Monday, April 15, 2013

Bearcat Classic-Final Day Report


SMAC U-6th Grade Division Champions

The final day of the Bearcat Classic saw few surprises, as the final results of the middle school divisions went about as expected. In the 7th grade division, Gene Reddy’s SMAC U squad pretty much manhandled Indiana Ice 57-35 to claim the 7th grade title. Just when you thought SMAC U might be challenged (it was 7-1 early in favor of the Ice), with the help of a 11-0 run orchestrated in large part by Luke Brand, SMAC pressed on the gas and never looked back. In the first half, Brand was dominate in a 5 minute stretch that included consecutive buckets (9 points), multiple rebounds and a couple of blocked shots. It was easily his best performance of the weekend. For the game, Brand finished with 12 points. Although Brand had a breakout performance, Avon Lake’s Cooper Crawford had another great game, finishing with a game-high 14 points.

Cooper Crawford-Avon Lake, OH

Although I led this report off with a short recap of the 7th grade championship game, the real game of the day featured a slugfest between SMAC U and the Shining Stars. This game had a little bit of everything, including a 25 minute delay caused by a fire alarm. This was a seesaw battle from the tip, and the game was contested until the final seconds. In fact, with less than a minute left in the contest, and SMAC clinging to a 4 point lead, the fire alarm went off. After the break, the real drama began, as the Shining Stars, down 44-42 with 14 tics left, had a chance at the tie or win, but could not convert, and was forced to foul. Two free throws later the final score of 45-42. This game featured several players from Buckeye Prep’s Top 30 Player list. The game also featured a great match-up of some of the elite bigs in the class in Jack Cravaack and Luke Brand. I have to give big props to Cravaack who had a big game, finishing with a gaudy 16 points. Cooper Crawford added 13 points and Jackson See led the Stars with 8 points.

Earlier in the day, SMAC U knocked off the Indiana’s Team Tempo. In that game, SMAC got out to a 12-0 start and never let off the gas. I learned a few things about this team over the weekend, including the fact that they are so well balanced that a different kid seems to step up and lead the team in scoring in every game. One game it might be Cooper Crawford, the next Luke Brand. Garret Houser is capable of controlling a game, or a guy like Gavin Blunt might lead the team in scoring, or Jaret Pallotta might get hot from the three point line. Throw in solid guard play from Zane Reis and Chaz Hardin and you have a well-rounded team.

Justin Oden-6'1 WF Springhill, TN

My 7th grade Buckeye Prep team made a nice run through the Silver Bracket before running into Chuck Painter’s Dayton Metro team for like the 4th time this year. For the record, Dayton Metro was relegated to the Silver Bracket after a loss to Nashville’s AAG in the 3rd game of pool play on Sunday. Justin Oden (6’1 WF Springhill, Tennessee) is a player to look out for on the AAG squad. I caught a glimpse of him on Friday and was intrigued by his length and athleticism. Ok, back to the Buckeye Prep versus Dayton Metro game. Although this game was very close, and Buckeye Prep had a chance to win it before committing 3 turnovers in the final minute of the game, Dayton Metro would go on to grab the Silver Bracket crown. Dayton’s Deshan Parker would convert 2 free throws with .6 seconds left to get the 2 point win. Gahanna’s Seth Goodson was big for Buckeye Prep. To get to the championship game, Buckeye Prep narrowly escaped with a win against West Virginia’s Southern Exposure. Although Prep enjoyed a comfortable 12 point lead in the first half of that game, Kermit, West Virginia’s Tyler Mayes heated up from beyond the arc and led his team all the way back to make this one a nail biter. Mayes led his team with 13 points, almost all from 3 pointers.

In the first round of Gold Bracket play, Ohio Unity’s 7th grade team held off Kentucky’s Tri-State Warriors in overtime to advance to the semi-finals. The final score was 55-53 in favor of Ohio Unity. A shout out goes to Sal LaRubbio (5’6 SG Lakota), who looked really good in the game, finishing with a game-high 15 points.

Keegan McDowell-8th Grade

The Cincinnati Royals’ White squad was victorious over Ohio Unity Holtry in the championship game to stake claim to the 8th grade championship. It may have been a championship game, but the eventual outcome was in little doubt by halftime, as the Royals were already comfortably ahead 30-13. Playing without key players such as Alec Hotlry (back), Tyler Mitchell (neck), including a player who was suffering from the flu, Ohio Unity had little chance of defeating a hot Royals squad. Matt Dotson (6’5 C Centerville) saved his best game for the championship, as he logged in a near double-double of 10 points and 9 rebounds. The rest of the contributors included: Keegan McDowell (13), Matt King (8 points & 4 assists), Adam Baker (6 points), Matt Sichterman (6 points) and Jaeden Orr (5 points & 4 steals). On their march to the championship, the Royals knocked off the NKY Shining Stars (61-39), Columbus Crusaders (61-30), and Indy Hustle (45-36). This team is blessed with several talented players who can all lead in scoring in any given game. They may not scare you getting off the bus, but they execute well, and you had better have a couple of zone offenses teed up if you expect a win! For the record, Ohio Unity defeated the Royals’ Blue team by 18 points to punch their ticket to the final game.

SMAC Showtime-6th Grade Champions

SMAC’s 6th grade team went undefeated over the weekend to seize the 6th grade championship trophy. Although it was pretty easy sailing for most of the tournament, Showtime found themselves in a battle with Dayton Elite in the championship game. The game was nip and tuck the entire way, with no team gaining more than a point or two edge the entire game. In fact, Dayton Elite actually had a chance to win it, but missed free throws late was the difference. SMAC Showtime would outlast Dayton 32-31. Kendall Mathis and Brian Johnson were standout performers for Dayton Elite, while Mike Bekelja and Kyi Wright stood out for SMAC.

Carson Williams-6'5 WF Owen County, KY

I caught a couple of 9th grade games on Sunday, including a semi-final showdown between SMAC and Kentucky’s Hoop Dreams. That SMAC team features one of Ohio’s top 2016 bigs in Omari Spellman (6’8 C North Royalton). Although Spellman had a big game with a team-high 15 points, the Hoop Dreams advanced to the finals with the 58-53 victory. Carson Williams (6’5 WF Owen County HS) paced Hoop Dreams with a game-high 18 points. In an earlier game, SMAC bum rushed Legends Elite 42-26 to advance. The high man for SMAC in that game was Devon Stover (6’3 SG St. Ignatius) who finished with a game-best 14 points. For full tournament results, click on the link below.

Final Results
Final Day Photo Gallery

15 comments:

  1. For Smac U it is Zane Ries.

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  2. rob,
    how about making a top 40 player list for each grade. You keep adding people anyway. So its not a top 30.

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  3. Not only do I add kids, I drop kids at well. he list has more than 30 names in order to allow for ties. As the summer progresses, I will continue to refine the list. I would rather leave a few more kids on the list while I evaluate, than delete names just to keep the list at a round 30

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  4. I have seen AC Murphy play and they are very good have not seen Smac U, how do these teams compare?

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  5. Rob - Any thoughts on adding another column to your top 30 list and putting each kids AAU team name as well?

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  6. I want to see Omari Spellman get challenge and play against the top program teams and players instead of the ham and eggers.Not to say that he wouldn't do good but the teams he's playing against aren't OBC,King James,and All Ohio Red!!! And that's just locally!

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  7. Murphy AC played Smac U in the Buckeye Prep semi finals beat them by 20 plus.

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  8. Ac murphy beat Smac U by 20. Wow!!! Did Smac U have all their guys? I can see them winning but 20 plus is really surprising

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  9. Why see Spellman play those teams? The only team you mentioned good is All Ohio. I think King James , OBC, SMAC, TNBA , all are over rated. They all prey on other teams kids!! They don't develope there own players.

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    1. U cant name 10 teams better than king james or Smac.

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  10. The most impressive team at the Bearcat was the George Hill Rising Stars 5th grade team. Shemar Morrow, Devin Hightower(Ohio), Mike Saunders, Hunter Jackson, Brevin Jefferson(Indiana) beat Ohio Pumas by almost 30 in pool play

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  11. It’s sad to see that AAU organizations still encourage cheating and also falsely report that players were missing due to a directional mishap. Hoop Dreams 17U player Chris Hudson showed up at halftime under this 'directional mishap' and was allowed to play in the 15U championship game.Chris Hudson who is on the 17U roster and obviously NOT a freshman was playing in this 15U championship game. Its sad to see that a very talented AAU 15U team and organization would go to this length to cheat just to win a game.

    If you don't believe me you can check their twitter account. Pictures are all over it with Chris Hudson standing in the back row to the left.

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    1. What's sad is that whomever posted this comment has no clue what they are talking about! First of all, the "directional mishap" was in fact a "directional mishap". This occurred on two different occasions. I know this because I was in one of the vehicles that got lost.

      The first "directional mishap" was during the first round of tournament play. Our team mom texted us the address of the gym in which we were about to play; however, she DID NOT list a city for the said address. Being from out of town and having NO CLUE where we were going we listed the address in our navigation system as Reading Road in Cincinatti Ohio when in fact we were suppose to play at Reading Road in Mason Ohio. Therefore, we were approximately 20-30 minutes from where we were suppose to be playing by the time we realized we were at the wrong location, causing about 5 of the players to not show up until halftime.

      I do not have the full details of the second "directional mishap"; however, the young man that came in late with the flat top IS a freshman and ACTUALLY was 14 years old the weekend of the Bearcat Classic. He turned 15 about a week ago! I know this because the team sang Happy Birthday to him at the last weeks tournament in Pittsburgh!

      I have been with the Hoop Dreams organization for two years and I have no idea who Chris Hudson is! I have heard his name before and I know that he is part of the 17U team but I have never seen him personally and my child plays for the 15U team. Also, Chris Hudson was not with the group of boys that came in late either time, nor did he play the second half of either game! Mike Scott runs a top of the line program! I don't mean to ruffle any feathers, but in this world a persons character is priceless and I could not sit back and watch a good persons character be compromised over something that WAS NOT TRUE!

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  12. Well I had the pleasure of seeing All Ohio 9th grade team in Chicago Nike Spring Slamm, they are good. They went 4-0 and beat a very good Mac - Irvin Fire Team. Also SMAC was there ( I saw them at the Community Center) I heard they went 4-0 and beat Full Package 15u team. They are not as good as All Ohio, but they are for real. Are they playing in the King James Event? Where is Team Blitz playing this weekend?

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  13. How old is the 5 th grade George hill kids? Most 5th graders are 11 years old?

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