A look at Ohio’s top high school boys basketball stories…
A look at Ohio’s top high school boys basketball stories…
Young and Relentless
Huber Heights Wayne is off to a (12-2) start following Friday night’s win over a very good Clayton Northmont squad. Senior Crisshawn Clark poured in 20 points and sophomore Ahmad Wagner added 12 points and 14 rebounds. Earlier in the week, the Warriors opened up their new gymnasium in grand fashion with a 59-58 victory over a solid Beavercreek club on Tuesday. Veteran junior Juan Ford (17 points) led the way.
Wayne’s roster features a host of talented underclassmen, but the hot start hasn’t surprised head coach Travis Trice, who has his club bouncing back from a 9-12 season a year ago.
“No, I’m not really surprised,” Trice mentioned. “To be honest, looking back at it, right now we could easily be 14-0. We still have not played our best basketball.”
Last year, was definitely a transition year for the Warriors trying to replace Michigan State sophomore Travis Trice Jr., Georgia State’s Markus Crider, Justen Hollins and Isiah Boddie, which were four of Wayne’s top five leading scorers.
This season has been totally different, as the Warriors have used a balanced scoring attack and unselfish play to reach the 12-win total in early January.
“In the beginning, our older guys made sacrifices for their personal glory for the team and our young guys play hard,” Trice stated. “Now, I think it is the fact that roles are becoming more clearer and people are accepting those roles. We have six players averaging between 9-13 points.”
Ford leads the scoring attack at 12.5 points per game, while dishing out 4.4 assists. Senior Crisshawn Clark has been filling up the stat sheet averaging 11 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per outing. Classmate Ronnie Ortiz adds 9.2 points a game.
Then, there is the sophomore trio of D’Mitrik Trice (10.8 ppg. & 4.1 apg.), Xeyrius Williams (9.2 ppg.), and Ahmad Wagner (8.5 ppg. & 4.9 rpg.). Wayne is in good hands for years to come with these three leading the way.
Senior Collin Russell is another key cog in the operation scoring 5.4 points a night.
Freshman Trey Landers, and sophomores Devin Reed, Isiah Fairley, and Tyree Kinnel are also knocking on the door securing quality minutes. Reed and Kinnel are both key members of Wayne’s football future.
“No one has really surprised me and to be honest it has been a unique situation where we don’t have a single clear leader or two,” the Wayne boss noted. “It has been a total team effort in leading and if I had to pick I would say Meech (D’Mitrik Trice) and Juan Ford, but it depends on the day because guys likes Crisshawn Clark, Ronnie Ortiz, and Tyree Kinnel are leaders for us as well.
Wayne’s two setbacks came to Centerville (57-53) and Evansville Harrison (66-57). Both games were on the road. The Warriors hold quality wins over Springboro, Bowling Green, Springfield, Winton Woods, Northmont and Beavercreek.
Wayne’s schedule doesn’t get any easier with games versus West Carrollton and Springfield before taking on nationally ranked Prime Prep (TX) at the Flyin to the Hoop. A rematch with Centerville, Northmont, and Beavercreek will close out the regular season.
It’s not even mid-January yet, but just 10 teams remain unbeaten in the state of Ohio. Teams playing more difficult out-of-conference schedules is a big reason for these results, but also the parity in the state.
Westerville North, Columbus Northland, and Norwalk are the three remaining in D-I. Thurgood Marshall and Kettering Alter remain in D-II; Cincinnati Summit Country Day and Bloom-Carroll remain in D-III; and Newark Catholic, Tri-Village and Bristol remain in D-IV.
A divisional breakdown of the state’s latest news…
It was an interesting week in Division I as our top-ranked team, Toledo Central Catholic, fell to Toledo Whitmer, 39-30, on Friday night. Akron Green, North Royalton, and Uniontown Lake also dropped from the land of the unbeatens.
Columbus Northland survived on Tuesday coming from behind to defeat rival Columbus Brookhaven, 63-61, in overtime.
Walsh Jesuit and Cleveland Glenville are a pair of (9-1) teams flying under the radar.
Cincinnati Moeller once again got the best of rival Cincinnati St. Xavier holding on for a 38-31 victory. The Crusaders went 3-0 this past week.
It was a tough week for Lakota East falling to Lakota West (minus Monty Boykins) and Cincinnati Princeton.
North Canton Hoover is a team to keep an eye on. The Vikings are surging after an early season lost to Lake. Hoover is now (11-1) and appears to be playing the best basketball of anyone in the Canton-area. Dom Iero and Harrison Blackledge are leading the way.
Mentor had a great weekend following back-to-back losses. The Cardinals defeated Garfield Heights on Friday night before canning a school-record 22 treys on Saturday in thumping Eastlake North. Junior Caleb Potter continues to shine for the junior-laden Cardinals.
Columbus Brookhaven and Cleveland Central Catholic were the only teams in our Top 10 to lose this past week. Brookhaven, as mentioned above, lost to unbeaten Northland in overtime and Central Catholic dropped a nod to Akron Buchtel. The Ironmen have been without three starters for the past three games.
Canton South, Granville and Poland lost for the first time this week. Canton South fell to Alliance, Granville was handled by Columbus Academy, and Poland lost to rival Canfield after ending Division III LaBrae’s regular season winning streak on Tuesday.
Kettering Alter may be one of the bigger surprises this season. The Knights now stand at (10-0) thanks in large part to senior guard Jaaron Simmons, who is averaging a GCL best 25.6 points per game. Simmons is one of the best uncommitted players in the senior class.
Bowling Green University commit Zack Denny continues to light up the scoreboard dropping in another 41 points this past weekend. The Germantown Valley View senior is averaging over 36 points per game.
CVCA’s Bob Peters, who is an Indiana Wesleyan commit, totaled 97 points this week in a trio of wins. Peters finalized the weekend by hitting a game-winning free-throw to defeat a good Gilmour Academy squad.
Wilmington is off to a (9-2) start thanks in large part to freshman Jarron Cumberland, who is averaging 18.2 points a game. If you ever watched Cumberland on the travel circuit, it comes as no surprise that he is putting up these kinds of numbers. He has yet to be held under double figures. His cousin, sophomore Jaevin Cumberland, is adding 15.4 points per outing.
Akron SVSM is streaking as the Irish have now won four consecutive games. SVSM has done so with wins over Akron Firestone, Cleveland St. Ignatius, Mentor Lake Catholic, and Columbus Marion-Franklin.
Lima Bath is quietly off to a (10-2) start in the challenging Western Buckeye League. Bath’s only losses are to Division I Findlay and once-beaten Liberty-Benton.
Versailles and Leavittsburg LaBrae both were handed their initial defeats this week. The Tigers dropped a 68-53 decision to a very good St. Henry team and LaBrae lost to previously unbeaten Poland, in overtime.
No. 1 Summit Country Day continues to roll behind its trio of guards in Kevin Johnson, Antonio Woods, and MaCio Teague. The Silver Knights took down Cincinnati Country Day and North College Hill to move to 11-0.
Since dropping a 51-48 decision to Lima Central Catholic, Ottawa-Glandorf is quietly going about its business. The Titans secured a pair of win this past week against Division I Findlay and DII Defiance. O-G, who has now won seven-straight games, will play Kenton and Lima Senior as part of a back-to-back weekend.
Beachwood nearly pulled off a monumental upset on Saturday against DI Lakewood St. Edward, but its efforts fell short in a 69-66 defeat. Junior guard Johnny Davis scored 34 points in defeat.
Ironton continued to remain unbeaten in the Buckeye state despite a pair of setbacks out of state. The Tigers raced past Peebles, 84-70, behind a career-high 44 points from senior Zac Carter and 25 points and 18 rebounds from classmate Trey Fletcher. Peebles got 35 points from talented sophomore Beau Justice.
Archbold moved to (9-2) with a pair of victories. The Blue Streaks knocked off Elida in overtime, which was a solid win.
Cleveland VASJ earned a victory against Bedford Chanel this past Friday, which will the Vikings last trip to Chanel as the school will be closing following this school year. If Saturday night was any indication of what is to come, the rest of DIV is in big trouble in Northeast Ohio. VASJ handed Dalton (12-2) a 95-46 beat down.
St. Henry is rolling along picking up a 68-53 win over previously unbeaten Versailles followed by a triumph of Anna. The Redskins are now (12-1). St. Henry’s only defeat came to DII Wapakoneta, 52-46, on the second game of a back-to-back weekend.
Tri-Village rolled to (12-0) defeating a good Troy Christian squad last Tuesday and National Trail. T-V has the ability to make a Jackson Center-like run.
Convoy Crestview is now (10-1) on the year following Saturday night’s 39-18 win over Arlington (9-2). Crestview’s only loss came to Lima CC, 57-52.
Leipsic (10-1) had a great weekend securing wins over Vanlue and Columbus Grove. The Vikings have now won nine-straight since losing to Toledo Bowsher.
If you follow Ohio high school basketball, this is the place to share what you know, and to learn what you don’t.
JJ Huddle is expanding the same real-time fan-based coverage that you’ve enjoyed for Football’s
Friday Night Scoreboard
to Boys & Girls Basketball. The information for each school is
collected in a single page, with forms to submit your reports as well as
read scores and more from other fans, coaches and participants. Sounds
easy…and it is. Exteremly…