Sunday, June 27, 2010

Buckeye Prep Sponsors Girls 8th Grade Team

For the first time this year, Buckeye Prep will sponsor a girls summer basketball team. In an effort to support Scott McGlade's 8th grade middle school team; Buckeye Prep welcomes the opportunity to "give back" to those who have supported our efforts. Pictured are (from left to right): Coach Scott McGlade, Nikki Blevins, Tanner Miley, Alyssa Tedesco, Taylor McGlade, Erin Simko, Caroline Mead and Megan Sengelmann. Not pictured are Katie Padavick and Christina Koutras. The entire team is made up of girls from Jones and Hastings Middle Schools in Upper Arlington. McGlade's team has been working hard and will play their first of 3 tournaments in mid-July at Ohio Northern University. To see pictures of the girls visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Gahanna Lincoln Repeats as OSU Team Camp Champions

For the second day in the row, Gahanna Lincoln played their way into the championship game of the Ohio State Team Camp, and for the second day in a row the Lions finished 4-0 to claim the championship. Day two of the Ohio State Team Camp featured another 16-team/day-long tournament with 8 new teams. The second day participants included: Toledo St. Johns, Fairfield Union, Chillicothe, Patrick Henry, DeSales (varsity & JV), Walnut Ridge, Upper Arlington, Whetstone, Toledo Central Catholic, Westerville North, New Castle, Massillon Jackson, Gahanna Lincoln and Northrop (IN).

Gahanna began day #2 of the camp with a match up with Indiana's Northrop in storied St. Johns Arena (Pictured). With the OSU coaching staff on hand to watch Briceon Scott, an elite 2013 prospect, the Lion's Stevie Taylor led Gahanna to an early 12-2 lead. Although Gahanna led the entire contest, Scott kept Northrop in striking distance until late in the second half. By the time the horn sounded, Gahanna was 1-0 after claiming a 62-76 win. Stevie Taylor finished with a game-high 35 points while Briceon Scott finished with about 30+ points as well. Game two for Gahanna featured a rematch of the Ohio High School State Final Four game with Massillon Jackson. Although the stakes were not as high as they were last March, the Lions were excited about the opportunity to get another shot at the Polar Bears. Gahanna got of to a quick start with back-to-back treys and entered halftime with a 35-26 lead. In the second half, Jackson mounted a ferocious comeback on the strength Steve Griffin's hot shooting and poor free throw shooting by the Lions. In the end, Gahanna held on to win 68-63. Although Stevie Taylor finished with a team-high 17 points, Jamel Morris and Jordan Martin were big factors in the win. In game three, Gahanna dispatched Toledo Central Catholic 59-45. In the championship game, the Lions faced off against a hot Walnut Ridge. Playing without Stevie Taylor who sustained a calf injury in the semi-finals, Walnut Ridge jumped out to an early 11-0 lead, and appeared poised for a lopsided win. However, Gahanna, sparked by their reserves, cut the lead to 3 points (22-25) by the half. In the second half, Gahanna took their first lead with 14 minutes left in the game. Although Walnut Ridge enjoyed a significant size advantage in the post, a breakout game from senior Jamel Morris propelled Gahanna to a 53-42 victory and their second championship of the weekend.

To get to the championship game, Walnut Ridge knocked off Columbus DeSales, beat Upper Arlington 56-48, and held on to to defeat Toledo St. Johns 53-51. Throughout the day, Walnut Ridge got consistent play from Austin Traylor, Dwayne Bazemore and 6'7 Alssand Kah. For Toledo St. Johns, playing with out Cheatum Norrils who was attending a football camp at Michigan State, received solid play from Marc Loving. To see pictues of day two, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page. To check out Kurt Stubs' story on the event click on the link.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Gahanna Lincoln Wins Day-One Championship At OSU Team Camp

Fifteen teams participated in the first day of the 2010 Ohio State Team Camp and at the end of the day, the Gahanna Lincoln Lions were crowned champions. This year's format was a bit different than in years past, as all 15 teams were placed in a championship bracket and played until they lost. The teams that participated in day-one included: Toledo St. Johns, Columbus Whetstone, Broad Ripple (IN), Westerville North, Chillicothe, Watkins Memorial, Gahanna Lincoln, Mt. Vernon (IN), Garfield Heights, Pickerington North, Massilon Jackson, Bellefontaine, Upper Arlington, Africentric, and Huber Heights Wayne. Canton Timken was supposed to round out the 16-team field but they were a no show.

On their trek to the championship game, Gahanna defeated Mt. Vernon (IN), Chillicothe, Toledo St. Johns and Huber Heights Wayne. In the Mt. Vernon game, the much quicker and more athletic Lions got out to a quick start, before entering half time up 28-16. At one point in the second half, Gahanna was up as much as 26 points. The final score was 62-31. In game #2 on the main floor of Value City Arena, Gahanna destroyed Chillicothe 87-48. In that game, Stevie Taylor's game-high 23 points was the difference. Also playing well for Gahanna were Trey Ware, a transfer from Reynoldsburg, and sophomore Aaron Jackson. Chillicothe's Malik London's primary contribution included 6 blocked shots. Game #3 pitted Gahanna against Toledo St. Johns, a team who had beaten the Lions by 12 points a week earlier at a shootout in Toledo (without Taylor or Ware). Although Toledo raced to an early lead, the Lions were able to close the lead to four points by halftime (22-26). Gahanna tied the game at 35 midway through the second half and took the lead for the first time with 2 minutes left in the contest. Gahanna went on to win 50-43. Stevie Taylor led all scorers for Gahanna, while Cheatum Norrils led St. Johns.

The championship game featured a rematch from last season, as Gahanna sought to duplicate the success they had against Wayne in a holiday tournament last December. With added motivation from last season's loss, Wayne got out of the gates quickly and posted a double digit lead at one point in the first half. However, Gahanna made a late run to close the halftime lead to 30-27. The Lions opened the second half with much more energy and took the lead (33-32) with 16 minutes left in the second half. Gahanna would never relinquish the lead and went on to claim the 66-60 win. For Wayne, Travis Trice got hot from beyond the arc, hitting 6 treys, and dropping a game-high 32 points, while Marcus Crider added 15 points. Gahanna was paced by Stevie Taylor's 13 points.

Wayne's path to the championship game included wins over Africentric, Upper Arlington (40-45) and Pickerington North (48-50). It was never really a contest against Arficentric, as Huber Heights led early and was ahead 40-18 by the time I left at halftime. It was evident very early in the game that Wayne was too talented and too deep for an over matched Nubians squad. It was also obvious that Wayne excels in transition and has multiple guys who can run and score. In game two, Wayne found themselves in a dog fight with Upper Arlington, and in fact, was trailing at halftime 24-19. To start the second half, Wayne turned up the defensive pressure and took the lead for the final time with 13 minutes left in the game. UA's Brian Sullivan was the high man with 13 points. For Wayne, Marcus Crider finished with 10 points while Travis Trice added 7 points. In the semi-final game against Pickerington North (this game got a little chippy early), Wayne trailed for most of the game. Tied at 48 with 6 seconds left in the game, Travis Trice received an inbounded pass and drove the length of the floor for a layup and the 50-48 win. To see pictures of day one of the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Monday, June 14, 2010

5th Annual Celtic Basketball Classic: Sunday

With the spring travel season in the books, and the top high school prospects running with their high school squads, I took some time out to check out the Sunday action and Gary Lacrone's 5th Annual Celtic Basketball Classic in Dublin, Ohio. Although the Ohio Youth Basketball Tournament fielded 55 teams in seven grade divisions (4th-11th), I set out to check out some of the younger guys this time around.

I had a chance to catch a 6th grade semi-final game between Scott Bradley's New Birth Warriors and the Dayton Sharpshooters. In that game, Bradley's top guys (Jalani Rogers and DJ Tyree) were doing their usual thing, but the Sharpshooters point guard really caught my eye. Dayton's David Rowlands was a handful for the Warriors all game, as he relentlessly attacked the cup and finished. The heady guard scored in a variety of ways including a floater, pull-up and a nice little step back jumper. The little floor general was skilled, has a nice handle and already possesses a nice stroke. Although I have watched New Birth play on a number of occasions, I had a chance to check out the Warriors' Kyran McClure for the first time, and I liked what I saw. McClure, a lefty and a slasher, brings good size and an active motor to the table. For the record, Bradley's Warriors lost to the USA Panthers, a team they had beaten handily the day before, in the championship game. At the end of the day, despite having made an 18-7 late-game run, the Warriors could not overcome an early deficit and ended up losing to the Panthers by about 3 points.

As I sat and watched a 4th grade game against Court Vision and OYSP, I became more and more impressed with the point guards on each team. For OYSP, keep an eye out for Columbus' Ty Wiley, who displayed a game beyond his years. This little guy was seriously ballin, while making play after play! The kid handles the ball well and is already packing a handful of nice dribble moves. Wiley did a great job of attacking the cup and finishing, but he also shot the ball very well. Not to be out done was Court Vision's Julian Malone who was a one man wrecking crew. Like Wiley, the kid's game was advanced. Not only was Malone very skilled and aggressive, his decision making was impressive. Also, RNB's Paul Jones played well in the limited time I watched him play, as he logged in time with both RNB and the 6th grade New Birth Warriors. Congratulations to RNB for claming the 4th grade championship! To see pictures of the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ohio Dominican to Host Day Camp

Head Coach Artie Taylor and his staff will be holding their annual summer basketball day camp on June 21st-24th here in Columbus, Ohio. Each day of the camp will begin at 9:00am and end at 4:00. The registraton fee for the camp is $185 and includes a lunch, camp t-short and a basketball. For more information about the camp contact at 614-251-4533 or .

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ohio AAU State Tournament: Final Day

U-15 Division
The final day of the Ohio AAU State tournament was complete with drama, upsets, plots, sub-plots, and statement games. In terms of upsets, although most central Ohio basketball fans were well aware of the breakthrough season Ohio Varsity White had been having, over the course of the weekend, southern Ohio teams were introduced to Randy Clarkson's collection of hardworking and under-valued journeymen. Although, according to the experts, the team was void of "big time" talent, the central Ohio-based team has consistently beaten more highly touted teams both in the state and nationally the entire spring. In Cincinnati this weekend, All-Ohio Varsity White blew though pool play before reaching the finals, where they received their final stamp of approval as one of the top teams in the state, with their 54-53 win over the Cincinnati Lakers in the semi-finals and their victory over Team Jordan in the championship game. In their grudge match against a well-coached Lakers team in a semi-final game, Ohio Varsity White withstood a feverish late game run from southern Ohio's top team. In fact, the Lakers had a shot under their bucket to win the game, but could not convert as time ran out. Gahanna's Aaron Jackson's 28-point explosion was the catalyst for the win. For the Lakers, Devin Williams, Keith Watkins and Monty Boykins were all standouts in the game. To get to the U-15 championship game, Team Jordan had to get by Quentin Roger's All-Ohio Red team, which boasted some of the top prospects in the state in Marc Loving, Nigel Hayes and newly acquired Tony Farmer. After dispatching the Lakers, Ohio Varsity faced off against a talented Team Jordan squad in the championship game of the U-15 division. Although All-Ohio Varsity White jumped out to and early lead, Team Jordan fought their way back, and tied the game at halftime. In the second half, Team Jordan committed too many unforced turnovers and Ohio Varsity White pulled away for a final 13 point victory. The leading scorers for Ohio Varsity were Jack Gibbs (23 points), and Randall Clarkson Jr., Aaron Jackson and Wendell Davis (all with 13 points). For Team Jordan, both Jaylon Brown and DJ Wingfield scored in double figures.
U-16 Division

In semi-finals of the U-16 division, All-Ohio Red easily handled the Dayton Nets 86-53 to advance to the championship game. In the other semi-final game, All-Ohio Purple had to overcome a serious challenge from hometown foe Cincinnati Knights. At the end of the 1st quarter the Knights were up 19-14, and by halftime they had increased the lead by 10 points. However, the second half was a different story, as Purple turned up the heat and forced some turnovers. Add in cold shooting by the Knights and Purple came storming back to get the "W." In the contest, Orlando Berry Jr. and Adolphus Washington were the difference. For the Knights, Gionivoe McKnight, Willie Moore and Ben Galermo led the charge in the loss. The win by Purple set up a 3rd meeting with All-Ohio Red. To be honest with you, after only a few minutes, there was really no drama in this one. Orlando Berry's All-Ohio Purple squad jumped all over Red from the tip and never really looked back. Remember what I said earlier in this story about statement games, well this should be considered one of those, as, judging by the comments from the fans in the stands, Purple was playing with a chip on their shoulders relative where they stood in the state pecking order, as well as their status in the All-Ohio organization. Needless to say, you have to give the nod to the Cincinnati boys as the top dog in the Buckeye State. The combination of Adolphus Washington and Dwayne Stafford in the post and Orlando Berry Jr., Josh Lemons and Jalean Lowe on the perimeter, is simply too much for most teams. The leading scorer in the game was Washington who finished with a game-high 24 points. Tommie Kreyenhagen finished with 20 points, Dwayne Stafford added 12 points and Josh Lemons and Orlando Berry Jr, both contributed 11 points. I have to acknowledge the guard play of Chris Harrison-Docks, Myles Hamilton and Jordan Potts in that game. All three players went down swinging and made some big time plays. Jake Kretser also hit a couple of big trey to give Red a glimmer of hope.

U-17 Division

Speaking of Drama, the U-17 division offered just that. All-Ohio Red began championship Sunday with a match-up against a very scrappy Driveway Legends. All-Ohio withstood a barrage of early jump shots and dunks before shaking off a sluggish start and pulling away to claim a convincing 97-75 win. All-Ohio was led by red hot shooting from Trey Burke (32 points) and Kenny Kaminski (28 points). For Driveway, Cody Latimore inflicted the most damage to the tune of 27 points. Shawn Flemming added 17 points while Jordan Watson finished with 13 points. In their second game of the day, All-Ohio Red got by the Cincinnati Royals 69-45 to advance to the championship game. In that game, Stevie Taylor had his shot falling and was able to get to the cup at will to finish with a game-high 20 points. Kenny Kaminski finished with 17 points while Trey Burke added 14 points and Nate Anderson offered 7 points. For a chance to play for a championship, Ozzie Davis' Queen City Prophets (QCP) had to get by XBA in the 1st round, and a tough Club Ohio in the semi finals. They did both, setting up a much anticipated match-up between All-Ohio Red. The Prophets came out smoking from beyond the arc, while also throwing down some rim rattling dunks. Although the QCP sprinted out to an early lead, Red eventually got on track and actually took the lead late in the game. In fact, All-Ohio had the ball with the game tied at 71 with about 10 seconds left in regulation to win the game. Trey Burke penetrated and kicked the ball out to Kenny Kaminski for an uncontested trey, but the shot missed the mark. After the Prophets converted on more possession in the overtime period, they went on to defend their state title from last year. QCP was led by Chillicothe's Jaylen Ragland who was virtually unstoppable from beyond the three point line, resulting in a game-high 34 points. The Prophets also got contributions from Aiken's Aaron Thomas (20 points) and Withrow's Carl Porter. For All-Ohio Red, Northland's Trey Burke remained hot and finished with a team-high 28 points, followed by Kenny Kaminski's 23 points, while Stevie Taylor and Jeff Copeland both added 12 points. If you missed this game, you missed a good one, as both teams refused to loose and hit consecutive shots down the stretch. With their win, Queen City has earned the #1 seed at the AAU Nationals in July. To see more pictures of the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Ohio AAU State Tournament:Saturday

The 2010 Ohio AAU State Tournament tipped off in Cincinnati last night and on the line in the U-17 division is a # 1 seed at the AAU Nationals In Orlando, Florida in July. Since All-Ohio Red is the defending national champions, the winner of the Ohio Association will get the #1 seed at the nationals. This high school division of this year's tournament features 48 teams in 3 grade divisions (9-11th).

Although All-Ohio would have to play without the services of 2 starters (Elijah Macon and George Fant did not make the trip), they were able to pick up two quality replacements in 2012 Kenny Kaminski and Northland's Devon Scott. All-Ohio Red began their quest for a repeat with a convincing 75-49 win over Ohio Crossover. In their opening game, All-Ohio's superior talent was on display as they jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. All-Ohio had broad based scoring support as 5 players scored double digit points. Red was led by Trey Burke's 18 points, followed by Kenny Kaminski (16 points), Brandon Neel (14 points), Nate Anderson (12 points), and Stevie Taylor (10 Points).

In the U-15 division, Recardo Hill's Cincinnati Lakers held off an upset minded Queen City Prophets (QCP) team to claim a 69-52 victory. Although playing without one of their key players in Josh Davenport, QCP grabbed early momentum, but could not match the depth and talent of the Lakers. Although Trent Donald was the high man for the Lakers, I was most impressed with the play of 6'6 Deven Williams who was almost unguardable in the post when the guards got him the ball. Davion Jordan added 10 points for the Lakers. For QCP, Peeper and Raymar Hariston finished with 9 and 10 points, respectively. All-Ohio Red's U-15 team jumped all over Club Ohio and cruised to an easy 40-29 win. Quintin Roger's squad was a little juiced up with the addition to Tony Farmer who came over from King James and will play with Red the rest of the summer. In this game, 5'10 Jaaron Simmons, widely regarded as the top point guard in the class, was the top dog with 18 points, followed by Nigel Hayes who finished with 15 points and Cha Cha Tucker who contributed 12 points.
All-Ohio Red's U-16 squad used strong guard play to claim a lopsided win over the Shinning Stars. Although I did not stick around for the entire game, Red had things well under control with a 56-24 lead at halftime. Before I left, Myles Hamilton and Chris Harrison-Docks were having there way with the Shinning Stars guards, as each player had already scored 11 points at the midway point in the game. Cameron Wilson appears to have improved his jump shot as evidenced by his 9 halftime points. Ed Lyshe's U-17All-Ohio White dropped a hart breaker to the Shinning Stars with a 57-58 loss. All-Ohio was in good shape late in the game until a mental let down led to a missed block out assignment and 2 extra free throws for the Stars. Although White's Chauncey Orr got off a trey with time running out to win, his shot missed the mark. The leading scorers for the Shinning Stars were Jalen Goodwin who finished with a team-high 12 points, followed by Zach Baker (11 points) and Alex McGlothin (10 points). DeMarkio Lyshe paced All-Ohio with 13 points, followed by Damone Powell (15 points) and Chauncey Orr (11 points). In their second game of the day, All-Ohio White faced off against Mac Ohio, and although they trailed for most of the game, an aggressive intentional foul by a MAC Ohio and a resulting technical foul on an All-Ohio player sparked White to a comeback and a close 75-70 win. In the game, Chauncey Orr's 21 points were a game-high, followed by Adam Westbelt's 20 points and Damone Powell's 15 points. For Mac Ohio, Lancaster's Steve Bridgmen led all Scorers with a team-high 18 points, followed by Trent Waybright who added 15 points and Dane McLaughlin who contributed 12 points.

All-Ohio Red's 17s dominated (72-38) KBC Select in their second game of the day. Key to the victory was Trey Burke's team-high 16 points, and Stevie Taylor's double double (12 points and 11 assists). In the contest, Taylor lived in the paint where he consistently and creatively found open teammates for easy buckets. Brandon Neel had a big game as well, as he went for 15 points. Devon Scott added 13 points and Nate Anderson finished with 6 points. Both Jabrill Coaston and Jordan Taylor led KBC Select with 9 points apiece. Game 3 for All-Ohio Red was a confrontation with a well-coached Shinning Stars team. Red got out of the gate early and never relinquished the lead in the 45-38 win. Red was often forced to defend the Shining Stars in the half court for 3-4 minutes at a time as they were very patient running their offense, which includes multiple screening and back door cuts. Stevie Taylor logged in another big performance as he dropped a game-high 20 points. Trey Burke finished with 7 points while Nate Anderson and Kenny Kaminiski both offered 6 points, and Brandon Neel added 4 points. Earlier in the day, Club Ohio 17s defeated the Dayton Nets by a score of 73-51. Orlando Berry's All-Ohio Purple squad is often to a 3-0 start after pool play and poised to make another championship run. Watch out for Randy Clarkson's All-Ohio Varsity White team who has picked up Pickerington's Taco Charlton who recently ran with All-Ohio Red. With Ohio Varsity having beaten Red 2 times already this year, if both teams happen to meet in the championship, the game could be epic! Ozzie Davis' U-17 Queen City Prophets team is rolling and should end up in the big game on Sunday. To see the pictures I took at the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Nike EYBL Session Three LA: Final Thoughts

The Nike Elite Youth Basketball regular season came to an end on Monday, leaving a number of teams outside of the top 20, and hoping for one of a handful of at large bids (we think there are 4) to the prestigious Peach Jam scheduled for mid-July in South Carolina. On the the final day of league play, there were some upsets at the top. Most notable was the ICP's 76-64 upset win over previously unbeaten St. Louis Eagles. as has been proven in this league over the past several events, with so much talent, anybody can be beaten on any given day.

Despite their 60-70 loss to the Team Arizona, All-Ohio Red punched their ticket to the Peach Jam by finishing 7-7 overall and tied for 5th place in league play. In the Arizona game, Red was plagued by poor shooting and soft defense, as the Arizona kids easily found driving lanes and open looks. All-Ohio was paced by Trey Burke's 17 points, followed by Elijah Macon (10 points), and Stevie Taylor and George Fant (9 points). It's important to note, Elijah Macon had a great tournament and appears to be playing more inspired basketball. Due to a scheduling error, King James was forced to fly back to Ohio on Sunday night, thereby forfeiting their final game against Each One Teach One on Monday, resulting in a 6th place finish and possible exclusion from the Peach Jam.

Team Takeover pulled out a 66-61 win over Spiece on the strength of Michael Gbinije's 25 point explosion. Rapheal Davis led Spiece with 18 points, while Marquis Teague added 13 points and Nic Moore finished with 8 points. Despite a tough weekend for The Family (1-4 on the weekend), the Michigan-based team will be heading to the Peach Jam with their 5th place finish. Team Final smashed the Tennessee Travelers 92-64. Michael Gilchrist dropped 22 points, followed by Trevor Cooney (16 points), Shawn Valentine (12 points) and Aaron Brown (11 points). Craig Bradshaw led the Travelers with 15 points and Zach Garland contributed 10 points. My hat goes off to Nike and their decision to create the EYBL! By most accounts, so far in the regular season the league has been fantastic. As I have watched these kids play over the first 3 events, I have been extremely impressed with the level of play, intensity and team focus. I can only assume Nike is going to send the league off in style at the championship event (Peach Jam) in July. Look far a war in South Carolina in a few weeks! Visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page to see more pictures. Also, check out the video highlighting their pic for the top 5 plays of the weekend.