|VC Davis, G. Keys, J. Fulcher, M. Williamson, R. Rowe, L. Sims & L. Keether|
By most accounts, the 3rd Annual IBT Middle School Preview was a complete success. Right from the onset it was clear the event was well organized and professional run. Although the event was a team-oriented event, and attracted many of central Ohio’s top boy’s and girl’s middle school basketball programs, as is often the case there were a number of notable individual performances on display on Saturday. Early in the day, Walnut Springs’ boy’s squad faced off against St. Matthews, and despite the fact that Walnut Springs was down 7-5 at the end of the opening period, a 5-0 run in the second propelled the Wolves to a 20-12 victory. Lee Sims (5’2/PG/2020) was the player of the game with 6 points on two three-pointers.
Game 4 of the day featured a matchup between Walnut Springs and Our Lady of Peace. Walnut Springs jumped out to a 6-0 lead and would finish the first period up 12-8. A 12-0 Walnut Springs run to start the second period ran the lead to 24-8, and the Wolves would later collect their second victory by a score of 26-15. Myles Williamson (5’6/PG/2020) took home unofficial Player of the Game honors with 6 points, while Lee Sims added another 7 points to lead all scorers.
Probably the best game of the day pitted a much anticipated matchup between the Berwick Lady Bulldogs and the Reynoldsburg Lady Raiders. Judging from the size of the crowd and the buzz in the gym, there were high expectations for this game. Soon after the opening tip it appeared the game may have been over hyped, as the Reynolssburg dominated and closed the opening period up 20-5. Just when you thought this game was over, Berwick turned up the heat and made a furious comeback before falling just short by the score of 25-23.
|Nyam Thorton, K'Nisha Godfrey, Kyria Walker & Kennadi Harris|
We don’t often feature female athletes on the Buckeye Prep Report, but when we do, they have to be special. Well, add Nyam Thorton (5’7/SG/2020) to the special list. Thorton has the complete package of size, athleticism, IQ and skill. Not only can she get you buckets, she has great vision and the ability and willingness to find open teammates. In addition, she pushes the rock in transition at break neck speed and is strong enough to finish with contact. Thorton finished with a game-high 12 points. She’s not the only D-I college prospect on that Berwick squad, as K’Nisha Godfrey (5’8/PG.2021) is an athletic specimen as well. Graced with good length and explosiveness; Harris excels at attacking the basket. We also really liked Reynoldsburg’s Kyria Walker (5’4/PG/2020) and Kennadi Harris (5’6/SG/2020), both of whom are very skilled and represent solid college prospects going forward. Walker finished with a team-high 10 points, while Harris added 9 points
Next game on the slate featured Reynoldsburg Waggoner vs Upper Arlington Jones (boy’s). After racing out to a 6-2 lead and finishing the first period up 10-4, Upper Arlington never looked back, eventually winning the contest 16-9. Liam Keether (5’8/PG/2020) led all scorers with 7 points. Game # 7 offered a Reynoldsburg Baldwin vs Wellington matchup. This game was never really in doubt, as Reynoldsburg dominated the opening period 12-2 before finishing it out 23-9. Baldwin’s Roland Rowe (5’5/PG/2020) had high game honors with 9 points. The Berwick Lady Bulldogs had a second chance at victory as they faced off against Pickerington Ridgeview later in the day. Unlike their first game, the Lady Bulldogs got off to a fast start, finishing the first period up 18-10. A 6-1 run to start the second period allowed Pickerington to trim the lead to 3 points (19-16). By the time the horn sounded Berwick was up 26-22. Both Nyam Thorton and Keeendy Harris were catalysts of the win.
The most highly anticipated game of the entire event featured a showdown between the Berwick boys against Pickerington Ridgeview. Making the game even more interesting was the fact that the two team rosters featured at least 5 players listed on Buckeye Prep’s list of top 7th and 8th graders. The game was tight early, and by the end of the opening period the game was knotted at 8-8. The game was still close at the 3:03 mark as the score was still tied at 20-20. A Tahleik Walker layup put Pickerington up 22-20 and would propel the team to a 25-23 win. Berwick's Van Cameron Davis (6’1/PF/2020) was dominate in the paint and finished with 7 points and several rebounds, while Pickerington's Josiah Fulcher (5’10/P/SG/2020) handled business on the perimeter to the tune of 9 points. Aaron Brown (5’2/PG/2021) and Makhale Massie (5’6/WF/2021), both 7th graders, had bright moments for Berwick.
We finished our coverage with the AIMS vs Hilliard Weaver (boy’s) contest. Weaver led 10-7 after the first period and would go on to win it easily 27-12. We were very intrigued with Gage Keys (6’0/PF/2020/Hilliard) who impressed us with his size, strong frame and aggressiveness to the cup. He rebounds at a high level and gets up and the court very well. We plan to keep an eye on Keys going forward. Our hats go off to the IBT team for hosting such an outstanding event!