The OHSAA State Football finals stole most of the headlines last weekend
and rightfully so, but lost in the shuffle was the start of the boy’s
high school basketball season. Here's who did what...
The OHSAA State Football finals stole most of the headlines last weekend and rightfully so, but lost in the shuffle was the start of the boy’s high school basketball season.
Several games and mini-tournaments took place resulting in some outstanding team and individual efforts. Here is a look back at the past seven days.
Central Catholic is Back:
Cleveland Central Catholic won a state championship in 2009 and then earned a state runner-up in 2011, but many basketball pundits believed the Ironmen would fade away following the graduation of Cleveland State sophomore Anton Grady. However, Jonathan Harris, Central Catholic’s second year boss, had other ideas.
CCC struggled against a brutal schedule a season ago with loads of inexperience. That inexperience is now experienced and ready to take the next step. Tuesday night proved the Ironmen are turning the corner by defeating JJHuddle’s No. 2 ranked Akron SVSM Irish, 69-68 thanks to a buzzer-beating three-point field goal from Greg Snyder. It was the first victory over the Irish.
“I’m going to be honest man, we want to reestablish tradition,” Harris noted. “I guess it’s just kind of building the program back up. After Anton (Grady) graduated, many people expected the program to go away and hide. This is our opportunity to brand the program. We brought in a really good group of freshmen to get things jumpstarted. After Anton left, people started to write us off. We just want to get it rolling and let people know we aren’t going away.”
The freshmen Harris speaks of are talented and will no doubt leave their mark on this program before they are finished, but the nice thing is they don’t have to be the go-to-guys just yet.
“The upperclassmen have really helped these guys a lot,” Harris said. “Everybody expected Tervell (Beck) to have this enormous breakout game, but he was brought in to learn. He can take his time and enjoy being a freshman and learning how to win and have success. These guys can help him transition. The older guys have sacrificed for the younger guys because they see the bigger picture. Many people don’t realize Greg Snyder came off the bench to have the night he did. We constantly preach team and it’s always about the team. Hopefully the younger guys realize one day they may have to sacrifice for the team.”
Snyder scored a team-high 20 points to lead the Ironmen. Beck, a 6-foot-6 freshman, totaled five points, three rebounds, two blocks, and two assists.
“Tervell doesn’t have to be the man for a year or two, so he can just smile and have fun,” Harris believes. “A lot of freshmen join programs and are thrown right into the fire. Our freshmen are able to enjoy the moment instead of getting us 30 (points).”
Freshman Brandon Peters got the start at point guard and the lefty had a very productive night scoring 11 points and dropping four dimes. Peters was 8-of-9 from the free-throw line.
Another player Harris was chomping at the bit to mention was sophomore Antwon Lillard. The 6-foot-4 Lillard can often times go unnoticed throughout the course of the game, but Harris knows exactly what he brings to the table. Lillard finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Ironmen.
Junior Chelvonte Montgomery tallied 12 points and Peter Washington played solid defense.
The dangerous thing about Central Catholic is it could be a different guy each night out that does the damage.
“It was Greg Snyder on Tuesday and who knows the next night,” Harris stated. “It’s a lot of guys you have to worry about.”
It doesn’t get any easier for the Ironmen as they meet rival Cleveland Benedictine tonight in another program-type game.
“Last year they got us by 20 (points) early, then by nine (points) in the tourney,” Harris relayed. “Now, it’s like alright to take the next step we need to win this next game.”
New King of Akron:
In April, of 2011, we wrote about a 7th grader from Charlotte, North Carolina, who was coming to Ohio for the summer to play with All-Ohio Red. That player was Vincent “VJ” King, one of the best 2016 prospects in the country. King, now a freshman at Akron SVSM High School, is off to a great start scoring 18 points in his Irish debut in a win over University (IL) followed by a 25-point and 10-rebound outing against Cleveland CC.
10 Quarters and 83 Points:
Elida, who earned a state runner-up finish in 2012, got its season started at the annual Elida Tip Off Classic. The Bulldogs opened up with a 68-63 double overtime win against a very good Lima Central Catholic squad. The following night it was double OT once again, but this time the Bulldogs were on the losing end of a 67-65 final. Junior Dakota Mathias scored 42 points on Friday and 41 on Saturday. Not a bad start.
Remember the Name:
Cincinnati Christian is off to a (3-0) start thanks in large part to 6-foot-6 senior Ryan Arington and his 32 points per game. The Wildcats will meet North College Hill tonight in what should be their toughest test to date.
Big Men with Big Numbers:
Springboro’s Maverick Morgan is off to a monster start in wins over Shroder and Beavercreek. The Illinois commit recorded 26 points and 12 boards against Shroder and 30 points and 14 rebounds in a huge 77-75 win over an outstanding Beavercreek squad. Morgan has swatted away four shots in each of his first two games. Classmate Ryan Murray is averaging 16 points per game.
Bowling Green’s Vitto Brown enjoyed a 26-points and 19-rebound effort in a win over rival Findlay followed by a 20-point and 15-rebound outing in an overtime win against Sylvania Southview. Brown is a Wisconsin commit.
Little and Mighty:
Delaware Hayes’ Mikey Well, a 5-foot-7 senior, scored 37 points in the opener versus Marysville followed by a 29-point performance the next day against Marion-Franklin. Both games were victories for the Pacers.
Wendell Davis (6’4/Sr.)- Reynoldsburg
*Recorded a total of 46 points in wins over Westerville South and Canal Winchester. Davis is an Ashland commit.
Alex Stewart (6’5/Jr.)- Westerville North
*The North big man had a breakout game scoring 26 points in a win over Grove City. Stewart and the Warriors are (2-0).
Taylor Van Winkle (6’1/Jr.)- Hillard Darby
*Scored 29 points in a Tuesday night win over Marysville.
Zac Carter (5’10/Sr.) and Trey Fletcher (6’5/Sr.)- Ironton
*The dynamic duo accounted for 48 points in an 84-50 win over Lucasville Valley. Fletcher led the way with 26 and Carter added 22.
Stedman Lowry (6’3/Sr.)- Lakota East
*Lowry scored 28 points on Tuesday in a win over Western Hills. Lowry is averaging just over 22 points per game for the (3-0) Thunderhawks.
Dorian Jordan (5’8/Sr.)- Cincinnati Princeton
*Jordan got off to a good start with 25 points, six assists, five rebounds, and five steals in a victory over Elder.
Luke Schoettinger (6’4/Sr.)- Little Miami
*The senior dropped 33 points in a victory.
Zach McCormick (6’2/Jr.)- Cincinnati Turpin
*McCormick tallied 30 points in a loss on Tuesday. For the season, the junior is averaging 28 points per contest.
Lawrence Johnson- Holy Name
*Scored 37 points including four bonus goals in a win over Lodi Cloverleaf.
Josh Williams (6’2/So.)- Barberton
*Notched 26 points in the opener against Copley, which resulted in a win.
Jacob Wolfe- Poland
*Scored 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a triumph of Youngstown Liberty.
Brandon Bailey (6’7/Sr.)- Conotton Valley
*Has totaled 63 points as the Rockets are off to a (2-0) start.