|Murphy AC Knight-7th Grade Ohio AAU DI Champs|
Rarely do we see northern Ohio area teams traveling south to participate in the Ohio AAU DI State qualifier; it’s even rarer for those teams to actually play well enough to capture the gold medal. Well, that’s exactly what happened this past weekend when the Murphy AC Knights finished 5-1 on their way to winning the state qualifier. On the strength of strong guard play from Tommy Schmock, and the interior dominance of Jaylen Harris, the Knights made a statement this weekend with their win, and have now joined the argument about who should rein as the top 7th grade team in the state.
The Knights opened pool play with 2 convincing wins over the Cincinnati Lakers B team (40 +) and Columbus’ Mustang Ballers (30+), before stumbling against a well-coached Cincinnati Royals squad in overtime (52-48). The Knights would get back on track with a 10 point win over the Cincinnati Lakes in the first round of bracket play, followed by a double digit win over the Cincinnati Friars in a semi-final match-up.
The championship game featured a match-up between Murphy AC and the Ohio Hoopsters; the #2 and #3 ranked teams in the state. Although the Hoopster raced out to an 11-2 lead to start the game, the Knights would mount a 19-0 run of their own late in the contest, and eventually go on to claim the title. Despite the fact that he fouled out in the fourth quarter, Tommy Schmock lead all scorers with a game-high 18 points. The other top performers for the Knights were Jaylen Harris and Matt Davet. For the Hoopsters, Tyrell Ajian and Trey Pugh were lauded by Jim Schmock, the Knight’s head coach.
|Tommy Schmock-Unofficial MVP|
In terms of subplots, although the Hoopsters were playing without Garcia Dixon, a starter who did not make the trip to Cincinnati, they did pick up Ronnie Raymorn, a 6’4 C from North Union, who added depth in the post. Murphy AC did not have their full complement of players either; and was forced to compete with only 8 players. According to some of the coaches I talked to, some of the top performers over the weekend included: Tommy Schmock, Jaylen Harris, Ethan Bradds and Tyler Knetch. From what I heard about the play of Tommy Schmock, the kid continues to log in standout performances. Antwon Smith Sr., the acting coach for the Hoopsters, was really impressed with Schmock’s game. “He is the engine for that team (Knights). He penetrates well and can get anywhere on the floor he wants to,” stated Smith. Smith also liked Jaylen Harris, stating, “He has a lot of skill, and you can tell he plays with a lot of confidence. Smith was also complimentary of Ethan Bradds, a 6’3 PF from Jamestown.
In terms of the rankings, there will be some movement when I update the rankings later today. I heard a lot of positive things about the Cincinnati Royals, including the fact that they beat the tournament champs in pool play. However, it should also be noted that the Hoopsters defeated the Royals in the other semi-final game by about 20 points. Although Next Level, the #1 ranked team in the state, did not compete in the state tournament this weekend, I understand that they lost a close one to the Indy Hoosiers in the championship game in Indianapolis. Based on that performance, they may retain their number one ranking for now.
Congratulations to Coach Anthony Parker and his 7th grade Dayton Pilots squad for taking the championship of the DII AAU State Qualifier. The Pilots defeated the Capital City Cardinals B team 61-35 to claim the championship. The top players for the Pilots were Shamari Jamison (5'11 SF), Christian Montaque (5'9 G) and Demarco Long (6'2 C). In addition, I would like to give a shout out to the Northern Cincinnati Tar Heels for their 3rd place finish in the 7th grade division of the DII AAU State Tournament. Nicholas Bryant (6’0) and Evan Kuhlman led the charge as the Tar Heels defeated All-Ohio Purple to place. Although the Tar Heels have not yet secured a championship this season, they have placed 2nd or 3rd in a number of tournaments. Keep up the good work.
|U-10 Toledo Flash-AAU State Champs|