Now that the King James and the Bill Hensley Run & Slam Classic are in the books, it’s time to revise our middle school rankings. In addition to tournament results, there have been some player movements with several of teams featured in our rankings. Let’s start with the 8th grade division. Despite loosing Tommy Schmock (to OBC) and Kelvin Calhoun II, King James has not lost a step. They recently made it all the way to the championship of the very competitive Spiece tournament. On their trek to the final game, King James knocked off OBC in the quarter-finals before going down to Spiece Indy Heat in the championship game. All-Ohio has not closed many deals, but they have been in several championship games and finished just short of the crown a couple of times. Most recently, they lost in the semi-finals of Bill Hensley to the eventual champions, and was smoked by the Indy Hoosiers in the championship game at King James. OBC had a final four run at the Pittsburgh Jam Fest. As a result of the above tournaments, there hasn’t been a big shift in the 8th grade rankings, as Kings James remains at the top of the division for now.
Although they got hit pretty hard by Team Izod in the King James Classic, no Ohio team has been able to solve the Queen City Prophets puzzle this year; consequently, the Prophets are still our #1 ranked team in the 7th grade division. However, in the same tournament, SMAC U had a nice run until they were unseated in the final four by Chicago Select. To get to final four, SMAC U had to take down Murphy AC in a nail biter. With that win, SMAC U gets closer to the top spot at #2. Although King James got hot in their own tournament and won the silver division, they still have not beaten any of the teams ranked above them, so they cannot move up. The Shining Stars has played well this year even with injuries and was poised for a jump, however, King James got them in the same tournament. In addition, since our initial rankings, the 7th grade division has also seen some player movements. Ty Wiley left the Ohio Basketball Club and has returned to the Ohio Hoopsters, and he took his partner in crime, Jabari Perkins with him. Antwaun Johnson parted ways with King James and is now running with the Lima-based Tier 1 Sports. David Fitzgerald left the Hoopsters and found greener pastures with King James. Additionally, from what I hear, you can expect more roster changes as parents continue to find perfect situations. Good luck with that one!
All-Ohio continues to dominate the 6th grade division and there is almost zero chance they will unseated by another Ohio team. The next 3 teams are all about even, but SMAC Showtime gets the nod at #2. Dayton Elite is a very good team as is Murphy AC, the Ohio Hoopsters Elite and the Ohio Rising Stars. Both the Hoopsters and the Rising Stars had impressive showings at the King James. I know we have probably under ranked the Hoopsters, but we have not seen them play, nor have they beaten any team ranked above them. Also, we have not seen any of the teams in the bottom half of our top 11. I hope we can get some of these teams together at the Buckeye Prep Sumer Showdown on May 31st-June 2nd. I know the 7th grade division has every top team in the state other than King James and should be smoking hot in a couple of weeks. This tournament will go a long way in determining the order of merit. As always, if you think your team deserves to be ranked higher, and you have information that might prove your case (you beat a team ranked higher than you, then please share that information with me via email (Taylorobe@aol.com) and I will take it under consideration. No need to start a negative message board campaign, just get me the information. It would also help if your team showed up and played the other top teams in the state!!