|Devin Scott-Cincinnati Commit|
As players wind down their involvement with their high school programs and the second half of the AAU season gets under way, the first weekend of July is a time for tune up type tournaments to get teams ready for the final grind of the summer. One such event is the first year Pre-National Championships, a collaboration between All-Ohio and the newly formed Ohio Hoopsters organization. Although small in numbers, the 31-team tournament has some really talented teams at the top. The 2-day tournament has 6 divisions from 2nd/3rd grade all the way up to 11th grade. The following are the results of some of the games I watched on day one.
The U-17 All-Ohio Red tipped off the tournament with a match up with Hidden Gems. Playing with only 5 players, one of which was Jordan Lauf from the U-16 team, red would finish with a convincing 75-50 win. Newly acquired Devon Scott is already making a positive impact on the team since his arrival at the AAU state tournament, and his solid play on day one here is evidence of that. Both Scott and Jalen Robinson were the leading scorers for Red.
Day one saw its first upset in the U-17 division, as the local Columbus Hawks pulled off a shocker against the Ohio Hoopsters. Although the Hoopsters have crept up on unsuspecting teams all summer long, this time the tables were turned, as the Hawks simply played better ball on their way to a surprising 52-41 victory. I don’t think anyone would argue that the Hoopsters are a much more talented team, but that fact does not always guarantee victory. Kalid King had a big game and led the Hawks in scoring with 16 points, and Grant Harris was right behind him with 11. Andre Yates led the Hoopsters with 15 points.
Game 2 of the day pitted All-Ohio Red's 11th grade squad against No Limit. Although the game was close for most of the contest, and was actually tied 30-30 at the half, Red’s significant size advantage was simply too much for a scrappy No Limit squad in the second half. All-Ohio would eventually assert itself with about 17 minutes left in the game and go on to claim a 82-61 blowout win. All-Ohio enjoyed balanced scoring, as five players scored in double figures. Dayton commit Jalen Robinson was the high man with a game-high 19 points, followed by Terry Rozier (14) and Jordan Lauf (14), Jordan Potts (11), Teddy Hawkins (10), Elijah Macon (8) and Devon Scott (5). Tyler Miller paced No Limit with 14 points, followed by Lance Carter (13) and Tutu Brown (12).
Orlando Berry’s All-Ohio Purple squad was barely challenged by Hidden Gems, as they cruised to an easy 87-52 win in their opening game. Jalean Lowe was smoking hot from beyond the arc, as he buried 6 treys and finished with a team-high 18 points. Josh Lemons finished with 14 while Willie Moore added 12 and Orlando Berry Jr. contributed 10 points.
All-Ohio Red’s U-15 team got by the Ohio Hoopsters 64-50. Red was led in scoring by Pickerington Central’s Jae’sean Tate who dropped an impressive 26 points in the win. Delaware Hayes’ Mike Wells was the high man for the Hoopsters with 17 points, followed by Nick Deitsch’s (Olntangy Orange) 10 points.
All-Ohio’s U-14 team pulled out a close 37-34 win against the CYEC Monarchs. Dublin’s Gage Hisey led all scorers for All-Ohio with 12 points, while Springfield’s Demarko Cannon supported with 10. The Monarchs had a couple of players who caught my eye, including Josh Chellares, a 6’3 WF headed to Beechcroft, and J’saun Davis, a 6’4 C headed to Brookhaven.
|Marcus Barton-6th Grader|
On my way out of the gym I stopped and caught the first half of a 6th grade game against All-Ohio Purple and Ohio Hoopsters. I’m glad I waited around, as I had a chance watch an excellent display of young talent. All-Ohio Purple’s Marcus Barton put on a show and had the gym buzzing with his long range shooting and advance set of skills. In the first half alone, Barton knocked down five 3-pointers, including a step back trey with time running out in the half. Not only can the kid shoot, he has a nice handle, has great vision, is a willing passer, and he plays great defense. Barton’s game has the maturity often found in older players. I’m going to keep an eye on this kid, because if he keeps developing he could have a real nice future. I also like his teammate, Frank Royals who showed he has some game as well.