|Xavier Simpson-5'9 PG Lima Central Catholic|
Lima Central Catholic’s 8th grade squad is well on their way to back-to-back undefeated seasons. So for this season, the T-Birds are a perfect 9-0, and are poised to repeat the success they enjoyed last season, when as 7th graders, they finished with an unblemished mark and as Northwest Conference champions. So far this season, no middle school team has come within 20 points of the T-Birds. In fact, in an away game against a highly respected Dayton Chaminade Julienne team, Lima Central Catholic got out of town with a convincing 20+ point win.
Because of the T-Birds’ dominance last season, the school will opt out of the conference tournament this year, and will now set their post season sights on winning a tournament sponsored by Bath Middle School. From what I understand, the Bath sponsored tournament is supposed to be much more competitive.
According to one source close to the program, the T-Birds’ success is largely due to their outstanding guard play, and the fact that they have multiple players who can shoot the rock. Not only can they score the ball, mostly from driving and dishing; defensive pressure has been a key, as has the fact that several of the players have high basketball IQs, derived from many years on the AAU circuit.
The starters for the Knights include: Xavier Simpson (5’9 PG), Josh Dixon (5’6 SG), Ethan O’Conner (5’10 SF), Nick Taffinger (5’11 PF) and Ryan Rhodes (6’3 C). In addition to the starters, Tre Cobbs (5’9 SG) and Dantez Walton (5’11 SF) are both productive off the bench.
The team is powered by Xavier Simpson, a crafty and skilled PG who is listed as one of Buckeye Prep’s Top 30 players. So far this season, Simpson is averaging around 17 points and 10 assists per game. Through his play on the AAU circuit, as well as his standout performances at out our Buckeye Prep Elite Showcases, Simpson has established himself as one of the top 2 or 3 floor generals in the state.If Simpson continues on his current track of development, D-I basketball is definitely in his future. Tre Cobbs is also considered a top 30 caliber player and has excelled at our elite showcases as well, as has Dantez Walton.