|All-Ohio Red U-16 Division Champions|
I will start with the bad news. As if playing 4 games on Saturday was not enough, day three at the Bill Hensley Run-N-Slam All-Star Classic is even more demanding, as the competition just keeps getting thicker, not to mention that 3 more games required to win the tournament. All-Ohio Red’s U-17 squad found out just how tough Sunday in Fort Wayne can be, when they ran into a juiced up Indiana Elite/Team Indiana in quarter-final action. So far this spring All-Ohio has been notorious for slow starts. This time, they could not overcome the 20+ point deficit they found themselves in by the end of the first half (42-23 at the half). Indiana Elite came out with all guns a blazing, as they hit Red in the mouth right from the whistle. Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell was the main culprit, as he shredded the All-Ohio defense to the tune of 26 points. Red simply could not keep Ferrell out of the lane, or from scoring off of the high screen and roll. It wasn’t just Ferrell, super athletic Ron Patterson was almost as equally impressive (19 points). Patterson is explosive, strong and can really score the ball. When I say explosive; people are still talking about his “posteration” of Kenny Kaminski! Not only can Patterson score, be he can defend as well.
Despite their slow start, All-Ohio did finally switched gears, and actually cut the lead to single digits late in the 4th quarter. In fact, All-Ohio outscored Elite 24-15 in the 4th quarter. Northland’s Jordan Potts created the initial spark as he attacked the basket and finished or was fouled. Soon after, Terry Rozier joined the party and did pretty much anything he wanted from there. Both Potts and Rozier led All-Ohio with 17 points. However, at the end of the day, All-Ohio had to expend too much energy to get back in the game, they ran out of time, and headed home early with a disappointing 77-66 loss. Kenny Kaminski finished with 13 points and Elijah Macon added 8 markers.
Things did not go much better for All-Ohio Purple, who went down hard against the Michigan Mustangs 60-71 in an elite eight game. Adoplhus Washington was the leading scores, but performance was not enough to get the win. Indiana's DJ Valentine led all scorers with 20 points, followed by J. Hawkins (17) and Butler commit Chris Harrison-Docks (9).
Now for some good news! In the U-16 division, Team CBIZ, All-Ohio Red and All-Ohio Varsity made up 3 of the 4 teams in the final four. Team CBIZ may have pulled of one of the biggest upsets of the weekend with their 47-37 shocker over the Mac Irvin Fire. This game was no fluke; CIBZ simply outplayed Mac Irvin the entire contest. In fact, at halftime, CIBZ was up 22-13, and then would hold off a late-charging Fire team. Evan Bradds logged in another big time performance with a game-high 21 points. In their final four match-up against Meanstreets, another Chicago-based team, Team CBIZ continued their solid play into the first 2 quarters, as they were leading at halftime 26-25. However, Meanstreets would take the lead, and go on to advance to the championship game with a 43-53 win. Bradds paced CBIZ with 16 points, followed by Toledo St. Johns' Austin Gardner (11) and Bloom Carroll's Isaac McGlone (11).
One of the biggest games of the tournament pitted in-state rivals, All-Ohio Red against All-Ohio Varsity. This game represented a rubber match of sorts, as the two teams finsihed 2-2 last year. The match up is so intriguing because Red is supposed to be the top team in the state, with their roster of highly rated prospects; while All-Ohio Varsity is made up of less heralded journey men who have to scrap and claw for everything they get. Propelled by the outstanding play of Westerville North’s Jack Gibbs Jr. (13 points in the 1st half); early in the game it looked like All-Ohio Varsity was on thier way to a defining victory. However, when Randell Clarkson Jr. was knocked out of the game with a concussion late in the 3rd quarter, and Jack Gibbs Jr. fouled out in with about 3 minuites left in the 4th quarter, Varsity’s fortunes started to turn. Sparked by a scoring barrage by Keon Johnson (16 points), as well as the gritty and physical play of Toledo Whitmer's Nigel Hayes (9 points) and Cincinnati Aikens' Austin Grimes, Ohio Varsity actually held the lead until a Jordan Lauf (9 points) trey with 56 seconds left in the game put them ahead. All-Ohio Red would go on to complete the comeback and advance to the championship game with a 78-72. Jack Gibbs Jr. led all scorers with a gaudy 26 points, including 6 treys, followed by Gahanna's Aaron Jackson (11), Brookhaven's Randall Clarkson Jr. (9), Northland's Jaylen Benton (8), Reynoldsburg's Wendell Davis (6) and Lima Senior's Deontray Martin (6).
All-Ohio Red would go on to claim the U-16 title with a convincing 81-65 win over Meanstreets. In that game, Ohio State pledge Marc Loving bounced back from a sub par semi-final to finish with an impressive 19-point effort. Nigel Hayes continued his solid play with 16 points.
In quarter final action, As was the case with All-Ohio’s 17s the night before, George Howard’s All-Ohio Red U-15 squad knocked out another Chicago area team, with a 64-48 beat down to the Mac Irvin Fire. In that Game, Shaker Height freshman Rosel Hurley, a 6’3 WF, had a breakout game, as he dropped 22 big ones on the Fire. This is the first time I really had a chance to see Hurley play, and I left impressed with his athleticism and skill set.
In their semi-final game, All-Ohio Red held off a scrappy Wisconsin Running Rebels team to punch their ticket to the championship game. Although Red enjoyed a comfortable lead early, the Running Rebels fought their way back into the game, and actually had a chance to win it with their last possession. By the time the score board showed zeros, All-Ohio Red was ahead 70-69. The driving force in that win was Louisville, Kentucky’s D’Angleo Russell. Already a nationally ranked PG, Russell has big time potential written all over him. At about 6’3, Russell has good size for his position, is super smooth with the rock, can consistently knock down the trey, and does a great job off ball screens and getting to the cup. Add in a high basketball IQ, and the ability and willingness to find open men; you have a high major prospect. Oh yea, Russell gave the Rebels 26! Dayton Dunbar's William Green added 10 points.
|All-Ohio Red-U-15 Division Champions|
When All-Ohio Red forfeited their Friday night game due to a lack of players, you could have bet money they would have been heading home early. However, Red more than recovered from Friday night’s set back, and ran the table all the way to the tournament championship, where they got by IBA Select (45-49) in triple overtime to take home the belt. Once again, the standout performance of D’Angleo Russell was the difference. This time, Russell dropped a game-high 25 points to lead his team to the title.
Congratulations to All-Ohio Red and their two championships on Sunday. Also, props go out to Ohio Varsity and CBIZ for making deep tournament runs this weekend, and big ups to all of the Ohio-based teams who participated in the Spiece Run-N-Slam Classic this weekend, as you all represented the Buckeye State very well! To see the pics I took on Sunday, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page. Also, don't forget to follow us on twitter for up to date information about a whole range of topics.