|Raymar Pyror, Alex Watters, Jelen Wenger, Sellers Littles & Brady Hawewig|
It’s only been one day at the Buckeye Prep Summer Showdown, but already several players have emerged as standout performers. In addition, for the most part, the teams seeded at the top have held serve so far. One of the most anticipated games of the event featured a 2023 battle for Dayton by the 6th ranked Dayton Swish and the 7th ranked MVP Dynasty. MVP got on the board first hitting 1 of 2 free throws. After a Dayton Swish 4-0 run, MVP countered with their own 4-0 run. There were multiple ties and lead changes in the first half, but Swish took a 20-17 lead into the break. The Swish scored first to start the second half and the scored stayed close during the second period. By the time the horn sounded, MVP Dynasty was ahead 44-42. Standouts for the game included MVP’s Tyrin Sturdevant, Mason Shrout and Dre’Sean Roberts. For the Dayton Swish, Kalerrio Reeves and Antaune Allen were the high men.
Later in the day, the same MVP Dynasty team would face off against the 5th ranked MWA Elite. MWA would lead most of the game, but Dynasty was in great position to pull the upset before a buzzer-beating heave by MWA’s Marlon Barnes broke a 63-63 tie as time ran out. Kellon Smith led MWA Elite with 14 points, while Marlon Barnes added 13 points. Dynasty was led in scoring by Tyrin Sturdivant and Tyron Barns, who finished with 16 and 14 points, respectively.
Another big game on the opening day pitted the 3rd ranked Lima Gators vs TNBA Shooting Stars. Although TNBA raced out to a 16-7 run to start the game, the Gators cut the lead to 17-16 by half time. The game went back and forth in the second half, but by the end, the Gators got the win 51-48. In this game, TNBA’s Mike Bova and Raymor Pryor were spectacular. Bova dropped a game-high 23 points, while Pryor added 18 points. Cyrus Burden led the gators with 18 points, while Devin Tabson added 11 points and RJ Cortz finished with 10 points.
|Tyron Barnes, Mekhi Elmore, Antaune Allen, Jared Frey & Kellon Smith|
In addition to the games that had direct impact on our Power Rankings, there were some teams we saw for the first time that really impressed us. SMAC Akron has a couple of teams (6th & 7th), both of whom are very fundamental and are well coached. In addition, both teams are loaded with guys who can shoot the heck out of the ball! All-Ohio Phenom’s 8th grade squad is mowing down the competition with wins averaging 20 points. There’re long, athletic and fun to watch. Kobe Johnson, Jayden Ballard and Sam Oliver are inflicting the most damage for this team.
We saw MKU Athletics for the first time and were very impressed. MKU is loaded with athletes the play extremely hard. They won a big game against a very good SMAC Akron team in the afternoon. MKU is powered by Demarcus Rogers (5’9/PG/2021/Akron) and Vernon Smith (6’4/C/2021/Akron). Rogers put up big numbers on Saturday while Smith protected the rim from would be scorers. The Michigan Prospectors are looking good again. They are a well-built team with great guard play, slashing wings, a quality big and good coaching. Alex Watters 5’10/SG/2022/East Lansing, MI) came up big for the Prospectors on day one. He plays at full speed both defensively and offensively, and is good at both driving to the basket and knocking down perimeter shots. Mason Docks (5’9/PG/2022/East Lansing) is still controlling this team at the point. Docks is smart, skilled, can make plays at a high level, and can still score when needed. He’s most certainly a D-I prospect going forward.
|Mike Bova, Demarcus Rogers, Ty Hall, Marlon Barnes & Isaac Little|
Artic Rush has an intriguing team. The team is coached by a high school coach that has obviously infused a lot of skill work on the team. Also, although they have a smaller backcourt that can some times be exploited, those guys can go! Both guards are highly skilled with high basketball IQs. We really liked Jared Frey (6’1/SG/WF/2022/Hilliard), who has good length tremendous skill set and is very versatile. He has great range on his jump shot, is patient, and his length and ball skill allow him to play multiple position. We can definitely see him playing college ball at some level in a few years.
The 7th grade Dayton Wolves went 2-0 on Saturday and is being led by a dynamic backcourt featuring Sellers Littles (5’4/PG/2022/Dayton) and Mekhi Elmore (5’9/CG/2022/Dayton). Both guys are capable of putting up big numbers. In 2 games, Littles and Elmore put up 44 and 36 points, respectively! The Buckeye Storm (2021) is another good-looking teams with multiple shooters and good guard play. Isaac Little (5’8/PG/2021/Piketon) appears to be the best player on that team, as evidenced by the 25 points he dropped on a very good Extreme Heat Neon team in a highly contested game Saturday afternoon. Speaking of the Extreme Heat Neon, they are a very good team as well. TJ Pugh (6’4/PF/2021/Attac), Ty Hall (5’10/WF/2021/Shelby), and Garrett Chapin (6’2/PF/Norwalk) appear to be the guys for this squad.
|Mason Docks, Tyrin Sturdivant, Marlon Barnes, A.J. Campbell & T.J. Pugh|
Other day-one standouts include: Quadrees Ward (5’6/PF/2023/Canton), Corey Hudson (5’6/PG/2022/Columbus), A.J. Campbell (6’1/WF/2021/Copley), Jonathon Powell (5’2/SG/2024/Akron), Lamar Douglas (6’4/C/2022/Columbus), Vaughn Armour (5’10/PG/Westerville), Jalen Wenger (5’11/WF/2022/Dalton), Devin Taborn (55’SG/2022/Sidney), Cyrus Burden (5’11/WF/2022/Lima), DeMarr Foster (5’1/PG/2024/Lima), Jaylen McElroy (4’11/PF/2024/Canton), Jay Crablle (5’6/PF/2023/Massilon), Tyron Barnes (5’4/PG/2023/Springfield), Chris Smith (5’6/PG/2022/Orrville), Zachary Jones (5’3/WF/2024/London), Luke Denbow (5’10/PG/2022/Ashland) and Camden Beatty (5’9/WF/2022/Columbus).
All in all, it was a great opening day of basketball. As is the case on every championship Sunday, teams and players will be tested as they as they pursue championships. Stay tuned for our final report tomorrow.