CC had his moments in this game, but wasn’t nearly as productive compared to early in the weekend. Grady showed the ability to knock down pull ups, a few floaters, and some dunks in traffic but in the semis he disappeared for stretches.
Shining Star Sports Kentucky advanced to the championship game with a victory over a good Reach Legends team out of Michigan. Cam Lee (6’3/2011) of Lakota East performed well playing for the Kentucky-based squad.
All-Ohio White and Shining Star Sports- Black made the Elite 8 and Team CBIZ and the Runnin Rebels were defeated in Gold Bracket play-in games.
Top 17U Players We Saw:
Damond Powell (6’0/2011)- Toledo Rogers- All-Ohio White
Dwayne Basemore (6’8/2011)- Walnut Ridge- All-Ohio White
Michael Booley (6’7/2011)- Glen Este- Shining Star Sports- Blue
RJ Leppert (6’1/2011)- Lakota East- Shining Star Sports- Blue
Zach Riddle (6’2/2011)- Bishop Watterson- Shining Star Sports- Blue
Cam Lee (6’3/2011)- Lakota East- Shining Star Sports- Kentucky
Brooklyn Bradley (6’3/2011)- Dayton Stivers- All-Ohio Swag
Dominique McDonald (6’0/2011)- All-Ohio Swag
Devonte’ Beard (6’2/2011)- Akron SVSM- Friends 4 Life
Jazelle Garrett (5’9/2011)- Akron Buchtel- Friends 4 Life
Anton Grady (6’8/2011)- Cleveland CC- Friends 4 Life
Mike Boyd (6’0/2011)- Lakota East- Shining Star Sports- Black
Alex McGlothlin (6’5/2011)- Walnut Hills- Shining Star Sports- Black
Chris Blaut (6’8/2011)- Cincinnati Elder- Shining Star Sports-Black
Zach Baker (6’2/2011)- Milford- Shining Star Sports- Black
Jalen Goodwin (6’2/2011)- Lakota East- Shining Star Sports- Black
Thomas Schneider (6’5/2011)- Oak Hills- Shining Star Sports- Black
Brian Sullivan (5’11/2011)- Upper Arlington- CBIZ
Blake Justice (6’2/2011)- Peebles- CBIZ
Wes Richter (6’4/2011)- Upper Arlington- CBIZ
Tyler Kelly (6’1/2011)- Pickerington Central- Mustang Ballers
Cameron Vines (6’2/2011)- Columbus Whetstone- Mustang Ballers
Austin Parker (6’2/2011)- Worthington Kilbourne- Mustang Ballers
Martise McLaurin (6’1/2011)- Columbus Beechcroft- Mustang Ballers
Jake Forrest (5’10/2011)- Hilliard Bradley- All-Ohio Force
Rian Burrell (6’3/2011)- Columbus Beechcroft- All-Ohio Force
Jalen Reynolds (6’9/2011)- Livonia Stevenson (MI)- Reach Legends
Tim Knipp (6’7/2011)- Elliott County (KY)- Shining Star Sports- Davis
Remy Abell (6’3/2011)- Eastern (KY)- Shining Star Sports- Davis
Travis Purvis (6’7/2011)- Clark County (KY)- Shining Star Sports- Davis
Lyonell Gaines (6’5/2011)- Eastern (KY)- Shining Star Sports- Davis
Antone Warren (6’10/2011)- Fern Creek (KY)- Shining Star Sports- Davis
We saw plenty of this division starting with a dandy on Friday at Whitehall Yearling High School. All-Ohio Purple and All-Ohio Red met in a cross-pool game to the delight of the fans.
The game, which finished at 11:30 p.m., saw Purple jump out to a 28-12 lead led by Jalean Lowe (6’3/2012) and Orlando Berry (5’8/2012) of Cincinnati Taft.
However, over the next eight minutes Red chipped away thanks to 10 big points from Jordan Potts (5’10/2012) of Columbus Northland. Six of Potts’ 10 first half points came on a pair of three-balls. By halftime, Purple’s lead was just 32-29.
The second half brought more scoring as the teams began to heat up and eventually Red tied the game at 45 before taking the lead on a Deontae “Teddy” Hawkins (6’6/2012) of Dayton Dunbar pull up to give Red a 47-45 advantage.
Though, the lead was short-lived as Lowe and Berry along with Josh Lemons (5’10/2012) of Cincinnati LaSalle, Jermaine Freeman (5’11/2012), and Dwayne Standford (6’5/2012) of Cincinnati Taft buckled down and made big plays down the stretch giving Purple a hard-fought 72-65 triumph.
Lowe finished with a game-high 18 points. We were pleasantly surprised to see Lowe taking the ball to the bucket on the baselines and scoring. We know he can knock down the spot up triple, but now there is no question he can drive into the paint and finish as well.
Berry was next with 16, Freeman followed with 13, Standford contributed 12, and Lemons added seven.
Standford gets better and better each time we see him. He showed a very good move with a hard jab left followed by a spin back to the right finishing with a seven footer off the glass.
For Red, Potts led with 15 points and Cam Wilson (6’0/2012) of Dublin Jerome added 13 all of which came in the second half. Myles Hamilton (6’1/2012) of Lakewood St. Edward’s chipped in with 11 and Mark Minch (6’4/2012) of Lakota East and Teddy Hawkins evenly divided 18.
It was nice to see Potts shooting the ball a lot better. A wrist injury suffered last fall really seemed to hamper his sophomore campaign, but the Northland guard is apparently regaining his swag. Potts led the team very well and knocked down three triples with two coming off the pull up from the top of the key. Potts was able to freeze the defender and knock down his shots.
The first game we saw on Friday was another 16U game featuring a very underrated All-Ohio Gold team against Shining Star Sports- Moman. The game was not much of a contest as Gold jumped to a big lead and never looked back en route to a 62-38 victory.
Matt Bingaya (6’2/2011) of Delaware Hayes continues to fly under the radar despite his outstanding play. The lefty gets into the paint with ease. He doesn’t go right often, but he does it enough for the opponent to respect it so he can get to his left hand. Bingaya has terrific body control in the paint with contact creating several three-point play situations. He isn’t a great shooter, but adequate at this point. Keep a close eye on Bingaya. He has serious talent.
Terry Hopewell (6’8/2012) of Columbus Independence/All-Ohio Gold is another kid showing rapid improvement. Hopewell is starting to finish more consistently and getting stronger around the rim. He is starting to make a significant impact on the game. He has very good length and alters plenty of shots. With his offensive game starting to evolve, this kid has nice potential.
Zach Ratcliff (6’4/2012) of Columbus Academy, Matt Kurelic (5’11/2012) of Worthington Christian, and Matt Rhodes (6’5/2012) of Westerville North all stood out as well.
Rhodes is another kid that continues to impress with his ability to knock down a variety of long range jumpers. He can make all the shots around the perimeter include the 17-foot fader.
On Saturday, our first look at the 16’s was a game featuring the Columbus Mustang Ballers against All-Ohio Green.
The game quickly turned into the Caris Levert (6’0/2012) of Pickerington Central and Chad Nelson (6’1/2012)of Pickerington Central show.
Levert, who didn’t start, came off the bench knocking down a barage of three-point shots along with some nifty drives to the basket with his deceptive quickness. Levert fools defenders with his movement and deceiving length. He is able to get even with the defender and shoot floaters and we even watched him get all the way to the basket on quite a few ocassions. Levert, without questions, is a lights out shooter. He is very young looking and should grow a few more inches. If he adds some strength, look out.
Nelson, on the other hand, is a strong guard. He can knock down shots behind the arc with consistency and get to the bucket with a quick first step. Nelson was able to finish near the rim by powering through inside defenders drawing several and-one situations.
In the double-digit victory over Green, Levert scored 29 points and Nelson added 20.
Lionel Hill (5’9/2012) of Cincinnati Western Hills led Green with 18 points and Tyler Jordan (6’4/2012) of Cincinnati Withrow added 12.
The game of the day was All-Ohio Black and the Columbus Hawks, which went to sudden death with Black coming out victorious.
The upset of the day went to Team CBIZ as they knocked off All-Ohio Purple in pool play. CBIZ used a gutsy defensive effort and just enough scoring from Dylan Kaufman (6’4/2012) of Berlin Hiland to get by the defending national champions, 43-39.
Next, we stopped by and caught the Ohio Shooting Stars in the first half of its game against Shining Star Sports- Moman. Point guard Terry Rozier (5’9/2012) of Shaker Heights continues to impress as does wing forward Cody Dillon (6’5/2012) of Newton Falls. Rozier can flat out play.
Our final game on Saturday, we checked in to see the King James Shooting Stars tangle with the Mustang Ballers.
It was a surprise of sorts to see Jordan Hare (6’9/2012) in action this weekend with King James. Hare, who plays his high school ball at Arthur Hill in Saginaw, Michigan, enjoyed a solid weekend in Columbus. The high-major prospect showed why so many big time schools after this kid. Hare runs rim-to-rim as well as any big we have seen on the circuit thus far. On Saturday, he was big on the defensive end by altering and blocking several shots. On the offensive end, Hare scored by running the floor like a gazelle earning him several easy baskets. He finished with 22 points and six rebounds.
Devin Carter (6’1/2012) finished with 12 points and and Pharoah Brown (6’6/2012) of Lyndhurst Brush added nine. DJ Blanks (6’0/2012) of Akron SVSM also played well at guard and scored seven points.
Chad Nelson led the Ballers with 17 and Caris Levert added 13. It was another strong showing for the Pickerington Central combo against high-level competition.
Championship Sunday was a great day for All-Ohio in the Gold Bracket.
All-Ohio Red, Black, Gold, and Purple all made the Final 4.
Both semi-finals game were entertaining, but the conclusion of the Black and Gold game was not to be topped.
In a game which was back-and-forth the entire 32 minutes, the ending couldn’t have been more fitting. Gold was holding to a 63-62 lead when an unlikely hero stepped up for Black. Allasane Kah (6’8/2012) of Walnut Ridge cashed in a left corner three-point shot as time expired giving Black a 65-63 victory and a chance at Red for the championship.
Red avenged an earlier loss to Purple on Friday night with an 83-70 throttling of last week’s Super 16 champion. Mark Minch torchered his old squad with an offensive onslaught and Jake Kretzer (6’7/2012) of Waverly and Leroy Alexander (6’2/2012) of Holland Springfield got into the act as well. Minch led Red with 21 and Alexander added 20 followed by Kretzer with 19.
Purple looked spent after a hard-earned victory (67-62) against King James in the quarters. Purple was without the services of Adolphus Washington once again this weekend. Washington is nursing a wrist injury, but head coach Orlando Berry Sr. believes he will back for the state tournament this weekend.
Berry, Lemons, and Standford played well for Purple.
In the championship game, Red was able to escape a furious rally from Black to hold on for its first championship of the spring. Red was able to win the title with just six players.
Jake Kretzer, Myles Hamilton, Mark Minch, Cam Wilson, Leroy Alexander, and Jordan Potts all had a hand in Sunday’s run to the title.
Kretzer was named MVP and Alexander, Minch, and Hamilton were named to the All-Tournament team.
Black’s All-Tourney members were Carter Smith (5’10/2012) of Upper Arlington and Blake Yates (6’3/2012) of Lucasville Valley.
One kid which deserves mention is Allasane Kah. The 6-foot-8 Walnut Ridge product is coming along nicely. He came to Columbus last year a very raw prospect. On Sunday, it is obvious things are starting to click. Kah is becoming a force and impacting the game far more than before.
If you watch Kah warm up, he looks more like a Rolls Royce than a Pinto. He has tremendous length and athleticism with the ability to block shots. Now, his offensive game is starting to evolve. Kah hit a 12-foot turn around jumper, which was great to see. He also scored on a two-handed jam off penetration. Kah is certainly becoming more assertive and aggressive throughout the course of the game.
Khalid King (6’3/2012) of Columbus Brookhaven also enjoyed a solid weekend. His frame and movement is very intriguing. Keep an eye on King.
Black was once again without Tyler White (6’2/2012) of Lima Senior and Taivion Thomas (6’5/2012) of Westerville North. Both are injured.
CBIZ, the Ohio Shooting Stars, and King James were the other Ohio teams which made the Elite 8 and the Mustang Ballers were defeated in a Gold Bracket play-in game.
CBIZ fell to All-Ohio Black (59-47), the Ohio Shooting Stars lost to All-Ohio Red (81-69), and King James fell victim to All-Ohio Purple. The Mustang Ballers went down to All-Ohio Black.
Other Top 16U Performers We Saw:
Davonte Peterson (5’9/2012)- Hilliard Davidson- Mustang Ballers
Matt Gump (6’1/2013)- Bellefontaine- All-Ohio Gold
Konnor Baker (6’2/2012)- Ada- All-Ohio Gold
Zack Parsons (5’10/2012)- Delaware Hayes- All-Ohio Gold
Marky Thompkins (6’0/2012)- East Liverpool- CBIZ
Dylan Kaufman (6’4/2012)- Berlin Hiland- CBIZ
Jake Troyer (6’1/2012)- Garaway- CBIZ
There is a new sheriff in town and its name is Ohio Varsity White. In consecutive weeks, OV White has run through pool play and Gold Bracket action to capture the Super 16 Showcase and this past weekend the Nike Memorial Midwest Showdown and Shootout. Both times knocking off All-Ohio Red in the finals. This weekend it was in overtime, 50-39.
With each passing week, OV White’s fan base continues to grow. Fans crowd around the court each time this outfit is playing, and they are loud and energetic constantly rooting this team on. It’s really a crazy scence for an AAU setting. In the years we have been following AAU, no team has earned fans like OV White. We aren’t talking about fans stopping by to watch a particular player, no, this is about marveling over a “true” team.
Head Coach Randy Clarkson’s team stormed through pool play and then defeated Ferrari (IL)and King James (56-48) in Gold Bracket play before routing a good Nitro USA team in the semis. Next up, was a rematch with All-Ohio Red. OV White shocked the patrons two weekends ago with a stunning upset of the highly talented boys in Red.
OV White, just like it had done two weeks ago, jumped out to an early lead on Red. However, Red would battle back to hold a 37-34 lead with 7.8 seconds remaining in the contest.
White got a shot off, but it was off the mark. Wendell Davis (6’4/2013) of Reynoldsburg, who had just one bucket in the contest, traced down the loose ball and quickly shoveled it off to “Mr. Big Shot” Jack Gibbs (5’10/2013) of Westerville North. Gibbs caught the ball moving hard to his left, and released his shot just as the buzzer sounded. Gibbs’ shot hit nothing but the bottom of the net sending the crowded court into an absolute circus. The Westerville North guard was mobbed by teammates and fans.
This momentum was all OV White needed as they out scored Red 13-2 in the overtime led by more Gibbs’ output. The crafty, old-school guard knocked down an in-lane floater followed by a six-of-six showing at the charity stripe in the extra session. He used his deceiving strength and quickness to get to the basket and draw fouls. Gibbs does things with the basketball in traffic which you can’t teach. Bottom line, this kid is a winner and knows how to play. He finished with 20 points in the contest.
Not to be outdone was teammate Randal Clarkson, who finished with 16 points including 11 in the first half. Clarkson continues to show toughness and grit with the ability to drive the lane with no regard for the opponent. He is very quick into the lane and excellent stopping on a dime to knock down a short pull up. He also shows the ability to knock down the shot behind the arc. Clarkson (5’9/2011), who started as a freshmen at Brookhaven, is climbing our list quickly.
Davis struggled to score in the finals, but was productive throughout the weekend. Not to mention, he got the big loose ball to send the title game to OT.
Ty Pack (5’10/2013) of Columbus East was another kid who enjoyed a solid weekend.
Aaron Jackson (6’4/2013) of Gahanna Lincoln stock continues to rise. He can hit the three, knock down mid-range stuff, and score on the interior with his toughness and length. He is a better athlete than we originally thought. Jackson finished the title game with eight points.
Gibbs was named MVP and Clarkson, Pack, and Davis ended up on the All-Tournament team. However, we would like to add Jackson to our All-Tournament team. He was definitely deserving.
Red’s All-Tourney selections were Keon Johnson (5’6/2013) of Mansfield Senior and Cha-Cha Tucker (5’11/2013) of Eastern (MI). Johnson scored six in the title game and Tucker led the way with 12. Jaaron Simmons (5’11/2013) of Kettering Alter enjoyed a solid weekend and scored 10 points in the finals. We would like to add Simmons to our All-Tourney squad.
Red got limited production from Nigel Hayes (6’7/2013) of Toledo Whitmer and Marc Loving (6’7/2013) of Toledo St. John’s. Hayes and Loving combine for just 10 points with each scoring five points a piece.
Red was without the services of Evan Bradds (6’6/2013) of Jamestown Greeneview, who was out with foot problems. VJ Beachem (6’6/2013) of Paul Harding (IN) was injured on Saturday, and missed the remainder of the tournament.
Team Jordan and Nitro USA also had solid tournaments. Team Jordan made the semis before losing to All-Ohio Red, and as mentioned above, Nitro fell to OV White.
Team Jordan was without Dontonio Wingfield Jr. for the tournament.
King James and Shining Star Sports- Sensibaugh were the other Ohio teams in Gold Bracket play. King James was eliminated in the quarters by OV White, and SSS- Sensibaugh was ousted by Team Jordan. King James was without Tony Farmer (6’7/2013) of Garfield Heights.
In the Silver Bracket, Team CBIZ got by Ohio Varsity Blue, 62-52. Danny Monteroso (6’2/2013) earned MVP honors after a very good showing. In a pool play game against Rip City, Monteroso scored 20 points in the second half. He isn’t 100 percent yet, but his game speed and movement certainly improved over the course of one week. Monteroso is coming off a broken ankle suffered in April. Scouts and onlookers will see a different Monteroso come July, so keep an eye out.
Rob Geoghegan (5’11/2013) of Owosso (MI), Max Kapron (6’5/2013) of Malvern, and Ryan Logan (6’4/2013) of Fredericktown were name All-Tourney for CBIZ. Chase Lawson (6’0/2013) of Sardina Eastern Brown was another impressive player.
Adrian Cook (5’9/2013) of Westerville North and Marvin Thomas (6’2/2013) of Columbus East were All-Tournament for OV Blue.
Other Top 15U Performers We Saw:
Isaac McGlone (6’2/2013)- Bloom-Carroll- Nitro USA
Jacob Matuska (6’5/2013)- Bishop Hartley- Nitro USA
Ronnie Stokes (5’10/2013)- Gahanna Lincoln- Ohio Varsity White
Nick Wells (6’5/2013)- Akron SVSM- King James
Elijah Bell (6’2/2013)- Akron Buchtel- King James
Devin Wilson (6’3/2013)- Montour (PA)- King James
DeAire Andrew (6’0/2013)- Akron Firestone- King James
Deondray Martin (6’3/2013)- Lima Senior- Team Jordan
Jake Phillis (5’10/2013)- Bishop Rosecrans- Team Jordan
Demetrius Woodley (6’3/2013)- Lima Senior- Team Jordan