As expected, Day 1 of Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase was talent-filled and competitive. With over 430 players registered for the event, including many of the NYBL’s elite; Indiana and Kentucky all-stars and kids from Canada. The opening day of the event featured a series of all-star games (12) that included interstate rivalries, international battles, as well as a regional contest between some of the top kids in the class of 2020 (6th grade). Not only were the top players shining on day one, about 20 scouting service were in the house to capture what went down.
In terms of the all-star game results, the Best of the Midwest Classic featured a regional contest between many of the region’s elite 6th graders. Most of the players hailed from either Ohio or Indiana, but Michigan, Tennessee and North Carolina had representatives in the game. The South All-Stars notched the win over the North in a very competitive game. The game MVPs were Kyree Walker (14 points) for the North and Shamar Morrow (24 points) from the South. Other leading scorers were Mike Saunders Jr. (13 points) and Grant Huffman (9 points).
|Chris Payne & Dexter Shouse Jr.-MVPs|
In the 7th grade division, Team Ohio put the first win on the board for the Buckeye state with a convincing victory over Team Indiana in the Ohio vs Indiana. The Buckeyes got out of the gate quickly and jumped out to a double digit lead and was cruising early. Although the Hoosiers would rally to close the gap, Team Ohio got the 86-67 win. The game MVPs were Chris Payne (19 points) and Dexter Shouse. Other leading scorers included Jordan Mitchell (17), Justin Smith (13) Tevin Jackson (12), Dexter Shouse (16), Keon Brooks (10) and Brandon Vernon (15).
New this year was the association with the National Youth Basketball League (NYBL). As a showcase for top players in the league, the NYBL hosted two all-star games. Both the Top 20 and Top 40 games spotlighted the top 40 performers in the league. In the Top 40 game the East team raced out to a big lead, and was able to hold on to get the 66-43 victory over the West. The 2 MVPs were Terrence Williams (14 points) and Michael Green (16 points). Other leading scorers included Daniel Rodriquez (9), and Chris’Seon Stringer (10). The Top 20 game was much more competitive as the outcome was not determined until the last few seconds of the game. Eventually, the West outlasted the East 50-48. The game MVPs were Wendell Moore (11 points and 11 rebounds) and Ed Sanchez (11 points). The other leading scorers were Tyrese Maxey (9) and DaVion Harmon (9).
The 8th grade division hosted 4 all-star games consisting of Ohio North vs Indiana, Ohio South vs Kentucky, Indiana vs Kentucky and Ohio North vs South. Ohio North went down to Indiana 75-54. The MVPs were Coryon Rice (10 Points) and Amari Sherod (13 Points). Ohio North and Ohio South went toe to toe and the North squad came out victorious (54-68). MVPs were Yahel Hill (13 points) and Dane Goodwin (13 points). Ohio South went down to Kentucky 62-48. The MVPs were EJ Williams (16 points) and Coulter Dotson (18) points). Kentucky and Indiana bumped heads and the Hoosiers prevailed 56-51. MVPs were Kyle Rode (8 points) and Chance Coyle (12 Points).
With the addition of a 9th grade Canadian all-star team, the event enjoyed “international” status for the first time. Brampton Warriors Elite rolled into the event with some quality players. Even with the talent, Canada took 2 losses to Ohio North (59-45) and Ohio South (67-61). MVPs for in the first game were Jarious Ward (11 points) and Abuhaef Kigab (17 points). In the second game the MVPs were Ishan Virdi (15 points) and Marcus Barton (16 points). Other leading scorers in that game were Jordan Fullerton (13 points), Keegan Seban (15), Jayden Sayles (13 points) and Craig McGee Jr. (12 points).
In 10th grade action, Ohio South squeaked out a 51-50 victory over the North. MVPs were Omari Spellman (20) points and Trey Landers (11points). Other leading scorers were James Manns II (8 points) and Derek Funderburk (9 points). The 11th grade game resulted in a blowout win for the North (82-65). The MVPs were Chris Oakley (13 points) and AJ Harris (19 points). If the competition on Day 2 comes anywhere close to what we saw on the opening day, fans are really in for a treat.