The 2013 Buckeye Prep Invitational Tournament took place this past
weekend at four sites in Central Ohio and featured some of Ohio’s top
up-and-coming talent in grades 4th-11th. Who and what we saw…
Columbus, Ohio – The 2013 Buckeye Prep Invitational Tournament took place this past weekend at four sites in Central Ohio and featured some of Ohio’s top up-and-coming talent in grades 4th-11th.
Tournament director Rob Taylor always puts on fabulous events and the hospitality is second to none. Taylor’s April event often features some of the top junior high talent, while some of the top teams in the older groups either choose not to play that weekend or in All-Ohio Red’s case, it was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the NY2LA event.
However, there was still some top talent in all the divisions making for a great weekend of basketball in Columbus. Here is a recap and a look at some of the top performers.
Championship Sunday of any AAU event is always survival of the fittest, and this was certainly evident yesterday with Ohio Varsity White surviving a heated match up with Hidden Gems Black in the semis to escape with a, 52-51, victory.
Hidden Gems Black played the weekend without its two top inside forces in Toledo Central Catholic’s Nate Harris and Ottawa Hills’ Geoff Beans. In addition, Black had just played a rivalry game with Hidden Gems Orange just 30 minutes prior. Regardless, with the first stop at the Ohio’s Best Basketball League coming up this weekend, OV and Hidden Gems Black could be seeing a lot of each other this spring/summer with a rivalry inevitably looming.
After dispatching of Black, Ohio Varsity met Elite Skills Select in the title game. Elite Skills Select, a team comprised of Cleveland-area ballers, earned its way to the championship with wins over a good Dayton Nets squad along with a semifinals victory over a solid Team Blaze Select outfit from Indiana. East Tech’s Johnell Free led ESS with a game-high 21 points. Kyauta “K.T.” Taylor- another East Tech standout- hit for 13 points, including a game-winning step-back triple in overtime. Warrensville Heights’ C.J. Franklin also tallied 13 points.
Ohio Varsity was able to win the 2013 Buckeye Prep Invitational with a convincing win over the Cleveland-based squad.
OV got great play all weekend from Columbus Northland guards Ty Hairston and Derek McKeithen, Brookhaven guard Ronnie Williams, Newark forward Teddy Metzen, Tri-Valley forward Avery Williams, and Licking Heights guard Babe Murphy.
Other key contributors for OV came from DC Wilson, DeAnthony Hosley (Licking Heights), Travis Gleason (Reynoldsburg), and Landon Brazille (Thurgood Marshall).
With All-Ohio Red in Milwaukee, All-Ohio Black stepped up for the organization and captured the 16U division with a win over a scrappy Dayton Nets Taylor outfit.
Head coach Shaun O’Connell, who is also the headman at Dayton Ponitz High School, rallied his troops in the semis against Ohio Varsity Blue. AOB trailed by 12 points, but rallied for a, 46-43, triumph. Xeyrius Williams (Huber Heights Wayne) and Ryan Mikesell (St. Henry) carried the load for Black in the scoring department.
In the championship game, AOB and the Nets went back-and-forth for much of the contest, but All-Ohio was able to pull away late for a, 54-43, victory. Troy Christian guard Grant Zawadzki was instrumental in the win handling the Nets’ pressure and cashing in some key freebies in the second half. Zawadzki led Black with 14 points. Dayton Dunbar’s Dorian Dawson added nine points, and Mikesell chipped in eight counters.
Williams, Archbold’s Luke Fisher, Africentric’s Jaquan Harrison, and Marion Franklin’s Shawon Wilson also played big for the winners.
The Dayton Nets got key contribution throughout the weekend from guards Henry Alexander (Springfield) and Daesean Jackson (Springfield) along with forwards Isiah Fairley (Huber Heights Wayne) and Corde’ Donald (Miami Valley).
The freshmen division came down to a final four of All-Ohio Black, Dayton Metro, the Toledo Ruff Riders, and Nova Village. Black was able to comfortably get by Metro in the semis, while the Ruff Riders survived against Nova Village with a, 51-50, victory.
All-Ohio Black held on for a, 55-52, win over a game Ruff Riders squad in the finals. Bellbrook’s Michael Pryce, who has the body of a grown man, led Black with 15 points, and Darius Dunson (Kettering Fairmont) and Malik Harrison (Walnut Ridge) each scored 11 points. Dayton Dunbar’s Terrance Landers capped an impressive weekend with seven tallies.
The Toledo Ruff Riders, who came into the weekend a bit of an unknown, impressed throughout the weekend with a pool play victory over Black and a tournament victory over a very good Nova Village squad. Keith Smith (Toledo St. John’s) led the Ruff Riders in defeat with 13 points, and Trey Buford and Jalen Daoust (Toledo Central Catholic) each netted nine points. Westerville South guard Jordan Humphrey chipped in seven and Groveport-Madison’s Trey Charles Martin was good for six.
It’s always fun to look at the next crop of freshmen coming into high school, and there were a few good looking prospects in the 8th grade division, which was won by head coach Brooks Hall’s Next Level team.
Next Level got by a good M.A.T.T.S Mustangs squad in the finals with a 62-55 triumph. The Mustangs- a team based in Kentucky- are coached by John Adkins, a legendary name in AAU circles. Adkins coached the highly successful Tallahassee Wildcats before moving back to the Bluegrass state.
L’Christian “Blue” Smith (Huber Heights) led Next Level with 22 points and Ethan Bradds added 16 points for the winners. Bradds is the younger brother of Belmont signee Evan Bradds (Jamestown Greeneview). Dayton Fairborn’s Ryan Profitt and Centerville’s Sam Lash also turned in stellar showings. Profitt is a physical, 6-foot-2 post player and Lash is a lights out shooter.
The Mustangs got 18 points from Lawrence County, Kentucky’s Timmy Dalton (6’2), who played varsity ball as an 8th grader. Trenton Russell (6’4) added 13 points. Russell played varsity at Magoffin County High School in Salyersville, Kentucky and averaged 11 points and nearly seven rebounds per game. Point guard Colin Miller (Liberty Casey County, KY) also turned in a solid performance throughout the weekend.
Two Ohio kids are playing for the Mustangs in Turner Horn (Berlin Hiland) and Michael Karl (New Philadelphia).
Two others 14U squads we got a couple looks at were the Cincinnati Royals, who made the final four, and the Team Lima Kings.
The Royals had a solid roster featuring Keegan McDowell, who is the brother of former Cincinnati Moeller standout Quinn McDowell, Matt King (Mason), Dan Sichterman (Kings), Matt Dotson (Centerville), Sean Clifford (St. Xavier), and Matt Sichterman (Kings).
Team Lima Kings got key contributions from the attacking Jarious Ward (Lima), shooter Jake Fisher, and the versatile Dak Prichard.
In a highly anticipated match up, the Queen City Prophets defeated Murphy AC. We were able to watch QCP a couple times throughout the weekend, and actually got to see the championship game, which the Cincinnati-based Prophets won, 75-71.
Other Top Performers: (We saw)
Terrell Richardson (6’4/G-F/Cleveland Collinwood)- Elite Skills Select
Zach Whiteside (6’5/F/East Cleveland Shaw)- Elite Skills Select
Ian Bell (6’2/G/Hawken)- Elite Skills Select
Grant Sims (6’2/PG/Bloomington North HS, IN)- Team Blaze Select
Bret Barclay (6’6/F/Crown Point HS, IN)- Team Blaze Select
Isaiah Gooch (6’6/F/Bloomington South HS, IN)- Team Blaze Select
Erik Bowen (6’6/F/Kokomo HS, IN)- Team Blaze Select
Tyler Truesdale (6’2/G/Bloomington North HS, IN)- Team Blaze Select
Saikou Jallow (6’3/G/Bloomington North HS, IN)- Team Blaze Select
Isaiah Walton (6’3/G/Elyria)- Hidden Gems Black
Manny Powell (5’9/PG/Gahanna Lincoln)- Hidden Gems Black
Anthony Glover (6’0/G/Toledo St. John’s)- Hidden Gems Black
Nate Jameson (6’3/F/Eastmoor Academy)- Hidden Gems Black
Mario Davison (5’10/G/Mansfield Senior)- Hidden Gems Orange
Jordan Jones (6’1/PG/Thurgood Marshall)- Hidden Gems Orange
Akil Cornish (6’1/G/Africentric)- Hidden Gems Orange
Charles Holland (6’2/G/Columbus West)- Columbus Kings Madison
Nate Axelrod (5’7/PG/Dublin Coffman)- Columbus Kings Madison
Malik Bocook (6’4/F/Zanesville)- Who Got Game Dennis
Case Chamblin (6’3/F/Marysville)- Who Got Game Dennis
Drew Mellen (6’6/C/Marysville)- Who Got Game Dennis
Gabe Kennard (6’0/G/Toledo St. John’s)- All-Ohio Black
Kaleb Younger (6’1/G/Walnut Ridge)- All-Ohio Black
Drew Rackley (5’11/PG/John Glenn)- Ohio Hoopster Black
Kyran McClure (6’0/G/Westerville South)- Nova Village
Tarik Wright (6’2/G/Walnut Ridge)- Nova Village
Bryson London (6’3/G/New Albany)- Nova Village
Nick Ward (6’6/C/Gahanna Lincoln)- Nova Village
Trey Landers (6’2/G/Huber Heights Wayne)- Dayton Nets
Darius Harper (6’6/C/Springfield)- Dayton Nets
Malik Quisenberry (6’0/PG/New Carlisle Tecumseh)- Dayton Nets