|Maumee Bay Turf Basketball Club 2023|
As part of our process designed to identify the state’s top 10-15 middle school travel basketball teams for our pre season Power Rankings, we looked at some of the more storied programs around the state as well as some recent up and comers. Just when we thought we had the 2023 division pretty much figured out, we began to hear about some team called Maumee Bay Turf Basketball Club (MBTBC). When we first heard the name we thought it was a Michigan-based program. However, this very talented 5th grade team is actually based out of the Toledo area.
Last weekend at the Gulf Coast Blue Chips-sponsored tournament the MBTBC team ran through the field, taking out teams like All-Ohio Red and the West Virginia Burn before going down to a loaded North Coast Blue Chips squad 53-49 in the championship game on the final day. Despite their 4-point loss, Coach Brad Morrison’s squad had formally served notice that they are force to be reckoned with.
Although MBTBC’s key to success revolves their balanced attack, the team is anchored by their starting 5 of: CJ Hornbeak III (5’5”/C/2023/Toledo), Deric Jaynes (4’11”/PG/2023/Toledo), Mike Greenlee (5’1”/WF/2023/Toledo), Jake Morrison (5’1”/WF/2023/Oregon), and Justyn Toler (5’5”/WF/2023/Toledo). Morrison describes Hornbeak as “special,” compares him to a young Gary Trent, and believes he is one of the top players in the state in his class. Morrison is also complimentary of Deric Janyes, who “is a lefty who really makes us go.” In addition to a solid core, MBTBC has a great supporting cast of Jaylen Murphy (5’0”/SG/2023/Toledo), Cody Markus (5’0”/SG/2023/Toledo), Blake Lichtenberg (5’6”/WF/2023/Sylvania) and Derek Vorst (5’8”/C/2023/Pemberville).
According to Coach Morrison, the core of his team was put together 3 year ago, and has enjoyed a great deal of success because of their approach to the game. Namely, “We play 94 feet. We press and we are a lot of perimeter,” said Morrison. Although many teams do a lot of scrimmaging during the season, Morrison’s approach is more about practice and training. “We train at least 2 days a week,” Morrison continued. “We run Michigan’s offense, a lot of dribble drive and kick,” Morrison said. Having played college ball himself, at Bowling Green and Findlay, Morrison knows what it takes to win and play at the next level. “We prepare our kids to play varsity as freshman,” offered Morrison. Based on what we are hearing, the Maumee Bay Turf Basketball Club has an excellent chance to make our top 5 when we release our Power Rankings in a few weeks. You can catch them in action at the Buckeye Prep Invitational Tournament April 1-3rd.