The inaugural 2012 Clark Kellogg Tip-Off took place this past Saturday
at Pickerington Central High in front of a solid showing of giddy
basketball fanatics. For the event being in its first year, the daylong
hoop fest was run nearly flawless…
The inaugural 2012 Clark Kellogg Tip-Off took place this past Saturday at Pickerington Central High in front of a solid showing of giddy basketball fanatics. For the event being in its first year, the daylong hoop fest was run nearly flawless. Obviously, there are going to be some hiccups here and there, but overall it was a great day.
Game 1: Delaware Hayes 66, Marion-Franklin 53
The classic got started with an OCC versus Columbus City League match up featuring Delaware Hayes and Columbus Marion-Franklin. Both teams possess very good talent and should have solid years, but on Saturday it was the Pacers of Hayes High School coming out victorious, 66-53, behind senior guard Mikey Wells’ 29 points. Wells enjoyed a huge weekend scoring 37 points on Friday night in a win over Marysville. Wells, however, was just 17-of-26 from the free-throw line.
Teammate Griffin Kinney totaled 16 points for Hayes, who led the entire way.
Marquiez Lawrence, a 6-foot-8 senior, led the Red Devils with 19 points in a losing effort.
Game 2: Cuyahoga Falls 53, Eastmoor 45
The second contest of the afternoon featured another Columbus City League outfit in Columbus Eastmoor Academy against Northeast Ohio foe Cuyahoga Falls. The Black Tigers led wire-to-wire despite Eastmoor making the game very interesting in the 4th quarter with some smothering full court pressure. Despite the comeback attempt, Cuyahoga Falls held on for a 53-45 victory.
Junior Josh Ricker led the winners with 20 points including three triples. Classmates Angelo Cugini, an Akron SVSM transfer, netted 12 points and Jay Slone added 11 points and three bonus goals.
Senior guard John Draper led Eastmoor with 13 points despite a slow start. Senior Daivon Barrow, a Division 1 football recruit, added nine.
The Black Tigers (1-0) will welcome a very good Norton team on Tuesday for their home opener.
Game 3: Walnut Ridge 31, Eastlake North 28
This game was not a thing of beauty and to describe the game between Walnut Ridge and Eastlake North in one word would be ugly or perhaps brutal. The Scots came out of the gates like a thoroughbred storming out to a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter, but had to hold on for a 31-28 triumph.
It appeared Walnut Ridge, after losing plenty of talent off last year’s squad, might be even better this year with what appeared to be solid team chemistry combined with attacking athletes. The Scots owned a commanding 16-5 lead after the initial chapter, but scored just a trio of points in the second as Eastlake North closed the gap to 19-12 by half.
North played much harder than Ridge in the 3rd quarter and used a 2-3 zone to limit the Scots on offense. North tied the game up at 21 by the end of the quarter and eventually took a 25-21 lead in the final frame.
The Scots finally broke through with a free-throw to end a long scoring drought followed by a nice basket cut and lay in from freshman Malik Harrison and a pull up 15-footer from Wisconsin football commit Rob Wheelwright following a steal at midcourt. The mini spurt gave Ridge a 26-25 lead and it never trailed again.
Game 4: ONG JJH D-IV No. 1 Cleveland VASJ 67, ONG JJH D-IV No. 3 Africentric 58
The marquee match up of the night featured JJHUDDLE’s No. 1 and No. 3 ranked teams in Division IV as Cleveland VASJ made the trek to Pickerington to meet up with Columbus Africentric. The Vikings used its superior size and length to secure a 67-58 victory in a match up of two of the state’s best small schools.
The game got off to an unusual start as the Nubians were hit with a technical foul for dunking in warm ups. VASJ made good on one of two freebies. Then, the Vikings quickly jumped out to a 20-7 advantage thanks to sophomores 6-foot-2 Brian Parker and 6-foot-9 Carlton Bragg. The strong lefty netted eight points in the quarter and Bragg added six to help VASJ to a 20-11 lead after eight minutes.
Africentric continued to scrap and claw in the second quarter, but couldn’t get the game under 10 points even when Cleveland State commit Demonte Flannigan went to the bench with two fouls with 6:09 to play in the half. The lead stayed in the 12 to 10-point margin the entire period.
The Vikings backline of Bragg, Flannigan (6-7), and sophomore Derek Pardon (6-7) really bothered the Africentric shooters. Not only are they long and athletic, but also all three are very active. Flannigan is strong and athletic, Bragg is super lengthy and athletic, and Pardon is big and fundamentally sound.
VASJ took a 34-24 lead into the locker room with Parker leading the way with 14 points, Bragg counting for 10, and senior Duane Gibson Jr., an Evansville commit, adding six. Interesting to note, Flannigan was shutout in the first 16 minutes.
The Vikings went back to work in the 3rd quarter as Flannigan finally got on the board at the 7-minute mark of the stanza. Flannigan hit a pull up and put the ball on the floor and got to the basket to score as well.
Parker and Bragg each scored four more in the quarter as VASJ stretched its lead to 50-38.
The Nubians didn’t go away in the final frame as Africentric used some heavy ball pressure to force several Viking turnovers allowing the Columbus-based school to finally cut the lead to single digits. Senior guards Trevon Saunders and Kenny Robinson ignited the comeback with some fierce play. Both seniors continuously attacked the basket trying to get Africentric back in the contest, but the Nubians just couldn’t overcome the talent and size of the Vikings.
Parker led the Vikings with 20 points, Bragg totaled 17, Flannigan netted 10 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and Gibson added 10.
Saunders paced the Nubians with 17 and Robinson chipped in 16.
Game 5: Northland 71, Toledo Rogers 69
The most entertaining game of the day was without question Columbus Northland and Toledo Rogers. The two city schools put on quite and up-and-down show featuring a frantic pace. In the end, Northland was able to escape with a 71-69 win.
Northland owned a 36-35 lead at the break thanks to 6-6 freshman Seth Towns and his 13 points and junior Derek McKeiten.
Toledo Rogers used the solid play of backcourt duo Tony Kynard and Clemmye Owens, both Bethune-Cookman commits to pull ahead for a 47-40 lead midway through the 3rd quarter.
Though, Northland was able to knot the game at 51 by the end of period.
The 4th quarter was hotly contested as Northland led most of the quarter, but Rogers frantically played catch up and thanks to Kynard the Toledo City League member was able to lock the game at 69.
McKeiten answered for Northland by attacking the basket with a purpose drawing a hard foul. The talented junior calmly sank two freebies to give the Vikings a two-point advantage.
The game’s closing seconds were very interesting. Rogers appeared to have a wide-open lay up as the clock was running out, but one of the Ram assistants called a time out before the shot attempt. Following the timeout, the Rams were unable to convert.
Towns led the winners with 21 points in his high school debut. McKeiten netted 18, junior Jaylen Tucker cashed in 13, and senior Armani Towns added 10.
Owens scored 18 points including five three-point goals for Rogers. Tribune Dailey notched 18 and Kynard added 12.
Game 6: Pickerington Central 69, Canton Timken 53
The nightcap was the debut for the defending Division I state champion Pickerington Central Tigers. The host school met a young and inexperienced Canton Timken squad and wasted little time exploiting the youthful Trojans.
The Tigers pressed their way to a 40-14 lead by halftime cruising to a 69-53 triumph.
Junior Connor Kern led the winners with 24 points and Ohio State commit Jae’Sean Tate added 14.
Senior Chris Cook paced Timken with 21 points.