I began my day early on Saturday in Cincinnati at the D-I AAU State Tournament. Right out of the box I walked in on the All-Ohio versus OBC 7th grade game in progress, and All-Ohio was already up 24-7. OBC would add 2 points to their total before the end of the first half. I wish I could say the game got more competitive from there, but that was not the case as All-Ohio was up 43-18 at the end of the 3rd, and eventually won it 59-27. Reynoldsburg’s Jamil Goliday (5’11 WF) was big for All-Ohio, finishing with a game-high 19 points. Later in the day All-Ohio matched up with the Cincinnati Vikings, and Toledo’s Houston King went on a personal 7-0 run to start the game. Although King was the early catalyst, All-Ohio as a team held the Viking scoreless in the 1st quarter (25-0). The score was not much better by half time, as All-Ohio was still comfortably ahead 40-18. The margin was a little closer by the end of the 3rd quarter (56-37), and the Vikings actually almost made a game of it late, but All-Ohio would go on to win 64-55. Pickerington’s DeShaun Daniels played well and led all scorers with 19 points.
The best game of the day featured a match-up between the Cincinnati-based Shining Stars and Central Ohio’s Team Excel. This game was even more intriguing because Isaiah Spellman and Jack Cravaack, 2 of the state’s elite bigs had a chance to go head-to head for the first time. After the tip, Cravaack wasted no time going to work with a layup over Spellman to put the Stars up 2-0. After Isaiah Payton drained a trey, the Stars were up 5-0 and rolling. A Braden Norris 3-ball got Excel on the board and cut the lead to 3-5. Excel would grab a 9-7 lead at the 2:50 mark and extend the lead to 16-11 to close the 1st period. The Stars scored first to start the second (16-13) and would cut the lead to only 2 points midway through the second quarter. In response, Excel mounted a 6-0 run to extend the lead to 21-15. Every time the Stars tried to surge, Excel would answer with a bucket to quiet the momentum. The score would remain within a couple of points late in the second quarter until a Javon Hick’s heave at the buzzer knotted the game at 32 to close the half. Hicks (5’10 WF White Oaks) had a big half for the Stars with 9 points. Payton matched him with 9 points and Dane Goodwin had 10 at half for Excel.
Excel started quickly to start the second half with a Spellman layup, but Payton responded with a layup of his own to tie the game at 34. The score seesawed for most of the 3rd, but the Stars seemed to play with the lead most of the period. By the end of the third quarter, the Stars were up 50-43. Dane Goodwin’s drive and lay-up started the final period and cut the lead to 45-50. About midway through the 4th quarter this game really got good as both teams hit big shots. Excel rode a big time performance from Matt Allacco to get back into this game and eventually escape with a 65-59 win. Goodwin was the high man with 16 points and Spellman was respectable with 15, but Allacco’s buckets were the biggest in this game. Payton was the game’s leading scorer with 23 points, while Cravaack finished with 10. It’s important to note that Speelman outscored Cravaack 16-10 despite the fact he fouled out of the game in the 4th quarter. With that said, Cravaack contributed to that situation based on his activity in the paint and Speelman’s attempts to deny him the ball. To see the last 5 minutes of the game click on the highlighted link.
Team Excel laced em up again later in the day as they took on Ohio Unity. After watching Excel battle with the Shining Stars earlier, I didn't give Unity much chance at this one. I was right! Excel jumped all over them and never allowed this to become a game. It was 19-11 at the end of the 1st quarter, but the lead ballooned to 31-16 at the half, and the final score ended up +30 (71-41). Speelman was a grown man in the game and did just about anything he wanted to as evidenced by his 28 point outburst.
Although there were a couple of good games in Cincinnati on Saturday, there were also a number of dogs! The 7th grade Ohio Hoopsters blew out the Cincy Shock 53-31, and All-Ohio (7th) beat down Team Toledo 64-41. This one was real ugly early as the score was a lopsided 20-2 by the end of the first quarter. It was not much better the second quarter and into the third; however, Ryan Glaze’s crew did not lie down, and actually put up a fight to almost make the game respectable late before running out of time.
|Perkins, Wiley & Madison|
I did get a second competitive game later on Saturday as Chuck Painter’s Dayton Metro squad faced off with Lamonte Tillman’s Ohio Hoopsters. Dayton Metro may have scored first, but the Hoopsters quickly erased that lead and were out in front 18-10 by the end of the 1st quarter. Just when the Hoopsters started applying pressure and Ty Wiley, Jabari Perkins and David Madison were all rolling and feeling good, Metro started quietly chipping away at the lead. Dayton’s DeShaun Parker hit a couple of big buckets and before your knew it, Metro had tied the game at 21with 4:40 left in the first half. A Ty Wiley layup put the Hoopsters up 23-21, but Metro retook a 26-24 lead with 2:30 left. Before halftime Metro was up 30-29. Parker and Wiley led Metro and the Hoopsters, respectively with 8 points each. Both teams were sloppy to start the second half, but Metro drew first blood at the free throw line. The game remained close throughout the 3rd period with the Hoopsters up 40-38 to start the 4th. The final period belonged to the Hoopsters as their depth and superior talent eventually wore Metro down, resulting in an easy 61-48 victory. Ty Wiley led all scorers with 19 points, while Parker had 13 and Madison finished with 9 points. John Allessando led Metro with 12 points and Parker added 10.
Dayton Metro met the Shining Stars in the afternoon and although this game has some early promise in terms of being competitive, a 16-2 run by the Stars ran the lead to 31-12 with 6:16 left in the half. The score was 37-23 at the brake, but I had very little interest after that, as the hand writing was pretty much already on the wall. Stars win.
|Large, Holden & Wilson|
I concentrated on the 7th grade division, but I noticed that Eddie Norrils’ 5th grade Team Toledo squad notched an easy 42-19 win over the Ohio Bull Dogs. Zeb Jackson controlled the game from the PG spot and finished with a game-high 11 points. DeMarco Bradley’s All-Ohio Red team is back at it again beating down defenseless teams. Tom Sunderman may as well just give him the medals and just save everybody the trouble. Obviously I’m just kidding! I think the Riverside Flyers would like a shot at the title. I saw them totally dismantle the BTC Trojans 74-17. The Flyers enjoyed balanced scoring from Tanner Wilson (5’10 C Ironton), Charlie Large (5’10 C Coal Grove) and Tanner Holden (5’10 WF/PF Wheelsburg), who scored 19, 18 and 14 points, respectively. This Flyers team is a good looking squad and should move up in our rankings soon. I hope we get a chance to see them in Columbus in the near future. If I was a betting man, they will probably hook up with All-Ohio in the championship game on Sunday.
Although I did not get a chance to see the game, everybody was talking about the big Friday night upset of the #1 ranked Queen City Prophets at the hands of the Ohio Hoopsters. Also, The Shining Stars was hit by the upset bug as well, as Ohio Unity clipped them early on Saturday morning in overtime.