|Buckeye Prep & Family-Ohio AAU D-II Champs|
I spent Sunday in Buckeye Valley checking out the AAU D-II action. In terms of the 7th grade division, I have to admit, other than my Buckeye Prep Team, all of the other ranked teams were in Cincinnati fighting for D-I bids. Since Ed Lyshe’s team wants to go to the D-II Nationals they chose to play up north. Heading into Sunday play Prep was already 3-0. Game one of the day involved a semi-final match-up with Ohio Legacy. Without much resistance, Buckeye Prep dispatched Legacy 46-25. Gahanna’s Seth Goodson led with a game-high 17 points, while Cameron Carlisle added 10 points.
A couple of hours later, Buckeye Prep hooked up with Ohio Hoopsters Warriors in the gold medal game. Although Prep had soundly defeated the Hoopsters earlier in the year, revenge was obviously on the Hoopsters’ mind, as they raced out to an early 12-0 lead before Prep knew what hit them. Over the course of the first half, Buckeye Prep got more comfortable with the 2-3 zone and began to chip away at the Hoopsters’ sizable lead. Because I was back on the bench helping coach this game (it sure felt good to be back on the bench), I forgot some of the details of the game, but once Prep got a little momentum back, they erased most of the deficit by halftime, and would eventually take the lead for good in the third quarter. I would say the game was contested until about midway into the 4th quarter; that’s about when Buckeye Prep seized control and the end was in sight. Buckeye Prep later went on to win their second championship in as many weeks with a 46-33 victory. Grandville Heights’ Eli Hall had the best game of the season, finishing with a game-high 14 points. Hall finished at a high rate in the low post and played with a lot of energy the entire game. Seth Goodson backed him up with 11 markers.
Fortunately for me, several of the state’s top 6th grade teams were participating in the D-II AAU State qualifier so I got the chance to see some teams and some kids I had not seen or had seen very little of up to this point. In fact, I got my first look at Ohio Hoopsters Elite in their game against Ohio Rising Stars. I only saw half of the game, but as I had heard, the Hoopsters are a quality team with a solid post player in Gavin Baker and good guard play in Treohn Martin and AJ Bennett. I’ve written about the Rising Stars in the past and spotlighted their top players (i.e., Andre Gordon, CaVante Scott and Ratez Roberts). When I got there, the Hoopsters were already up 23-11 midway through the 3rd quarter. By the start of the 4th, the Hoopsters were leading 27-15. I didn’t catch the final score, but the Hoopsters got the easy win. Gavin Baker was the leading scorer for the Hoopsters with 10 points, while Andre Gordon paced the Rising Stars with 13 markers.
The 6th grade championship game pitted the #3 ranked Dayton Elite against the #5 ranked Ohio Hoopsters Elite. This game was close from the opening tip. Dayton Elite would get on the board first from the charity strip, but the Hoopsters answered with a jumper (2-2). Dayton would take the first real lead at 6-2 with 2:11 left in the opening quarter on a Gavin Baker jumper, and would go on to take control of the quarter and lead 11-4 to start the second period. Dayton Elite opened the second period with a layup to cut the lead to 6-11, and then a layup capped a 4-0 run (8-11). The Hoopsters stopped the run with a score at the 5:17 mark (8-13), and with 39 tics left in the half, Dayton was only down to 14-17. The halftime score was 19-14 in favor of the Hoopsters. Gavin Baker finished with 8 halftime points. Dayton opened the third period with a bucket to trim the lead to 3 points (16-19). About that time Treohn Martin heated up from the perimeter and kept the Hoopsters in front throughout the 3rd quarter. However, Jaren Smith drained a trey at the buzzer to put Dayton up 30-29 entering the final period. Dayton started the 4th quarter the way then ended the 3rd; bucket. However, Martin answered with a trifecter to put his team back in front. Dayton responded to tie the game at 34. The game continued to seesaw for the rest of the quarter and was tied at 39 with 40 seconds left. A 4-0 run late by Dayton gave them the championship by a final score of 43-39. Kendall Mathis (5’9 PF Clayton) was the leading scorer for Dayton with a game-high 16 points, while Treohn Martin paced the Hoopsters with 16 points. Great game!
|Dayton Elite-Ohio AAU D-II Champs|
In D-I action in Cincinnati, Team Excel (7th grade) ran the table on Sunday to capture the gold medal. To get there, they had to get by the Shining Stars (57-54) in the semi-final game. This game came down to a last second trey by Excel. In 6th grade action, All-Ohio Red defeated the Riverside Flyers (85-29) in the championship game to collect the gold. Up north, King James’s 7th graders captured the Lake Erie Qualifier crown. In doing so, they had to take down Murphy AC in the championship game (64-58). Murphy had to get past SMAC U in the semi-finals (50-60). Don’t even ask me what I’m going to do with the 7th grade team rankings! At this point, any of the top 5-6 teams can beat anybody on any given day. Things may become a little clearer as just about all of the top- 7th grade teams will reconvene in Columbus on May 31st for my Buckeye Prep Summer Showdown. This will be the last time this season these teams will get a chance to face each other before the final rankings are released.
Murphy AC’s 6th graders won their division of the Lake Erie Qualifier with a 40+ win over the Future Rookies. In the semi-finals, Murphy knocked out Truth Basketball by about 23 points. A shout out goes to Coach Malcolm Walters and King James’ 5th grade team for getting it done against OBC on Sunday. They only won by 2 points, but that was enough to get the win. Back to back steals by Huffman with 17 seconds left was the difference in this one! King James was led by Ketaan Keewee Wyatt and Grant Huffman. In the 4th grade division, the Cincinnati Royals defeated Purple Select 34-16 in the D-I championship game and All-Ohio Black downed Dayton Show 43-29 to get the D-II bid.