D-IV Boys Basketball Preview: Malvern earns nod as East District’s top team


The 2014 campaign came to a close with the Convoy Crestview Knights hoisting the hardware following a perfect (29-0) season. Head coach Jeremy Best and his boys were poetry-in-motion smothering teams with suffocating pressure defense and dialing up timely offense. The Convoy crew was the first DIV team to finish the year unbeaten since that powerful New Knoxville squad in 2008.

Crestview lost its three studs in Cam Etzler, Tyson Bolenbaugh, and Damian Helm, but don’t sleep on the Knights as they will certainly continue to be a factor. With the graduation loss of the above mentioned players, the door is open for teams like Tri-Village, Harvest Prep, Columbus Africentric, Cincinnati Aiken, Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas, Georgetown, and Russia to make a run at the gold.

In our opinion, DIV is as deep as its been in quite some time. We are really looking forward to Ohio’s small school scene more than we have in awhile.

East District Preview

Malvern (20-7)
*Lost to Richmond Heights in the regional semis.

Mitch Loomis (6’6/Sr.); Cameron Glick (6’1/Sr.); Jalen Graves (6’3/Sr.); Collen Thomas (6’0/Sr.); Brevin Thomas (5’9/Jr.); and Jaret Majestic (6’0/So.).

Key Newcomers:
Eddie Zinn-Turner (6’2/Sr.); Adam Champer (6’6/Jr.); Ansley Williams (5’10/Jr.); Mark Mayle (6’6/Fr.); and Drew Hutchinson (5’9/Fr.).

Key Stats:
● Mitch Loomis averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds a game as a junior. He is on pace to become the 7th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark. Ironically, three of those kids have the last name of Tucci, which is the same as head Dennis Tucci. However, for the first time in quite awhile, Tucci won’t have a Tucci on the roster.
● Jaret Majestic averaged 9.5 points per game as a frosh.
● Collen Thomas was good for eight points a night as a junior.

From the Coach:
“We have a chance to be pretty good, but I don’t know if that will be good enough,” stated headman Dennis Tucci. “Garaway, Hiland, and TCC (Tuscarawas CC) are loaded in our conference. We have three starters back. Loomis is a legitimate big guy, and Majestic and Brevin Thomas are good shooters. Collen Thomas, Jalen Graves, and Cameron Glick all have specific talents to enhance our chances of having a special season.”

Season Outlook:
The Hornets are in for a big year regardless of how much the personable Tucci tries to downplay it. After getting drilled by 38 and 26 points respectively in its regular season meetings with Hiland, the Malvern Hornets got sweet revenge defeating the Hawks, 62-59, in a district championship game thriller at Meadowbrook High School. Mitch Loomis, a Lake Erie College commitment, did everything but wash the uniforms (maybe he did that as well) in last year’s tournament run to will the Hornets to the regional before losing to a very good Richmond Heights squad. Malvern should be the frontrunner out of the East District to return to Canton for regional play, but would likely have to get by last year’s state runner-up in Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas. As Tucci would be quick to tell us, there is a lot of basketball to be played between now and then.

Other Top Teams in the East District
Tuscarawas CC, Berlin Hiland, and Bridgeport.


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