Before I start talking basketball, allow me to reflect on the last several years. Although I was more than ready to head home after a marathon of a tournament, I have to admit, I stayed a at Spiece a little longer than I had expected (my all-Ohio Red team lost Saturday night) just to stay in the moment and enjoy, maybe for the last time, the spectacle that is Spiece basketball. I have been traveling to Fort Wayne, Indiana since my sons were in the 4th grade, so the prospect that this might be my last trip caused me to try and enjoy the experience a little more. As I have said before, there is no better place to attend a basketball tournament then Spiece Fieldhouse.
Ok, enough of the melancholy, Indiana Elite 1 claimed the U-17 championship of the 2010 Bill Hensley Run-n-Slam tournament after first defeating Chicago's Mean Streets 76-56 in the first of two semi-final games. Although the game was close early, Elite's superior post play eventually exerted itself and by the time the horn sounded Indiana had secured yet another blowout victory. Leading scorers in the game were Kevin Ferrell (16 points), Austin Etherington (14 points), Spencer Turner (12 points) and Ge'lawn Guyn (10 points). For Mean Streets, despite limited play, Xavier pledge Dee Davis finished with 10 points. In the second U-17 semi-final game, the St. Louis Gameface took a Tony Wroten-led Seattle Rotary squad into double overtime before claiming a 81-75 victory. St. Louis benefited from the spectacular play of BJ Young to punch their ticket to the championship game. Young's big time performance (42 points), served notice to the many scouts in attendance that he needs to be ranked nationally! I have been watching this kid for years and his performance in the semi-finals confirmed my belief that he is a big time baller.
Before loosing to Martin Brothers in the championship game, the U-16 Ohio Basketball Club notched some impressive wins. In their quarter-final game against a loaded Indiana Elite, OBC dug out a hard fought 63-60 win. In that game, Westerville South's Isiah Rogers seized control of the game with clutch shots, great point guard play, including the game-winning trey to seal the victory. After the game, several scouts were overheard asking about Rogers while marveling over his standout performance. Needless to say, Roger's stock just got a gigantic boost! In their semi-final match up with Wisconsin Playground, OBC cruised to a 62-52 win. It should be noted that Playground was without the services of their top gun, JP Tokoto who only played a few minutes in the first quarter. OBC would fall short in the championship game 65-68. Isiah "Zeek" Rogers led OBC in scoring with 14 points, while Lorenzo Cugini added 11 markers and Shaheed Davis contributed 10 points. There were several other Ohio-based teams who made a little noise in Fort Wayne. Nobody wants to struggle in pool play and end up in the silver bracket; however, if you trip and fall in pool play, you have to get up and make the best of things. That's exactly what King James Shooting Stars did, as they finished strong and claimed the u-17 Silver division championship with a convincing win over the Eric Gordan All-Stars. A Tony Lavender-coached All-Ohio Black (u-16) squad beat CBIZ in the quarter-finals 83-71, before giving up a 35-30 halftime lead to the Martin Brothers and dropping a 61-56 semi-final game. Quintin Rogers is at it again, winning championships that is, as his All-Ohio Red group defeated Spiece Select to claim the U-15 title. All-Ohio White, AKA Ohio Varsity, represented Columbus, Ohio this weekend with a great run to the semi-final game where they allowed Spiece Select to slip by with a 3 point win. On their way to the final four, All-Ohio knocked off some pretty impressive teams, including the MAC Irvin Fire, Eric Gordon All-Stars, R.E.A.C.H. Legends and the Rising Suns out of Chicago. With players like, Jack Gibbs III, Ronnie Stokes Jr., Arron Jackson, Randall Clarkson, Jr, and Adam McCall, it's no wonder why they made a deep run in the tournament. Congrats to Todd Hensley and the entire Gym Rats family for putting together another great event. To see more pictures of the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.