Thanks to a good friend who is a long time Buckeye Prep supporter and fan/follower of youth basketball in this state, below is a recap of the Ohio State Team Camp that was held this past weekend. The Ohio State Team Camp has consistently attracted some of the top high school teams in that state, and it sounds like this year is no exception. As is the case every year, most of the games were held in either St. John Arena or the Schottenstein Center. A total of 32 teams participated in each of the 2 days. (16 per bracket).
FRIDAY: Final four teams in the Scarlet Bracket – Toledo St. Johns, Westerville North, Hilliard Bradley and Chillicothe. In a mild upset, Westerville North edged a somewhat depleted St. John’s team on the strength of both Matt Rhodes and Jack Gibbs. Rhodes was especially effective with numerous 3-point baskets and finishes near the basket, and Gibbs combined some outside shooting with drives to the hoop. Chillicothe defeated Bradley in the other semifinal and then North beat Chillicothe in the final. In the Gray Bracket final four teams included Toledo Whitmer, Centerville, Gahanna Lincoln and Northland. Whitmer won over Centerville and Northland had little trouble with Gahanna to advance to the finals. There the Vikings won easily over the Panthers by a margin of more than 20 points.
SATURDAY: Saturday’s Scarlet Bracket saw Whitmer, Lakota East, Westerville North and Avon Lake in the final four. Whitmer defeated East and North defeated Avon Lake, both in competitive games. In the finals, Whitmer surprised North by a score of 68-61 with Nigel Hayes strong play down the stretch, taking the ball to the basket at will, a key difference. The Panthers were huge with a starting lineup this weekend of 6-8, 6-7 and 6-6 across the front line. Senior Chris Wormley, a 6-7 all-Ohio football star, showed considerable ability scoring inside for Whitmer.
In Saturday’s Gray Bracket, Centerville made the final four again and was joined by Columbus Walnut Ridge in addition to St. John’s and Northland. St. John’s won in a close contest over Centerville, 55-52, with junior point guard Austin Gardner and junior wing and Ohio State recruit Marc Loving combining for 20 of the Titans’ 28 second-half points. Northland won over Walnut Ridge to set up arguably the game of the weekend as Northland got by St. John’s 73-71 in overtime for the championship. Senior guard Jordan Potts hit a short jumper in the lane at the buzzer to send the game into OT at 65. Potts, 6-4 senior Kechaun Lewis and 6-8 Devon Scott led Northland, which used its size effectively all game. The Titans, playing the weekend without several potential starters, were led by Loving’s 30 points, while Gardner and senior wing guard Tarvis Malone (a 3-point specialist) also scored in double figures.