Monday, February 28, 2011

BPR Elite Showcase Initial Team Assigments and Game Schedule

To view the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase initial game schedule, rosters, and game rules, click on the link below.  The showcase is going to be SMOKING! To all the players, bring your game, not your name!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Central Ohio Middle School All-Star Game Recap

Team Red
The second game of the Central Ohio Middle School All-Star Game pitted the 8th grade Team Blue versus Team Red. Not only did Team Blue get on the board first, they ran out to a 12 point lead in the first half. Just when you thought this one was over, Team Red made a furious run to cut the lead to 30-28 with 2:45 left in the game. Although it intially looked like the game was going to be a blowout, Red came all the way back and went to win 32-30. Red was paced by Lamont Martin and D.J. Tyree, both of whom finished with 6 points. Canal Winchester’s Elanta Moore added 5 points.  Monroe’s Elijah Barber was impressive for, as he led Blue in scoring with 12 points. Behind him was JaQuan Harrison who finished with 6 points.

Team Red
D.J. Tyree Co-MVP

Andre Bradley 5’10 PG-Canal Winchester
Brian Lambright 6’1 C-Worthington Christian
Dashawn Nelms 5’1 PG Hamilton Twp
Elanta Moore 6’0 WG-Canal Winchester
Joey Palmer 6’1 PF-Groveport MS
Lamont Martin 5’9 SF Canal Winchester MS
Nicholas Bapst 5’10 WG-Jackson MS
Terronte Hutchins 6’0 C-Rosemore MS
Tre’von Potts 5’9 PG-Africentric MS
Tyaun Taylor 5’9 PG Hamilton Twp
D.J. Tyree 5’7 PG (7th)-Pleasantview MS

Team Blue
Elijah Barber Co-MVP

Anthony Anderson 6’5 C Africentric Early College
Elijah Barber 5’10 WF-Monroe MS
George Daniels 5’11 WF-Berwick Alt.
JaQuan Harrison 6’1 WF-Westmoor MS
Jamahl Williams 6’0 C-Champion MS
LaRon Senior 5’9 WG Berwick MS
Lavoris Brown 6’0 WF Johnson Park MS
Mikey Simmons 5’9 WG Johnson Park MS
Shawon Wilson 5’9 PG-Africentric Early College
Elijah Melhado 5’11 WG Berwick Alt.
Shadrick Kimble Jr. 5’7 PG-Medina MS

Team Purple
The final game of the event featured a showdown between team Purple and Team Black. As was the case in the earlier game, Team Purple jumped out to an early lead (17-10 at the half), only to see their lead cut late in the second half. The architects of Black’s run was Hilliard Weaver’s Michael Simon, who scored 7 straight points at one point in the game, and Groveport’s Tyrone Cherry who went to work off the dribble with several nifty ono-on-one moves. With the standout performance of Woodward Park’s Nateshawn Hargrove, Purple was able to pull out a 46-33 win. Hargrove finished with a team-high 13 points, followed by Quincy Storey (11), Anthony McKee (8) and Jaisen Johnson (6). As a side note, the matchup between Cherry and Storey was a good one, and will likely play out many times by the end of their high school careers. Look for many of these players at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase at Central Crossing HS next Sunday!

Team Purple
Nateshawn Hargrove Co-MVP

Anthony McKee 6’1 C-Sherwood MS
Camden Taylor 5’0 PG-Berwick MS
Curtis Armstrong 5’5 PG-Mifflin MS
DeQuan Daniels 6’3 WF-Ridgeview MS
Isaac Anderson 6’2 SF-Groveport MS
Jaisean Johnson 5’8 WG-Monroe MS
Nateshawn Hargrove 5’8 WG-Woodpark MS
Quincy Storey 6’1 WG-Sherwood MS
Xavier Holston-Simms 5’6 PG-Monroe MS
Kyle Oglesby 5’3 PG-Berwick MS

Team Black
Tyrone Cherry Co-MVP

Anthony Myles 5’1 PG Spanish Immersion MS
Brendon Schneider 5’8 WG-Canal Winchester MS
Jaylyn Sanders 6’0 PF-Canal Winchester MS
Joshua Kremnitzer 5’8 PG-Worthington Christian MS
Lamarr Fisher 5’5 PG-Licking Hgts. MS
Michael Simon 6’5 C-Hilliard Weaver MS
Rael Windley 6’0 C-Lakeview Jr. High
Raymond Rhone IV 5’5 PG-Groveport MS
Seth McCoy 6’0 SF-Canal Winchester MS
Tyrone Cherry 5’10 PG/WG-Groveport MS

Others to Watch
Quincey Storey

Tony Anderson

Michael Simon

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Columbus City League Downs OCC in Middle School All-Star Game

At the last minute, I got word that a middle school all-star game was being played at South High School. I quickly jumped into my car and hustled over the inaugural Central Ohio Middle School All-star Game. Upon my arrival, I discovered that the event included three games; a 7th grade all-star game pitting a team of Columbus City League kids against a group of Ohio Capital Conference (OCC) players; and two separate 8th grade all-star games.

The first game of the day pitted Team Orange versus Team Green. Despite a huge game from Gahanna Middle School West’s Nic Ward, Team Orange (City League) easily defeated Team Green (OCC) 52-35 to claim bragging rights for City League middle school basketball. Pleasantview’s DJ Tyree had a monster game, as he dropped a team-high 17 points. Also playing well for Team Orange were James Mann (10), Marquez Hargrove (8) and Parell Tyler (6). Nic Ward was unstoppable in the post, as he scored 20 of his team’s 35 points. The next leading scorer for Team Green was Cole Heilman who finished with 4 points. The OCC squad might have had a better chance of getting a win had Westerville Blendon’s Jalani Rogers been on the bench instead of sitting in the stands watching the contest.

Team Orange All-Stars (City League)

DJ Tyree Co-MVP

Azende Johnson-Sherwood MS
Brandon Leuier-Westmoor MS
Isaiah Youncy-McCord MS
James Manns II-Buckeye MS
Kalib Younger Berwick ALT
Marquez A.I.M.S. MS
Michael Bell-St. James MS
Michael Morgan-Johnson Park MS
Otis Smith III-All Saints Academy
Parell Tyler-Africentric Early College
Alan Roberts-Buckeye MS
DJ Tyree-Pleasantview MS MVP

Team Green (OCC)

Nic Ward Co-MVP

Matthew Moyer-Dominion MS
Nic Ward-Gahanna MS West
Tre Cobbs-Lima South
Charles Aden-World Harvest
Houston Smith-Africentric Early College
Cole Heilman-Bexley MS
Dantez Walton-Lima North
William Maynus-Westerville Heritage MS
Sammy Tuckerman-Columbus Academy
Corey Benton-Westerville Genoa
Adrian Awuah-Monroe MS

To see the pictures I took at the event, visit the Buckeye prep Facebook Fan Page.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Taylor to Represent Team USA against Florida All-Stars

In terms of prestige, somewhere behind the McDonalds All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic is the Florida versus USA Hardwood Classic, currently scheduled for March 25th in Orlando, Florida. Based his significant hoops resume and national reputation, Gahanna Lincoln’s Stevie Taylor will represent Team USA as they face off against a team of Florida’s top basketball prospects.

Although the actual Hardwood Classic game is only in its 4th year, the event’s unsigned senior games (3 this year) have been around for 13 years. According to Jack Love, Event Founder and Executive Director, “the event started as a local unsigned senior game designed to generate exposure for kids from a 4-5 county area. The event has grown in prestige over the years.” Year five of the statewide event pitted East versus West all-stars, and 4 years ago, the Florida versus USA Hardwood Classic was formed. As proof of the event’s place on the national scene, for the first time in the event’s history, the Hardwood Classic will be played at the brand new Amway Center, home of the NBA Orlando Magic.

Love and his army of volunteers have grown this event from a 1-day showcase to the current 4-day format. Love is most proud of the numerous volunteers who have embraced the mission of the Classic. “People who work the event really treat the kids like their own kids; they treat them first class,” said Love. “It’s amazing how quickly the players and workers bond during the week,” continued Love. Love is also proud of the fact that the event is “fully sponsored by local business and organizations, is high quality and done with class.” Love added, “The event gives kids exposure to college coaches and provides the players with one last positive experience before they move onto college.”

For the 24 players invited to participate in the event, the list of activities is impressive, and include: a welcome reception for players and coaches; a trip to the NBA Center and Universal Orlando City Walk; attendance to the Orlando Magic and New Jersey Nets shoot around; attendance to Magic vs New Jersey Nets basketball game with half-time on-court recognition and three-point shooting and slam dunk contests. In addition to the above activities, the players will participate in education workshops, and will be involved in a community service appearance in the Orlando community.

Though the final rosters will not be released until next week, some of the players already committed to this event include: DePaul bound, Shane Larkin (Fla); Western Kentucky commit, Cesar Guerrero (USA); Tyler Harris (USA); Adonis Barbage; Steve Moundou-Missi (USA); Wayne Martin Jr. (Fla), Kansas State pledge, Angel Rodriquez (Fla), UCF bound, Rod Days (Fla); Virginia Tech pledge, Robert Brown (Fla) and Temple commit, Will Cummings (Fla). Also, a few of the past participants include Miles Plumlee (Duke), Ian Miller (Florida State), Juwan Staten (Dayton), J.D. Weatherspoon (Ohio State), Glenn Rice Jr. (Georgia Tech), Travon Woodall (Pittsburgh), Jeremy Lamb (UCONN), Jared Swopshire (Louisville), Chandler Parson (Florida), London Warren (Dayton), Alec Ruoff (West Virginia) and Alonzo Gee (Alabama),

If you want to catch the action, the game will be broadcast on television and live-streamed throughout the world. Also, Buckeye Prep will be in Orlando to provide complete coverage of this prestigious event. To find additional information about the Hardwood Classic,  visit their Facebook page.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ohio Capital Conference Announces Post-Season Awards Recipients

All-OCC Ohio


1. Stevie Taylor Gahanna Senior
2. Jamel Morris Gahanna Senior
3. Tyler Kelly Pick N Senior
4. Trent Waybright Pick N Senior
5. Wendell Davis Reynoldsburg Soph
6. Bret Woolard Newark Senior
7. Bobby Brown Grove City Senior

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Stevie Taylor Gahanna

COACH OF THE YEAR: Pete Liptrap Pick N/Tony Staib Gahanna

All-OCC Central


1. Brian Sullivan Upper Arlington Senior
2. Christian Heine Dublin Coffman Senior
3. Zack Riddle Dublin Coffman Senior
4. Davonte Peterson Davidson Junior
5. Wes Richter Upper Arlington Senior
6. Jordan Cowgill T. Worthington Junior
7. Carter Smith Upper Arlington Junior


COACH OF THE YEAR: Tim Casey UA/ Jamey Collins Coffman

All-OCC Cardinal


1. Traevon Jackson W South Senior
2. Jack Gibbs W. North Soph
3. Matt Rhodes W. North Junior
4. Ben Jones W South Senior
5. Andy Yazrombek O. Liberty Senior
6. Quentin Henderson W. Central Senior
7. Raneal Ewing D. Scioto Senior

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Traevon Jackson W. South


All-OCC Capital


1. Matt Bingaya Delaware Junior
2. Nick Sosh New Albany Senior
3. Ben Hoar Mt. Vernon Senior
4. Trent Weaver H. Bradley Junior
5. Jordan Combs O. Orange Senior
6. Michael Wells Delaware Soph
7. Ryan Mayle New Albany Senior

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Matt Bingaya Delaware

COACH OF THE YEAR: Sam Davis New Albany

Orginally published by

On another note, to view the Cincinnati area Greater Catholic League awards winners, click on the highlighted link.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Boyd Leads Lakota East to School's First GMC Title

Mike Boyd
Much of Lakota East’s success this season can be attributed to the outstanding play of Mike Boyd, the team’s floor general. Boyd, a 6’0 point guard, led the Hawks to a 19-1 regular season, a 13-1 conference record, a Greater Miami Conference (GMC) championship, and a 6th place ranking in the latest AP state rankings.

According to the Lakota East website Boyd was selected "Player of the Week" during the season.  As justification for the award, the website states, "Michael is a senior on the boy's basketball team. Mike has been a key part of the team this year after rebounding from a knee injury. Michael scored a career high 20 points in an important win against Mason. He ranks 5th in scoring in the GMC, 1st in steals and 5th in assists."

Despite Boyd individual success this year, the Hawks are more than a one-man team. Lakota East is a well rounded team that has a lot of senior leadership and several young talented players. Boyd was supported by fellow seniors: Brian Evans, Cameron Lee, Jeff Cargill, R.J. Leppert and Jalen Goodwin. Junior Mark Minch has long been considered as one of the top players in the class of 2012, while Stedman Lowrey has shown a lot of potential.

The GMC conference award recipients have not yet been published yet, but many fans believe Boyd will get the nod as the Conference player of the Year. In addition, although Wayne’s Travis Trice will take home District Player of the Year honors, many SW District coaches felt that Boyd was his stiffest competition. Also, the Cincinnati Enquirer just named Lakota East the "City Champions."

The Hawks will open tournament play at Lakota West High School on Saturday February 26th against 31st seeded (5-13) Talwanda. To read more about the Hawks click on the highlighted link.

Lakota East Varsity Team

Buckeye Prep Schedules 8th Grade Tryout

Buckeye Prep will be holding a second day of tryouts for the 8th grade team on Saturday the 26th at the Cleo Dumaree Complex located at 276 S. Nelson Rd. from 6:00-8:00pm. For more information, contact Coach Cook at 614-395-7178.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Big Turnout for All-Ohio Tryout

I stopped by the All-Ohio 8th grade tryout today and noted they had a nice turnout. About 50 kids showed up for the 2-hour tryout, several of whom hailed from as far as Cleveland. The session consisted of almost an hour of station work, followed by an hour of scrimmages. Some of the kids that stood out the limited time I was there included: Kipper Nichols (Cleveland), Kyle Stergis (Shaker Heights), Xavior Holston Simms (Columbus), Esa Ahmad (Shaker Heights), Nick Bapst (Grove City), Gabe Adkins (Upper Arlington), Andrew Francesconi (Tallmadge ), Quincy Storey, (Columbus), Tony Anderson (Columbus), Jae’von McClain (Cleveland), Jaquan Holmes (Columbus) and Isaacs Anderson (Columbus). Jerry Watson and his coaching staff plan one additional tryout next Sunday before making their final selections. The plan is to field 2 teams (Red & White) in this age group. Judging from the talent in the gym, All-Ohio should be able to field a very competitive team.  To see the pictures I took at the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Northland Gets One for the Thumb

In front of a sellout crowd at East High School in Columbus, the Northland Vikings held off the Walnut Ridge Scots to claim their 5th consecutive Columbus City League Championship. Walnut Ridge controlled the tip and drew first blood after Adam McCall drove the lane, was fouled, and converted both free throws. The Scots would go on a McCall-led 5-0 run before a Trey Burke layup and free throw at the 5:45 mark got the Vikings on the board. Northland took its first lead when Devon Scott sank 2 free throws to put the Vikings up 8-7. With Dwayne Bazemore's 2 freebies, Walnut Ridge reclaimed the lead (9-8) with 3:20 left in the period. Northland went back on top 10-9 with a Trey Burke pull-up at the 2:22 mark. For the rest of the first quarter, Ridge’s shaky guard play led to turnovers and a Northland run that pushed the Northland lead to 17-11 to end the quarter.

Although Ridge started the second period with possession of the ball, another turnover and a Devin Scott put back got the Vikings on the board first, and increased the Northland lead to 19-11. Very early in the contest it was clear that Northland’s defense was going to be the difference, as Devon Scott quickly exerted his dominance in the paint with multiple blocks, while the Walnut Ridge guards started coughing up the rock. Back-to-back Ridge turnovers and a Jordan Potts 3-pointer pushed Northland’s lead to 25-13 midway through the second quarter. Adam McCall stopped the bleeding with layup at the 3:40 mark to cut the lead to 10 points. For the remainder of the first half, Ridge turned up the pressure and eventually cut the lead to 8 points, as the opening half ended in a score of 19-27.

Walnut Ridge opened the second half on a positive note, as Rico Spears drove baseline and finished a reverse lay-up to cut the lead to 22-27; however, Devin Scott answered right back with a jumper as Northland went up 29-22. Both teams traded buckets for a while, and although the Vikings maintained the lead, Ridge refused to go away and went on a late quarter run to close the period 42-35.

Jalen Robinson’s dunk to start the 4th period increased Northland’s lead to 44-35. When Ridge’s Dwayne Bazemore went to the bench with foul trouble early in the closing period, Scott and Robinson went to work in the paint and ran the Viking lead to 38-48. An Adam McCall jumper and a Ridge layup cut the lead to 5 points (45-50). Although Ridge would pull to within 4 points, Jalen Robinson’s dunk was the final statement, as Northland went on to claim the title with a final score of 59-52.

Some of the story lines in the game included the outstanding play of Deven Scott, both offensively and defensively; the first half scoring by Trey Burke; Jordan Pott’s team-high 15 points and the Northland’s overall defensive effort. Also, for the Scots, Rico Spears was very effective defensively against Trey Burke, holding the Michigan-bound guard to only 2 free throws in the second half. The leading scorers for Northland were Jordan Potts (15), Trey Burke and Devon Scott (14) and Jalen Robinson (11). The top man for the Scots was Fred Hardgrove who finished with a team-high 11 points, followed by Adam McCall (11), Austin Traylor (9) and Dwayne Bazemore (7). Congratulations to Northland players and fans for a sustained period of excellence.

The Vikings will start tournament play on Wednesday the 23rd when the face off against Groveport-Madison.  The Scots' first round opponent will be the winner between Grove City and DresdenTri-Valley on Friday the 25th.  To see the photos I took at the game, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page. Check out the Cap City Preps video!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gahanna Lincoln Cuts Down Nets

Stevie Taylor
On a night that saw a couple of unbeaten teams fall, the Gahanna Lincoln Golden Lions cut down the nets on their second OCC Ohio championship in as many years. The 19-1 Golden Lions destroyed an undermanned Groveport team by a score of 92-40.  Gahanna was led in scoring by Jamel Morris and Trey Warr, both of whom finished 19 points, and Stevie Taylor finished 9 points and 10 assisits. Gahanna will open tournament play on Tuesday, when they face off against Westland. It's important that Gahanna shared the title with a 19-1 Pickerington North team that is poised to upset a team in the tournament.

In addition to Westerville South and Upper Arlington taking their first lost, Cincinnati's Lakota East and Moller both took losses as the head into tournament play.  I think the upcoming tournament is wide open and up for grabs. With Dublin Coffman's win over UA, they grabbed a share of the OCC Central title.  Despite Westerville South's slip up, they had already clinched the OCC Cardinal title last week.  To see the pictures I took at the game, vitist the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Teague Leads Princeton Red to GMC Championship

On Saturday, the Cincinnati-based Princeton Community Middle School placed 2 teams in the GMC Championship Game. The Macio Teague-led Red team was down 3-5 points to the Grey squad at the end of the 3rd quarter. For most of the game, the Grey team employed a box and one Teague, thus limiting him to only 2 free throws entering the 4th quarter. Trailing by 7 points late in the 4th period, the Red coach drew up a play devised to get Teague a shot and he converted. Teague later ran off 16 straight points hitting, four treys in the process, and finished the final period with 20 points. Teague finished the game with a team-high 22 points, as the Princeton Community Middle School Red team went on to claim a 10 point victory.

7th Annual Buckeye Prep Invitational Tournament

Time is fast approaching for the 7th Annual Buckeye Prep Invitational Tournament. This year's event will be even bigger (not on Easter) and more competitive than last year. As usual, there will be great competition and exposure opportunities for your players. The toornament will be held at multiple sites including: Ohio Dominican University (ODU), Westerville South High School (West 1 & 2), Whitehall Yearling High School (WHHS 1-2) and New Covenant Baptist Church (NC 1 & 2).

In terms of the format, there is a 3-game guarantee with the top 2 teams in each pool advancing to single elimination bracket play on Sunday. The exposure opportunities will be great, as there will be several scouting services in the house evaluating the kids. If you are interested in entering a team in the tournament you need to send an email to: ASAP to reserve a spot. Send a $350 MO payable to Rob Taylor to 585 Tall Oaks Dr. Gahanna, Oh. 43230., or make your payment via Pay Pal on the upper right of this website. To download a copy of the registration form, click on the highlighted link.

See the post-event reports posted after the event.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ohio Hoopsters Focus on Development

Now that most middle school seasons are in the books, and the high school state tournament quickly approaches, thoughts are quickly turning to the upcoming travel basketball season. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, basketball programs from around the country will be hosting tryouts. As is the case every year about this time, kids and parents get excited, and a bit anxious, as they attempt to find the right AAU program. Like most urban communities, central Ohio is blessed with a myriad of travel basketball programs.

For the first time this spring and summer, the newly formed Ohio Hoopsters will jump into the crowded travel basketball market. According to Lamont Tillman and Tony Lavender (Pictured), co-founders of the fledging program, the Ohio Hoopsters will be sponsored by Adidas, and will field AAU-type teams in grades 2-11 this spring. Currently, the program is holding workouts/tryouts at New Covenant Church located in the northeast section of the city. Although they are still evaluating talent, Lavender and Tillman expect to have made their final selections by the end of the month.

I recently had a chance to checkout one of their workouts, and I must admit, I was more than impressed with the organization and they way the coaches interacted with the players. In terms of the format, roughly 65 kids were divided into four groups and were put through about one hour of fundamental skill work. After that, the kids were divided into teams and later participated in several 5 minute scrimmages. I overheard the coaches giving the kids sound instruction, while pushing them to work hard and to get things right. From what I understand, this workout was one of several such workouts for various age groups.

As I have always said, an organization is only as good as the people who make up the organization. The Hoopsters have that covered with Lavender and Tillman, both of whom are very knowledgeable and have been around AAU for a number of years. As most basketball people know, Lavender has coached in central Ohio since 1986, when his own son Drew, was a nationally ranked player. The elder Lavender has coached some of the best teams and players in the state for many years as part of the All Ohio Program, and he certainly understands the inner workings of travel basketball. From my observations over the years, Lavender’s “no nonsense" approach has worked well, and he has always gotten the most effort out of his players, even when he was not coaching the most talented players. Tillman brings a lot of credibility and a solid reputation to the program, as he has worked with young people as part of New Covenant's Youth Ministry for many years, as his father is the Pastor of of the Church.

Both Tillman and Lavender are fully aware of the challenges they face as a new program, and their approach to those challenges appear realistic and achievable. “We want to develop kids first,” said Lavender. When asked about how his program will differ from other programs, Lavender stated, “We are all about integrity. A lot of people don’t want to go to some of these other programs. We will play kids who deserve to be played.”

Tillman added, “We are here for the right reasons, and we understand we are a new program and we have to start young, but by the time our kids are freshmen and juniors, we will be able to play on a national level.” In addition, unlike a lot of AAU programs, each team in the program will practice at least two times per week, which will go a long way in their kid’s overall development.

From what I saw the other night, the Ohio Hoopsters are well on their way to establishing themselves as one of the top programs in central Ohio. To learn more about the Hoopsters you can contact Tony Lavender at: 614-348-3566. To see the pictures I took at the workout, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Trice Sets Scoring Record

Earlier this week, Wyane's Travis Trice II broke the school's all-time leading scoring record of 1388 points, which was set by Lloyd Jacoby over 59 years ago. Michigan State-bound Trice broke the record in the 4th quarter of the Centerville game. Congratulations to Wayne, Travis, and the Trice family for this special achievement!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Nubians Advance to Championship Game

Unfortunately, the Africentric versus Sherwood semi-final game was rescheduled from 6:00 to 5:00. Consequently, by the time I arrived at the gym, the game was already in the third quarter. Although the Nubians began the 4th period with a 42-52 lead, the Eagles applied some serious pressure, and eventually made a late game run to cut the lead to 2 points. Africentric would hold onto the lead on their way to a 64-62 victory over Sherwood to advance to the championship game next Thursday, where they will face off against an undefeated Mifflin squad. The leading scorer for the Nubians was Tony Anderson who scored a team-high 16 points. Shawon Wilson and R. Camara finished with 14 points apiece, while Trevon Potts added 13. The Eagles were led in scoring by Quency Storey, who dropped a cool 21 points in a losing effort. Keep an eye on Storey, this kid is a good looking athlete with size and game to boot. Storey was supported by Azende Johnson and Anthony McKee who finished with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Also, All-Ohio's Jerry Watson was seen working the crowd looking for players for the upcoming AAU season.

On another note, the Lady Nubians notched another win tonight to punch their ticket to the championship game.  When I left at halftime, Africentric held a comfortable 21-11 lead.   However, the Berwick Bulldogs made a huge comeback to force overtime.  Despite their effort, the Lady Bulldogs went down in defeat by 5 points. Africentric will play Monroe for the City League Middle School Championship. I have to admit, I was really impressed with the play of the Nubian's Dayuna Johnson, a little guard with a ton of talent and a pit bull attitude.  I have seen her play twice and both times I left the gym really impressed. The Eagles got a big night from Armani Burke who finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds. To see the pictures I took at the game, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Nubians Punch Ticket to Final Four

In front if a raucous crowd at Africentric High School last night, the 8th grade Nubians matched up with the Monroe Eagles in the first round of the City League middle school playoffs. Africentric, the West Division champions, controlled the opening tip and drew first blood with a layup by big man Tony Anderson, but the Eagles struck right back and knotted the game at 2-2. Although Anderson was hot early, his early success would be short-lived, as he was relegated to the bench when he picked up his second foul at the 2:37 mark. After Anderson’s exit, Monroe turned up the heat and went on a run. For the remainder of the quarter, both teams took turns holding the lead, but at the end of the first period, Africentric was ahead 12-11.

The see saw affair continued into the second quarter, until Jordan Cornely buried a trey to give the Eagles their first lead (25-23) of the game with 2:15 left in the half. Kahlil Wade followed with a 3-pointer of his own, increasing the Eagle lead to 28-25. Although Monroe committed a foul as time ran out, and sent the Nubians to the charity strip to shoot 3 free throws, Africentric failed to convert the freebies, and finished the half down 28-25.

Monroe scored first coming out of half time on a Kahlil Wade layup. Soon after returning from first half foul trouble, Tony Anderson went to work. Anderson tied the game at 30-30 with a baby hook shot, then converted a free throw to take a 31-30 lead with 3:16 left in the third quarter. From there, Monore went on a 7-0 run as Jaysean Johnson took over the game with his determined drives to the cup. A Tony Anderson layup stopped the run, but Monroe still held a 33-37 lead. With 8 seconds left in the period, Anderson hit another bucket to tie the game at 37-37.

The fourth quarter started with a little drama, as both coaches disputed who got the opening possession. Monroe got the decision as well as the opening score on a Jaysean Johnson-initiated drive, dish and foul. After converting the old fashion three point play, the Eagles led 39-37. For the rest of the period, Tony Anderson began to exert his dominance in the paint as he lifted the Nubians to a 1 point lead (43-42) with 1:46 left in the contest. Although Jordan Cornley cut the lead to 3 with a steal and a layup, by the time the horn sounded, the Nubians had earned a trip to the final four with a 45-44 victory. Although he did not put up big numbers, Xavier Holston-Sims played an excellent floor game, as he consistently distributed the rock to open teammates.

Tony Anderson finished with a game-high 17 points for Africentric, while Shawon Wilson added 10. The Eagles were led in scoring by Kahlil Wade and Jordan Cornley, who both finished with 10 points. Jaysean Johnson added 8 points. Although Monre enjoyed superior guard play, the difference in this game was the outstanding play of Tony Anderson. Anderson is clearly getting better, and his skill level continues to increase. I know he tended to play away from the basket and shoot treys in the first half, but when the game was on the line he got busy in the post and he made several real advanced post moves to lead his team to the win. The final four is scheduled for Thursday at Africentric High School.  On another note, congratulations to the Lady Nubians as they defeated Ames Middle School 36-32 to advance to the next round of the tournament. Also, to see the pictures I took at the game, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Championship Matchup Set for Lion Invitational

Despite the freezing rain, I got a chance to check out the semi-final action at the 2011 Lion Invitational Tournament at Gahanna Middle School East. The opening game of the morning pitted #3 seeded Reynoldsburg against #7 seeded Pickerington Lakeview. Pickerington got off to a hot start with a 7-0 run to start the contest. Reynoldsburg finally got on the board at the 2:50 mark on a jumper by Jalen Lewis. Although Reynoldsburg’s Jalen Lewis scored with time running out, Lakeview finished the quarter with a 10-4 lead. Reynoldsburg opened the second quarter with two consecutive buckets to cut the lead to 1 point (13-14) to end the 2nd.

Pickerington scored first to open the half, but Reynoldsburg answered with a bucket. Reynoldsburg took their first lead with 20 ticks left on the clock (23-22) on a trey by Lloyd Chatman. Tied at 27 in the 4th period, Reynoldsburg turned up the heat, causing five turnovers. Ultimately, missed free throws, turnovers by Lakeview proved to be their undoing, as Reynoldsburg went on to claim a 38-28 victory to advance to the championship game on Monday. I was most impressed with Reynoldsburg’s backcourt duo of Jalen Lewis and Lloyd Chatman, who combined for 30 of their team’s 38 points. Also playing well for Reynoldsburg was Chris Trent, while Rael Windley stood out for Lakeview. The leading scorers for Pickerington were Bryce Montes (8) and Dajon Moore (7).

The second semi-final game was a lot less competitive, as Upper Arlington Jones totally out executed Olentangy Liberty to claim 28-48 win. Jones opened to game with a trey and went on to an 8-0 run. By half time, the lead had grown to 12 points (22-10). Jones opened the 4th quarter with a 36-16 lead, and by then, the game was all but over. The only real bright spot for Liberty was the play of Brad Smith, a crafty guard who made a handful of nice plays to leading his team in scoring with 10 points. We have seen Smith before, as he was the MVP in an earlier Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase. I was really impressed with the play of Gabe Adkins, long wing and good looking athlete. Adkins scored a game-high 11 points. In addition to Adkins, UA got good interior post play from Wynn Brown. The championship game on Monday should be competitive, and will feature contrasting styles. While Reynoldsburg is quicker and more athlete, Jones’ superior hald court execution could be a big problem. To see the pictures I took at the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Burke Gets 1000th

On a night where the Northland basket program celebrated the retiring of Jared Sullinger's jersey, Michigan-bound Trey Burked scored the 1000th point of his career to add to the special occasion. Burke scored a team-high 16 points as the undefeated Vikings got the win over rival Brookhaven. Congratulations to Burkes and his family!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Central Ohio Middle School Tourneys Tip Off

This past weekend, many of central Ohio’s middle school tournaments tipped off. Last night I stopped by Kilbourne Middle School’s 2011 Cougar Classic to check out some of the top 7th grade teams in the area. Much to my surprise, the tournament actually opened on Saturday. Last night’s action included first round losers fighting to run the table in the consolation bracket. I caught a real barn burner between Westerville Blendon and Olentangy Hyatt. This game required two overtime periods before a winner could be determined. Although Blendon had a chance to win it in regulation, as Chido Dietz stepped to the line with the game tied at 20 and no time left in regulation, both shots rimmed out to send the contest into overtime. At the end of the second overtime, with a score of 32-29, Blendon's Jalani Rogers got off a trey to knot the game, but he failed to convert. Olentangy got the win to advance in the 5th place consolation bracket. Rogers was the game's leading scorer with 17 points in the loss.

The top team in the tournament, 12-1 New Albany, got by a 0-13 Kilborne to advance to the second round. The other teams to advance on Saturday were New Albany, McCord, Gahanna MS West, Reynoldsburg, Pickerington Ridgeview, Westerville Genoa, Olentangy Liberty and Gananna MS South. The full field of teams included: Gahanna MS South (11-1), Pickerington Ridgeview (11-1), Reynoldsburg Waggoner (10-2), Gahanna MS West (8-4), Westerville Genoa (8-5), Olentangy Liberty (7-5), Marysville Bunsold (6-5), Worthington McCord (7-5), Worthingway (7-6), Olentangy Hyatt (6-6), Westerville Walnut Springs (5-7), Westerville Blendon (3-10), and Worthington Kilburne (0-13). The tournament was scheduled to resume on Tuesday but the weather postponed the action. Buckeye Prep will attempt to cover the remainder of the tournament and provide the final results. To see the pictures I took at the event, visit the Buckeye Prep Facebook Fan Page.

Sullivan Reaches Milestone

During tonight’s game against Bishop Watterson, Upper Arlington’s Brian Sullivan scored the 1000th point of his high school career. The Miami (Oh) bound Sullivan scored 24 points to lead UA to an 8 point victory. Congratulations to Sullivan and his family for this most special accomplishment.