This past weekend we made the trip to Northeast Ohio to take in the King
James Shooting Stars Classic. Though, the tournament continues to get
depleted in the older age groups due to other major events around the
country, it still had some solid teams and sought after players.
Akron, Ohio — This past weekend we made the trip to Northeast Ohio to take in the King James Shooting Stars Classic. Though, the tournament continues to get depleted in the older age groups due to other major events around the country, it still had some solid teams and sought after players.
We didn’t get to see too much of the older divisions as we spent much of the weekend watching rising freshmen, but when we did, we were able to see some quality performances.
Friday night, we started off the weekend watching Team Work’s 17-and-under team, which is headlined by Leavittsburg LaBrae’s Peyton Aldridge (6’7) and Westlake’s Gavin Skelly (6’8). The two are arguably the best inside tandem in Ohio, and showed why once again. Both are versatile performers with athleticism that know how to get things done. Aldridge continues to show the ability to put the ball on the deck and score off the bounce. There isn’t much he can’t do on the floor. We have seen both kids many times before, and it’s still amazing that more schools aren’t all over these two.
Team Work fell in the Elite 8 to Team NLP JF (IL), who finished runners-up.
Next, we stopped by to check out King James Shooting Stars talented 16-and-under team, but unfortunately the other team didn’t show up despite waiting nearly 45 minutes. To make matters worse, North Carolina’s Roy Williams and Ohio State’s Thad Matta were there to take in the action.
King James (16U) team made the Elite 8 of the 17-and-under Gold Bracket before losing to Spiece Indy Ice, who eventually won the tournament. Spiece Indy Ice is a very underrated team that gets after it on defense and has some sleeper prospects.
Saturday we spent the entire day watching the top 14-and-under squads at the tournament. We were able to see several of Ohio’s elite teams in that age bracket.
On Sunday, we stopped over to Akron East High School to watch a pair of semi-finals featuring Team Work’s 15U squad and the Detroit Stars and the VCC Warriors and TBC Elite (KY). Team Work, who is (10-1) this spring, handily defeated the Michigan-based team, while VCC erased a double-digit deficit to take down a good TBC Elite outfit. VCC’s Ruben Flowers (Lima Senior) stole a pass in the closing seconds, which allowed the Warriors to hit a game-winning shot.
In the championship game, Team Work built a comfortable lead and held on for a, 58-52, triumph. Team Work’s only loss on the year to this point came at the hands of DC Assault in semifinals of the Pittsburgh JamFest.
King James Shooting Stars 16-and-under team, the Akron/Cleveland-based squad, captured the 16U title by defeating All-Ohio Black. King James has two teams at the 16U age group. Barberton’s Josh Williams paced the winners throughout the weekend along with Lakewood St. Edward’s Kipper Nichols.
King James defeated DB Hoops Baum in the semis and All-Ohio Black handled BSA Freeman.
In the other Gold Bracket, of the 16-and-under division, King James 15U team, who played up and age group, was able to come away victorious following a win over Yanders Law (MO). King James defeated Ohio Varsity White in the semis. This bracket was the Gold Bracket for the teams that weren’t in power pools.
In the 14-and-under division, the Indy Hoosiers drubbed All-Ohio Red in the championship game. Let it be known, the Hoosiers are one of the most talented teams in the country and certainly pass the eye test.
Brooks Hall’s Next Level team made the semis before losing to the Hoosiers. King James Shooting Stars Williams made the Elite 8 along with Ohio Unity and Ohio Showtime Elite.
The Dayton Nets, Cincinnati Lakers, and Team Lima were Sweet 16 teams, while King James Schmock lost in the Round of 32 to a very good Rens (NY) squad.
Peyton Aldridge (6’7/2014)- Leavittsburg LaBrae (Team Work)
Gavin Skelly (6’8/2014)- Westlake (Team Work)
Clifton “CJ” Coleman (6’3/2014)- Mt. Vernon Fortville HS, IN (Spiece Indy Ice)
Kendall Rollins (6’6/2014)- Pike HS, IN (Spiece Indy Ice)
Jordan Garnett (6’6/2014)- Warren Central HS, IN (Spiece Indy Ice)
Daeshon Francis (6’2/2014)- Lawrence North HS, IN (Spiece Indy Ice)
Xavier Robinson (6’5/2014)- King Prep, IL (Team NLP JF)
Simmie Cobb (6’5/2014)- Oak Park River Forest, IL (Team NLP JF)
Connor Cashaw (6’3/2015)- Stevenson HS, IL (Team NLP JF)
Cam Jones (6’1/2016)- Mason County HS, KY (TBC Elite)
Ben Weyer (6’5/2016)- Campbell County HS, KY (TBC Elite)
Matt Wilson (6’5/2016)- Pendleton County HS, KY (TBC Elite)
Drew Rackley (6’0/2016)- John Glenn (Team Work)
Jon Teske (6’9/2016)- Medina (Team Work)
Luke Vargo (6’6/2016)- Dublin Coffman (Team Work)
Ibi Watson (6’3/2016)- Athens (Team Work)
Tyus Ferguson (5’9/2016)- Groveport-Madison (VCC Warriors)
Seth Towns (6’7/2016)- Columbus Northland (VCC Warriors)
Tyrell Carter (5’9/2016)- Columbus St. Charles (VCC Warriors)
Ruben Flowers (6’3/2016)- Lima Senior (VCC Warriors)
Around the State:
At the Adidas Hoops Challenge, the Ohio Basketball Club captured the 15 and 16-and-under titles, while TNBA finished runner-up in the 17U division.
OBC’s 16U defeated the Wisconsin Playground Warriors, 71-67, behind Lincoln Park’s (PA) Maverick Rowan (2016) with 23 points and Cleveland VASJ’s Carlton Bragg with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Boo Williams Invitational
The second stop on the EYBL tour took the teams to Hampton, Virginia for the Boo Williams Nike Invitational. This was also a 16-and-under Peach Jam qualifier along with hosting a 15-and-under division, which was different from the California stop.
All-Ohio Red got it turned around in EYBL play with a (4-1) weekend, which followed a (1-3) start in California. Red now sits at (5-4), which is tied for second with Each 1 Teach 1 (FL), Mac Irvin (IL), and Traveler’s Basketball (KY). Howard Pulley (MN) leads All-Ohio’s division, which is a team lead by Ohio State recruit Tyus Jones.
Team Takeover (DC) and Expression Elite (MA) are the only unbeatens left in the 40-team league, while Boo Williams (VA), Houston Hoops (TX), and BABC (MA) sit at (8-1).
All-Ohio got wins over the Georgia Stars, Nike Team Louisiana, Wisconsin Playground, and the Texas Titans, and lost to CP3 (NC), 64-46.
Pickerington Central’s Jae’Sean Tate scored 40 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in a win over the Georgia Stars. He also had games of 14, 20, 19, and 12 points throughout the weekend.
Middletown’s Vince Edwards had a nice weekend as well scoring double figures in four of the five games, which included a 22-point and 12-rebound effort against the Wisconsin Playground. He led Red with 19 points in the win over the Titans.
Massillon Jackson’s Evan Bailey, Gahanna Lincoln’s Javon Bess, and Columbus Northland’s Shemar Waugh also enjoyed solid weekends.
Traveler’s Basketball (KY) finished the weekend (3-2) with Cincinnati Turpin’s Zach McCormick averaging just over 12 points per game, and Norwalk’s Jeff Thomas totaling 10 points a contest.
The Family (MI) had a rough go at it, and now sit a (2-7) in league play. Though, Akron SVSM’s Jalen Hudson scored nearly seven points per game in the five games.
In the 15-and-under division, All-Ohio Red advanced to the Final Four before losing to Team Scan (NY), 69-60. All-Ohio beat Team Final (PA) in the quarterfinals, 66-50.