In the junior division, Columbus outlasted a scrappy Toledo squad to claim the junior division championship 82-77. The Columbus roster included: Keon Johnson (Mansfield), Randal Clarkson (Brookhaven), Jack Gibbs (Westerville North), Isaac McGlone (Bloom Carroll), Wendell Davis (Reynoldsburg), Brandon Bapst (Grove City), Kevin Marsh (Dublin Coffman), Tre Fletcher (Ironton), Aaron Jackson (Gahanna Lincoln) and Ellis Williams. The Toledo roster included: Austin Gardner (Toledo St. Johns), TJ Umar, Dan Aaronowitz (Columbus), Darryl Levert (Pickerington Central), Adrian Cook (Westerville North), Devin Price (Pickerington North) and Evan Gardner.
|Junior Division All-Stars|
The junior division all-star selections included: Jack Gibbs, Wendell Davis, Aaron Jackson, Ellis Williams, Zach Denny, Jaaron Simmons, Jamar Hammonds, Damarion Geter, Armand Fontes, Kyle Deckard, Miles Griffin, Caleb Kleibscheidel, Austin Gardner, Darryl Levert, Vitto Brown, Adrian Cook, Will Clifton, Corey Wise, Kevin Johnson, Devin Williams, Tony Farmer, Kash Blackwell and Maurice O’Fields. The All-Tournament Team included: Jack Gibbs, Randal Clarkson Jr., Wendell Davis, Ellis Williams, Austin Gardner and Vito Brown.
|Jack Gibbs-Junior Division MVP|
Although the official all-star list is outlined above, I wanted to take a few minutes to highlight a few other players who left an impression on me this past weekend. Of course Westerville North’s Jack Gibbs was his usual dominate self, and his supporting cast of Aaron Jackson, Randal Clarkson and Keon Johnson did what they were supposed to do to help bring home the gold, I was really impressed with some of the kids on the Toledo team. Although the team was pieced together at the last minute, coach Randy Gardner really got those guys to play hard and to play team basketball. I have seen Austin Gardner (6’0 PG) play numerous times since he was in elementary school, but I have to say, the kid played his butt off this past weekend. Always under extreme pressure, Gardner found away to control tempo, find open teammates and score. I always knew he could play, but he really put it all together this weekend.
|Austin Gardner- 6'0 PG Toledo St. Johns|
I can say the basically same thing about Westerville North’s Adrian Cook (5’9 PG). Although he plays in the shadows of Gibbs and Matt Rhodes; Cook showed he has some game as well. I was most surprised with Cook’s ability to score the ball, as he was the team’s leading scorer. Cook also did a great job of running the point and distributing the rock. I had not seen Bowling Green’s Veto Brown, but the 6’8 center stepped of defensively against some pretty good talent this weekend and more than held his own. Brown has a solid frame, is a solid defender in the post, runs the floor well and has a nice touch around the basket. Throw in Devon Price, a 6’2 guard from Pickerington North who was a great compliment to the above players and added another scoring weapon, and you can begin to see why this team made an improbable run to the championship game.
|Mark Williams-6'8 C Benedictine|
Toledo and Columbus were not the only teams with talent; in fact, Cleveland came to town with a trio of players who really put in work. Mark Williams (6’8 C Benedictine), Maurice O’Fields (6’5 wing) and Richard Parker (6’1 PG) all logged in impressive performances. I also like Trotwood Madison’s Jamar Hammonds, a 6’5 wing with ample length and athleticism, and Cincinnati’s Kevin Johnson and Austin Grimes.