On Saturday at the Bearcat Classic in Cincinnati, I headed over to Sports Plus to watch more 7th grade games. First up was Dayton showdown between Chuck Painter’s Dayton Metro squad and the Dayton Pilots. For the first time, newly acquired Deshawn Parker and Darius Quisnberry would lace em up for Metro. Very early it was clear that Metro was the far superior team, as they enjoyed a height advantage at every position. Although both teams played sloppily with missed shots from point blank range and turnovers early in the game, Dayton Metro would eventually overpower the much smaller Pilots on their way to a 56-31 win. Metro was led by the brother duo of John and Joe Alessandro from Beavercreek, both of whom finished with 14 points. John (6’3 PF) is the better of the two, and his body of work so far this season has earned him a spot on Buckeye Prep’s Top 30 Player list. He is long; rebounds well, and he finishes everything around the cup. From what I’ve seen of Alessandro, there is little doubt that he is the heart and soul of this Dayton Metro squad. In terms of the roster upgrade, both Parker and Quisenberry add depth at the guard spot, and allow Painter some versatility with his matchups. Both John and Joe led their team with 14 points.
|John and Joe Alessandro-Beavercreek|
The second match up of the day featured my 7th grade Buckeye Prep team against Dayton Metro Bennes. Right out of the gate Buckeye Prep raced to a 15-0 lead before Metro was forced to call a timeout with 8:11 left in the half. At the 7:35 mark, Metro finally got on the board with a layup, but would only score 6 more points until the break. By halftime, the score was already out of hand at 31-8. There was not much drama in the second period, as Buckeye Prep was hitting on all cylinders and would cruise to an easy 57-8 victory. In this game, Gahanna’s Seth Goodson was spectacular, as his entire arsenal was on full display. Not on did he finish with double digit scoring, but he may have finished with double digit assists as well. When Goodson is on his game this team is hard to beat. Goodson finished with a game-high 12 points, followed by Theron Jennings with 10 and Garett Tipton with 9 points.
|Teron Jennings and Seth Goodson|
Despite being short handed, the 7th grade Shining Stars are still a potent team, as evidenced by their by their 67-34 mauling of the Upstate Warriors from New York. If you can’t break the Stars’ full court press, you can’t beat them. Upstate struggled with the press the entire game and the Stars feasted on easy layups. There really isn’t much to say about this game, as the Shining Stars dominated the entire contest. What is interesting to note however, was the play of Isaiah “Sleepy” Payton who logged in an impressive performance. I’ve seen Payton play before, but he really showed me something in this game. Although his performance was against inferior talent, his talent was still evident, as he attacked the basket and scored at will. Payton started quickly, finishing with 14 points by halftime, and for the game, he finished with 16 points.
Later in the morning, the Upstate Warriors found a team they could compete with, as they took on Dayton Metro Bennes. I did not see much of this game, but from what I did see, the Warriors were the better team, as they got by Metro 47-30. The leading scorer for Upstate was Tyron Lott (6’0 C Buffalo), who finished with a game-high 14 points.
|Isaiah "Sleepy" Payton-Cincinnati|
The best game of the day featured a match up with 2 of the state’s top ten 7th grade teams in, the Shining Stars and Buckeye Prep, to determine the likely number one spot in the pool. Both teams boasted a roster containing top 30 players. The Shining Stars drew first blood as they scored on the first 2 possessions to start the game (4-0). Prep would respond and eventually close the game to 1 point (11-10) by the 9:23 mark. Both teams would battle back and forth and use their presses effectively to get easy buckets. Buckeye Prep would seize the lead for the first time on a Seth Goodson layup with a little over 4 minutes left in the half, followed by a Garret Tipton layup to extend the lead to 28-25. Jackson See later tied the game at 30 with a layup of his own, but 2 Buckeye Prep free throws put Prep back up by 2 points. After another tie, a Seth Goodson trey would put Prep up 35-34 to finish the half. Jackson See and Seth Goodson led their respective teams at the half with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Both teams were sloppy and committed multiple turnovers to start the second period, but a Jack Cravaack’s layup and a trey by Isaiah Payton got the Stars rolling. Before Prep could answer, the Stars had mounted a 10-2 run, and were up 46-37 with 9:24 left. Although Prep would later cut the lead to 4 points (46-44), a hot shooting Payton was too much to overcome, as the Stars would get the highly contested, 64-58 victory. As much as Payton got to the cup in an earlier game, his 3 ball was clicking this game. With his performance on Saturday, Isaiah Payton’s stock really went up in this evaluator’s book! Payton led all scorers with a game-high 19 points, while Jackson See added 17 and Jack Cravaack finished with 10 points. Seth Goodson led Buckeye Prep with 13 points,followed by Cameron Carlisle and Kalob Phillips both with 9.
|Andrew Emrick-6'6 WF Lakota East HS|
I caught some 9th grade action between Purple Elite and the Shining Stars. From what I could tell, the game was close all the way, as the halftime score was 22-28 in favor of the Stars. Despite an 18 point effort from Marcus Barton (5’1 PG Cincinnati), an 8th grader, the Stars would ride balanced scoring to a 36-24 victory. Andrew Emrick (6’6 WF Lakota East) paced the Stars with 11 points.
The second game of the day for started a little slow for Painter’s Dayton Metro squad, as they allowed a much smaller and less talented Ohio Ballers team to hang around until late in the second half. In fact, with only 11:48 remaining in the contest, Metro was only up 8 points (30-22). However, at that point, Metro threw on a full court press, and with their superior length trapping the ball, they overpowered the much smaller Ballers and only allowed another 4 points the rest of the game. The final score was 47-26.