This weekend is a big basketball weekend, as there are 3 big tournaments occurring simultaneously between Columbus and Cincinnati. In Columbus, the division II AAU State tournament is being played at the USA Sports Academy for 2nd thru 8th grades, and in Cincinnati, the Division I state tournament is being held at several locations for the same age groups. Starting tomorrow, Jerry Watson Super Sixteen tournament tips off at 4 locations around Columbus for grades 8-11.
Tonight, I took in the action at the D-II states and caught a couple of real competitive games. In the 7th grade division, Columbus’ Team Court Vision defeated Scott Bradley’s New Birth Warriors 62-52. The star of the game was Ecol Kenwood’s Seth Towns, a 6’4 WF. Towns is a good looking prospect with good size, he is active, and he handles the ball well enough to push the ball in transition. Towns Led Court vision with a game-high 18 points. Right behind Towns was Hayden Audsley (6'6 C) who added 16 points. For New Birth, Tyrell Carter led with 18 points.
The best game of the night pitted Cincinnati’s The Family II (8th grade) against the Columbus-based We Got Game Dennis. The Family features one of the top players in the state in Derrick Long, a 6’1 WG from Schroder MS. For We Got Game, 5’9 Robert Martin is the man, but his backcourt partner, David Dennis Jr. makes the guard tandem a tough match up. In terms of the game, The Family got off to a hot start and led until late in the 4th quarter. With 3:35 left in the contest, We Got Game finally took a 1 point lead (48-47) as their pressure caused some problems. Both teams would take turns playing with the lead, but We Got Game would go on to claim a 57-55 win. Robert Martin led We Got Game with a team-high 22 points on six treys. Hilliard’s Malik Bocook (6'3 PF) added 13 points and Davis Dennis Jr. contributed 7. Derrick Long had a monster game with 26 points in a losing effort.
Buckeye Prep’s 8th grade squad jumped all over the Cincinnati Royals and never took their foot off of the gas. Buckeye Prep jumped out to a 7-0 lead on the strength of a strong start by Issac Anderson, and finished the quarter at 9-4. By half time, Prep had extended the lead to 21-11. Going into the 3rd quarter, Prep turned up the heat, forced several turnovers that led to easy buckets. Buckeye Prep finished with an impressive 45-25 win. Issac Anderson was the driving force early, and would go on to lead Prep in scoring with 10 points. Cincinnati’s Logan Brauning (5’11 WF) did the heavy lifting for the Royals, and scored a game-high 15 points.
In other action, Humongous Columbus lost a tough one against the Cincinnati Magic (39-35), which was surprising, given the talent on that team. Columbus was led by Quincy Story’s 8 points. On my way out of the gym, I caught the tail end of the New Birth versus Ohio Hoopsters game (5th), and noted the fact that New Birth has a nice collection of young talented players. New Birth held on to defeat the Hoopsters 39-35. Paul "PJ" Jones was the leading scorer with 13 points, followed by Seth Goodson (9). Trey Watkins led the Hoopsters with 12 points. My sources tell me that 3 of the New Birth kids intend to move to Gahanna to play their high school ball! To see the pictures I took on Friday, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page. Also, tomorrow I will be covering the D-II state tournament in Cincinnati, and I will finish the marathon weekend with coverage of the Super Sixteen on Sunday. Finally, some time next I will be releasing my updated top player lists fro 7th & 8th grades, including a top 30 in each class.
Players to Watch
|James Manns II-2015|