Day two of the 2013 Buckeye Prep Invitational proved to be very competitive. I started my day off checking out the action at the USA Sports Academy where many of the 8th grade games were being held. The first game I watched was a matchup between the Atlanta Celtics and Ohio Showtime/OBC. The Celtics got off to a 4-0 lead before OBC answered with a 5-0 run of their own. The Celtics responded with 6-0 run and closed the half up 16-11. OBC scored first to start the second period and cut the lead to 21-23 at the 9:02 mark. Although OBC would keep the game competitive, the Celtics’ superior size and the play of Jordan Usher (6’3 WF Atlanta) would carry the day, as Atlanta got the 54-50 win. Usher led the Celtics with 21 points, while Javon Graves matched his efforts with 21 points for OBC. I’m starting to see Graves a lot more often and he continues to show me some good things. Right now, he’s a scorer who excels at getting to the cup.
|Jordan Usher-Atlanta, GA|
I finally had a chance to see M.A.T.T.S. Mustangs as they faced off against Ohio Hoyas Elite. There is not a whole lot to say about the game, as the Mustangs left no doubt they were the better team. The Mustangs are fundamentally sound; they enjoy balanced scoring and they really pass the ball well. Their roster includes 2 players from Ohio and some guys from Kentucky and West Virginia. The Mustangs were led in scoring by Trenton Russell (6’3 WF Magoffin County, KY). Another couple of guys to watch include: Michael Karl (6’3 PF/C New Philly, OH), Timmy Dalton and Collin Miller. The stud for the Hoyas was Parker Stewart (6’0 WG Athens) who really shot the ball well from the perimeter.
The Cincinnati Royals have several players who have excelled at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcases in the past, including the Sichterman brothers, and Matt King. With that kind of talent, there is no wonder they crushed Huntsman Select 58-18. Brooks Hall’s Next Level squad pulled out a close one against the Team Lima Kings on Saturday morning and Dayton L’Christian Smith had a monster 20 point performance to lead all scorers. Ethan Bradds contributed with 14 points, while Danny Davis added 12 points. Lima’s Jarious Ward led the Kings with 18 markers and Dak Prichard added 15 points.
|Xavier Peters-Middlestown, OH.|
I caught just enough of the Elite Skills Black v Dayton Pilots game to notice that Murphy AC’s Jerry Higgins (7th grade PG) was playing up in the 8th grade division. From what little I saw, Higgins was more than holding his own against the older kids, which exactly what he should be doing when you are one of the top guards in the state. The 7th grade Queen City Prophets (QCP) were at it again as they dominated Huntsman Select White 90-7 in their first game of the day, and were out in front of Ohio Varsity 31-14 when I walked away. In the Huntsman’s game, Xavier Peters had a breakout game with 20 points, while Kane Cooper added 14 points and Zarion Davis and EJ Williams finished with 13 and 9 points, respectively. The Peters kid is new on the scene, but people are starting to take note of his size and athleticism. In the Ohio Varsity game, Peters tried to punch one on the break and just barely missed. It was no fluke; I think the 7th grader can dunk already. QCP would finish 3-0 on the day to advance to bracket play the winner of Saginaw Elite and the Cincinnati Vikings.
In ninth grade action, the Toledo Roughriders defeated the Dayton Pilots 56-49. Tre' Charles-Martin’s 11 points were the high for Toledo, while Marquez Hargrove paced the Pilots with 8 points. Columbus’ Nova Village got by the Dayton Nest/Buckeye Prep 63-49. Tariq Wright (6’2 WF) led Nova Village with 18 points, while Gahanna’s Nick Ward added 13 and Joe Rowlin finished with 12 points. Dayton’s Trey Landers led the Nets with 14 points.
In the 6th grade division, Kentucky’s KYWA Magic downed Air Attack 59-34. C. Blair led with 16 points and S. Hart had 10 points. Air Attack’s Kaleb Martin paced his team with 16 points. Of course I had to check out my 4th grade Buckeye Prep team. Unfortunately, Prep allowed a big first half lead (22-6) to evaporate, as the Ohio Hoopster dug down deep and battled all the way back to snatch a 39-35 victory. Anthony Miltner was the high man for the Hoopsters with 12 points, while Jayden Hawkins-White led Buckeye Prep with a game-high 19 points. Finally, the Mid Ohio Pumas notched an early 33-13 win over All-Ohio Black early in the day.
From my spot at the USA Sports Academy, I made the trek over to Central Crossing High School to catch more 6th and 7th grade action. Right when I got there, I saw the conclusion of a 59-29 beat down between Cleveland’s SMAC U and Michigan’s Saginaw Elite. Pittsburgh’s Anthony Johnson (6’0 SG) did most of the damage to the tune of 18 points. Right behind him in scoring was Luke Brand (6’2 C Canton) who added 12 points. For Saginaw Elite, Mike Allen had 12 points and Kwani Moore had 10 points. For the record, SMAC U enjoyed similar results in an earlier game against Dayton Metro.
Team Toledo’s 7th grade team got by Hidden Gems. Dallas Grant (6’0 WF) led Toledo with 11 points and Christian Smith (6’2 PF) contributed 6 points. I plan to keep an eye on both Grant and Smith, as both guys could be nice prospects going forward. Kevon Allen led Hidden Gems with 12 points. Before I left the gym, the Ohio Hoopsters were beating Team Toledo in their last game of the day.
One of the better games of the day pitted OBC against Truth Basketball. Although OBC had control of the game late, and it appeared they would get the win and advance to bracket play on Sunday, the truth said “not so fast my friend!” The Truth drained a trey with 8 seconds left to go ahead for good. The final score was 50-49. Camryn Hubbard and Zach Elsany both finished with 12 points, while Alex Heath added 11 points. Ty Wiley led the Hoopsters with 16 points, followed by Jabri Perkins and Eddie Michael with 10 points apiece. The 7th grade Buckeye Prep squad raced out in front of Nova Village in game 3 of the tournament and never really looked back. The game was respectable early, but Prep would later press on the gas coast to a lopsided 50-22 victory. Big Walnut’s Kaleb Phillips put in work in the paint and paced Prep with 15 points, while Gahanna’s Chase Rankin added 10 points in support, and Garrett Tipton finished with 9 markers.
Tier 1 got out of the gates quickly, and before they could catch their breath, the Capital City Force was down 16-0. It was not until the 8 minute mark until Capital City got on the board. By half time, Tier 1 was up 32-17. Since the outcome of the game was going to be obvious, I set out in search of a more competitive game. I found what I was looking for with Dayton Metro vs Saginaw Elite. Dayton Metro’s 7th grade team pulled out a close one against Saginaw Elite 42-42. I know Saginaw went down, but Tray Garrett’s 21 points in the losing effort was still impressive.
The 6th grade division was a story of the “haves” and the “have nots,” as there were several blowout games. SMAC demolished Indiana’s Team Blaze Select. I did not catch the final score, but when a team has you down 30-2 at half time, it’s really about time to start warming up the bus! Add Huntsman Select’s 6th grade squad to the list of shame, as they were knocked out by Indiana’s Team Teague. As was the case with the SMAC game, Team Teague was up 62-14 at the break. Needless to say, I did not hang around to catch the final score. The Murphy AC versus Dayton Elite game was close at half time (20-18), but Dayton would later break it open and cruise to a comfortable 61-42 victory. Finally, Kentucky’s KYWA Magic edged by the Ohio Rising Stars 50-51. Andre Gordon had another good game, finishing with 12 points, followed by Ratez Roberts with 10 points. Terrell Strickland led Kentucky with 12 points and Titus Ransom added 9 markers. Stay tuned tomorrow as we highlight the final day results.