Saturday, January 30, 2010

February Madness in Full Swing


I spent most of the day posted up in Dublin checking out the action at the Dublin Invitational Boys Basketball Tournament for 7th graders. Much to my surprise, there were a number of standout team and individual performances. The first game I watched pitted #1 seeded Pickerington Lakeview vs (2-9) Hilliard Memorial. Although Lakeview was the clear favorite with a 10-2 regular season record, the scrappy Jaguars had an upset on their mind. The game was close until the end, but Lakeview eventually claimed a 32-28 victory. In terms of individual performances, no one played better that Frankie Weirich, who bullied his way to the bucket and a game-high 17 points. Weirich put his team on his back and willed his team to the win. Pickerington got contributions from Bryce Montes and point guard Tyler McCafferty. For Memorial, 5'10 center Collin Reef was big in the post and gave sold defense and rebounding in a loosing effort.

Game two at Grizzell Middle School featured the # 7 seeded Hilliard Weaver vs # 10 seeded Grizzell (a home game of sorts). As was the case in the first game, both teams refused to give an inch, as they went into the locker room at the half tied 14-14. In the end, the Wildcats outlasted Dublin to pull out a 33-28 win. In this one, I was most impressed with Michael Simon, a 6'3 center from Hilliard. Although, like most big men his age, he is still a work in progress, I noted the fact that he has good feet, can pass out of the post, and aggressively posts up ball-side. Based on his current size and build, Simon has a great chance of developing into a long-term post prospect. Simon was supported by guards Jay Peterson and Ziyad Rasul.

After the first session at Grizzell Middle School, I ran over to Sells Middle School where I had the chance to checkout 2 more games against 12th seeded Dublin Davis vs 5th seeded Wellington, and (9-2) Dublin Sells vs (6-6) Hilliard Heritage. In the first game, Dublin Davis defeated Wellington 51-32. In game two, Dublin Sells jumped out to an early lead (23-3 at the half) and never looked back. The combination of superior talent and trapping zone defenses was simply too much for the outmatched Panthers. One bright spot for Hilliard was the outstanding play of guard David Dennis, Jr., who was virtually the only weapon his team had. I could not be more impressed with Dennis' game. I know I really like a kid when I keep having to pick up my note pad to write down all the things I like about his game. With Dennis, there are a lot of things to like. What things you ask? How about his advanced handle, a compliment of one-on-one dribble moves (crossover, in and out, etc.), vision and passing skills. I could go on but I think you get the picture. I was also really impressed with Dublin's dynamic guard tandem of Shaun Rankin, and CJ Saunders. Although these guys are small (about 5'1 & 5'2), they can play. Both floor generals are super skilled, can shoot the trey, can find open teammates with the pass, and both guys were really poised for their age. If that wasn't enough, the Shamrocks brought Drew Krueger off the bench for even more solid guard play. I have to mention Gage Hisey. Although not flashy, Hisey can really finish around the cup. No wasted motion, just straight to the basket for 2 points. Continue to follow Buckeye Prep over the next several days as we try and bring you even more middle school tournament coverage.

7 comments:

  1. Are you going to any Columbus city schools games

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  2. I'm going to try and attend the Aimes vs Monroe game tomorrow. If you can, please keep me posted on the big MS games, including the City League tournament. I also want to cover the MS all-star game if I can get some information about dates and location.

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  3. Just have a comment about the above Dublin Sells vs (6-6) Hilliard Heritage. The players name is incorrect for the Hilliard Panthers. The player you are referring to is named David Dennis Jr.

    Thanks

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  4. Change made. Thanks. I hope he can attend the elite showcase; the competition will be great!!

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  5. We are trying to make arrangements for it. Thanks so much for the comments about my son and the invitation.

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  6. You were at my game today

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  7. Some solid middle school hoops. In the 7th grade OCC tourney in Dublin, the "Final Four" were Upper Arlington Hastings, Upper Arlington Jones, Dublin Sells, and Hilliard Weaver. Sells beat Hastings and Jones beat Weaver. So it will be Jones vs. Sells in the finals. Pretty good for UA to have 2 of the top four teams. Best UA players seemed to be point/wing guard Chris Allocco (Hastings) and post Wyn Brown (Jones). Sells is most balanced group top to bottom. Their best are a Shawn Rankin and Gabe Hisey - a versatile and athletic big kid.

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