Tallmadge, OH — The King James Shooting Stars Classic has been one of the better spring tournaments in the Midwest for several years, and this past weekend was no different. There was even a slight upgrade in talent from last year, which was hurt by several other tournaments going on the same weekend. This year’s event happened to be the only weekend Division I college coaches were allowed out during the spring travel season.
The event also saw an upgrade thanks to the 16-and-under division being a Nike Peach Jam qualifier.
We didn’t see a ton of games in the older age groups due to focusing on the incoming crop of 9th graders, but we were able to catch several 15U games along with a pretty good 17U contest.
Friday night we were entertained by the Northwest Ohio Basketball Club versus the Cincinnati Lakers in the 15-and-under division. Following the opener, we were able to watch the King James Shooting Stars and its talented 15U crew play Chicago Select. We also caught bits-and-pieces of the Ohio Stampede against the R.E.A.C.H Legends out of Michigan. The nightcap was a 17U encounter featuring Shining Star Sports- Blue and Michigan Warriors/United.
On Saturday, we spent the majority of the day in Twinsburg watching 14U games before heading back to Tallmadge for some fantastic 15U tournament games. Ohio Unity (Holtrey) squared off with Db Hoops (Blair) in an opening round game of the Silver Bracket. Ohio Unity pulled away for a sizeable victory. Former Springboro head coach Troy Holtrey got his squad to the Silver Bracket championship before falling to the Northwest Ohio Basketball Club. This is a really nice team featuring Springboro’s Alec Holtrey and Nick Pluta along with Lakota East’s Evan Kuhlman and Mason’s Ed Pusis. The team was without services of catalyst Tyler Mitchell of Kings HS due to a broken ankle.
Saturday’s nightcapper was a high-high level contest between the King James Shooting Stars, who finished runner-up in the Gold Bracket, and CIA Bounce, a Nike sponsored squad out of Canada. The game was filled with energy, intensity, and top shelf talent. Behind the dominant inside play of Westerville South’s Kaleb Wesson (6’8/2017), King James SS was able to pull away for a (76-62) victory.
King James Shooting Stars Classic Gold Bracket winners
17U- All-Ohio Black defeated R.E.A.C.H Legends (Michigan)
16U- King James Shooting Stars defeated CIA Bounce (Canada)
15U- Team Takeover (DC) defeated King James Shooting Stars
14U- CIA Bounce (Canada) defeated Chicago Select
Class of 2015 Top Performers
Brad Miller (6’0/2015)- Cincinnati Elder
Bo Schuh (6’6/2015)- Covington Catholic, KY
Alan Vest (6’3/2015)- Dayton CJ
Nick Perkins (6’7/2015)- Milan HS, MI
Class of 2017 Top Performers
Ryan Batte’ (6’4/2017)- Cincinnati Oak Hills
Kesean Gamble (5’11/2017)- Fairfield
James Johnson (6’1/2017)- Roger Bacon
James Mitchell (5’9/2017)- Fairfield
Tyrice Walker (6’3/2017)- Summit Country Day
Michael Karl (6’4/2017)- New Philadelphia
Deuce Martin (6’0/2017)- Elyria Catholic
Armon Nassari (6’5/2017)- Youngstown Ursuline
Jayvon Graves (6’2/2017)- Akron SVSM
Jaylen Harris (6’5/2017)- Akron SVSM
Jarius Ward (6’2/2017)- Reynoldsburg
Markell Johnson (6’1/2017)- Cleveland East Tech
Kaleb Wesson (6’8/2017)- Westerville South
Ethan Linder (6’2/2017)- Haviland Wayne Trace
Kyle Nunn (6’2/2017)- Findlay
Wade Stauffer (6’0/2017)- Continental
Ryan Smith (6’5/2017- Macedonia Nordonia
Ben Geschke (6’0/2017)- Medina
Luke Schaefer (6’2/2017)- Medina
Alec Holtrey (5’10/2017)- Springboro
Evan Kuhlman (6’4/2017)- Lakota East
Nick Pluta (6’4/2017)- Springboro
Eddie Pusis (6’/2017)- Mason