The 2013 All-Ohio Nike Cup finished up on Sunday at Columbus Africentric. The event is an open format
meaning all divisions (15U, 16U, & 17U) compete together with only
one overall winner. All-Ohio Red 17U captured the cup for consecutive years, but,
it wasn’t easy…All-Ohio Black’s 16U didn’t go quietly.
Columbus, Ohio – The 2013 All-Ohio Nike Cup finished up on Sunday at Columbus Africentric High School. The event is always entertaining due to its open format meaning all divisions (15U, 16U, & 17U) compete together with only one overall winner.
All-Ohio Red (AOR) 17U captured the cup for consecutive years, though, it wasn’t easy, as All-Ohio Black’s (AOB) 16U squad didn’t go quietly in the championship game.
AOB got past All-Ohio Red’s 16U team in a mild upset in the semis, while Red’s oldest group dispatched of Red’s 15U team. In a heated semifinals game, featuring two terrific 16-and-under units, Black was able to squeak out a, 46-44, triumph.
Archbold’s Luke Fisher (6’8) tipped in a missed shot with nine ticks on the clock to give Black at two-point advantage. At the other end, St. Henry’s lengthy Ryan Mikesell swatted away Huber Heights Wayne’s D’Mitrik Trice’s tying shot attempt.
Black got 14 points from Jaquan Harrison (Columbus Africentric), and eight from Mikesell. Esa Ahmad (Shaker Heights), MaCio Teague (Cincinnati Summit CD), and Jordan Dartis (Newark) all tallied eight points in defeat, while Ahmad Wagner (Huber Heights Wayne) added six points.
In the finals, AOB was able to hang close thanks to excellent guard play from one of the state’s better backcourts in Grant Zawadzki (Troy Christian) and Dorian Dawson (Dayton Dunbar). In addition, Mikesell did an excellent job creating steals, blocking shots, and rebounding for the upset-minded youngsters.
In the end, despite a valiant effort, Red’s duo of Jae’Sean Tate (Pickerington Central) and Javon Bess (Gahanna Lincoln) were too much to overcome. The two former high school teammates attacked the basket time-after-time constantly putting pressure on Black’s interior defense. In the end, Red was able to come away with a hard earned, 61-52, victory.
Rosel Hurley (Shaker Heights) was named MVP, while teammates Shemar Waugh (Columbus Northland), Tate, and Bess were named to the All-Tournament team. Fisher and Harrison earned All-Tourney for All-Ohio Black.
Top Performers: (We Saw)
Cody Monroe (6’2/2015)- Parkersburgh South, WV (Elite Sports 16s)
CJ King (6’5/2015)- Morgantown HS, WV (Elite Sports 16s)
Tervell Beck (6’6/2016)- Cleveland Central Catholic (All-Ohio Red 15s)
Isaiah Williams (6’5/2016)- Dayton Stivers (All-Ohio Red 15s)
Ibi Watson (6’3/2016)- Athens HS (Elite Sports 15s)
Wesley Harris (5’10/2014)- Montrose Christian, MD (Hidden Gems White)
Vince Edwards (6’7/2014)- Middletown HS (All-Ohio Red 17s)
Donovyn Benson (6’5/2014)- Mansfield Senior
Time to Start Taking Notice
All-Ohio Black (16U) enjoyed a solid campaign a year ago in the 15-and-under division, and with a couple upgrades, this squad appears to be a major player in not only Ohio’s 16-and-under sector, but also the Midwest.
Shaun O’Connell is an outstanding young coach. O’Connell, along with coaching All-Ohio Black, is the head coach at Dayton Ponitz. His squad may be labeled the “B” team if you will in All-Ohio’s stable, but that is tag we refuse to use with this club.
The team starts with its solid backcourt of Zawadzki and Dawson, which allows AOB to rarely be pressed and almost always able to get into the offense. Zawadzki reminds us a lot of former Columbus Northland guard Jordan Potts with his toughness and willingness to compete. He is also a very good shooter. Dawson also knocked down some shots, was solid on defense, and was able to create for teammates.
Xeyrius Williams (6’7/SF) of Huber Heights Wayne is a kid that is on the verge of becoming a household name. Williams isn’t quite there, but he continues to show the ability to do more-and-more on offense. The Wayne sophomore has a frame similar to a Kevin Durant. He has terrific length with ever improving ball skills. This time next year we will likely be talking about Williams in the discussion for the state’s top player if he continues to develop his ball skills, gets stronger, and gets his shot to fall more consistently. Coach Travis Trice at Wayne would also like to see him become more of a self-starter.
JaQuan Harrison is another key piece to All-Ohio Black’s success. Harrison plays so hard and with his athleticism is a very capable scorer in the paint. The mechanics on his jumper aren’t ideal, but he was able to knock down a few shots.
Then, there is Mikesell (6’5), who is the link connecting this team. In his first season, with All-Ohio Black, the St. Henry sophomore has already made a big impact. Mikesell is a utility player, which can do a little bit of everything. He has great length allowing him to rebound and be very disruptive on defense with the ability to guard multiple positions. On offense, his shot is coming along, but his bread-and-butter is slashing to the hole. He is deceptively quick, and his length allows him to be a major contributor in the paint. MAC schools should be swarming.
Inside, Archbold’s Fisher and Africentric’s Ulmer Manzie aren’t prolific scorers, but both do a terrific job of holding their own at the defensive end. Fisher continues to improve on offense showing the ability to run the floor and catch and finish, all in one motion.
Key bench members include Shawon Wilson of Columbus Africentric and Joshua Bryant of Dayton Dunbar. Wilson is a good defender and a more than capable shooter. Bryant’s older brother, Geron Johnson, plays at Memphis.
If you get a chance, be sure and check this team out. They play hard, are well coached, and have the refuse to lose attitude.