Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Buckeye Prep Invitational-Final Day Report

Queen City Prophets -7th Grtade Champions

 The final day of the 2013 Buckeye Prep Invitational featured many of the tournament’s top seeds and those teams that were favored to win their respective divisions. One of the best championship games of the day featured a rematch between the Queen City Prophets (QCP) and Kevin Jackson’s Murphy AC squad. If you recall, QCP held off a late charging Murphy AC to win the Nike Grassroots tournament 2 weeks ago. Unlike the last time theses 2 teams met, the game was tight from the opening tip. At half time the score was 35-33 in favor of QCP. Murphy AC scored first coming out of the break. The game was all locked up at 42 at the 9:37 mark and about that time, Jerry Higgins had to go to the bench with his 4th foul. With about 4 minutes left in the contest, and without EJ Williams on the floor due to foul trouble, QCP went on a spurt. However, Murphy AC refused to lie down, and tied the game at 66 with 1:40 left. After an EJ Williams layup, free throw and put back by Xavier Peters, QCP would win their 3rd tournament of the young AAU season. EJ Williams had another monster game with a game-high 22 points, followed by Xavier Peters’ 19 and Kane Cooper’s 12 points. Jerry Higgins paced Murphy AC with 20 points, while Coryon Rice added 14 and Yael Hill contributed 12. Kane Cooper was named MVP, and Williams, Peters, Dwayne Cohill Jr. and Coryon Rice all were named to the All-Tournament Teams. Simply a great game that featured many of the state’s top players. Their path to the title included wins over the Cincinnati Vikings and Dayton Metro. At this point in the season, with 3 tournament champions under their belts already, I think it’s safe to say it; the Prophets are the #1 seventh grade team in the state.

Next Level-8th Grade Champions

Another very competitive game involved an 8th grade showdown between Brooks Hall’s Next Level team and John Atkins’ M.A.T.T.S. Mustangs. This game was played at a very high level with several players who will likely be playing college ball in a few years. The game was nip and tuck until late in the second half when Next Level’s size started to cause major problems for the Mustangs. With a front court of L’Christian Smith, Ethan Bradds and Ryan Proffit, Next Level simply has too much beef in the paint for most teams. Next Level would defend their 2012 Buckeye Prep Invitational title with a 62-55 victory. L’Christian Smith continued to dominate with a game-high 22 points, followed by 16 from Ethan Bradds. Tim Dalton led the Mustangs with 18 points, followed by Trenton Russell with 13, 11 from Kurlan Brown and Colin Miller with 9 points. Danny Davis received MVP honors, while L’Christian Smith, Ethan Bradds, Trenton Russell and Collin Miller were all selected to the All-Tournament Team. On their trek to the championship game, Next Level defeated Hidden Gems and Saginaw Elite (MI).

Team Teague-6th Grade Champions

In the 6th grade championship game the Indianapolis-based Team Teague faced off with the Cleveland area based SMAC. The contest was all about runs and multiple ties and lead changes. Team Teague raced out to a 7-0 lead, but SMAC answered with a 7-0 run of their own to tie the game at 7 apiece. Just when you thought Team Teague was going to run away the game, SMAC responded with another run to close the gap. By halftime, the score was 30-29 in favor of Teague. Team Teague scored first to start the second period, but SMAC answered right back to tie the game at 33. About midway through the second half Team Teague’s superior talent and depth took control of the game. At one point, Team Teague started putting on a show on their way to a 61-49 win and the 6th grade title. Team Teague enjoyed balanced scoring as 4 players finished with double digit scoring, including: J. Franklin (12), Willie Jackson (11), A. Franklin (11) and Chris Robinson (10). SMAC was led by Kyi Wright who finished with 13 points, followed by Mike Bekelja with 12 and Trevor Soltis with 10 points. Team Teague’s Dan McKeeman took home the MVP award, and Willie Jackson, Chris Robinson, Mike Bekelja and Kyi Wright all got the All-Tournament Team nod. Team Teague beat Truth Basketball and Dayton Elite prior to the final game. I have to give a special shout out to Kyi Wright who played fantastic the 2 games I watched him play. Wright is a big body with great footwork and the ability to finish at a hate rate at a very young age. He’s a Pittsburg, PA. kid, but I plan to track his progress.

Mid Ohio Pumas-5th Grade Champions

The Mid-Ohio Pumas squared off against the Ohio Basketball Club in the 5th grade championship game. The Pumas got out of the gates quickly with a 9-4 lead, but OBC responded with a mini run to close the gap. But with 4:11 left in the period, the Pumas extended the lead 16-7. The second half was a different story, as the Pumas would seize control of the game. As a team, the Pumas play excellent defense and they do a great job of closing off driving lanes. On the strength of their defense, the Pumas claimed the championship 40-29. Jack Pugh was the high man for the Pumas with 17 points, and Cade McGlade and Daylon Keeton both finished with 8 points. Jack Santa-Emma was named MVP, and Jack Pugh, Jake Curl, CV Charleston and Kenneth McElrath were selected to the All-Tournament Team.

Team Teague JTO All-Stars-4th Grade Champions

I did not get the chance to sit down and watch the game, but Team Teague’s 4th grade squad got it done with a 46-38 win. The game was close early, but Kim Felder’s team is good, which is what it would take to beat a quality team like the Pumas. Team Teague JTO All-Stars got an explosive performance out of Caleb Furst who dropped a gaudy 24 points in the win. Right behind him in scoring was Luke Goad who added 12 points. Furst was named MVP, while Pierce Thomas, Darion Smith, Luke Goode and Malcolm Chandler all made the All-Tournament Team.

In the high school divisions, All-Ohio Black defeated the Toledo Ruff Riders 55-51 in the 9th grade championship game. Mike Pryce led All-Ohio with a game high 15 points, while D. Duason added 11. Toledo was paced by Keith Smith and his 13 points, with Trey Buford supporting with 9 points. Mike Pryce was the MVP, and the All-Tournament Team included Malik Harrison, Gabe Kinnard, Jalen Foust and Tre' Charles-Martin.

All-Ohio blacked downed the Dayton Net/Buckeye Prep 54-43 to claim the 10th grade title. Grant Zawadzki led all scorers with 14 points. Deshwan Jackson led the Nets with12 points. Xeyrius Williams was named MVP, and Dorrian Dawson, Grant Zawadzki, Deshawn Jackson and Henry Alexander all got the All-Tournament Team call.

Ohio Varsity White got by Elite Skills Select 60-43 to capture the 11th grade crown. Brookhaven’s Ronnie Williams was the big dog for Varsity with a team-high 17 points, while Avery Willaims added 12 and Derek Mekeithen contributed 11 points. K.T. Taylor had a big game with an impressive 26 points outburst. Teddy Metzen took home MVP honors, while Landon Brazile, Avery Williams, Johnell Free and CJ Franklin made the All-Tournament Team.

Look for additional tournament coverage from Kurt Stubbs and JJ Huddle.com, as well as Buckeyeprospects.com. Also, in conjunction with the NYBL finals here in Columbus on May 31-June 2nd, Buckeye Prep will be holding the End of Summer Showdown for the top middle school teams in the region. This tournament will give teams one last opportunity to fine tune their games before the AAU Nationals. Look for additional information to be published as we get closer to the date.

JJ Huddle Article
Complete Tournament Results
Day 3 Photo Gallery


  1. Rob was next level as good as everyone says they are?

  2. Replies
    1. havent seen them with the new additions

  3. Still early. It appears there are 4-5 teams in the 8th grade division heads above the rest Next Level being one of them. Both King James teams and All-Ohio Red in the mix. King James Schmok probably your #1 right now.

  4. Doriane Dawson All Ohio Black How Did He play

  5. Was sup with the Ohio hoopsters 8th grade squad

  6. If you ever get the opportunity watch Dayton Swiss 5th graders. They have a nice squad and will be playing in the Lebron James Tourney in the next couple of weeks.