Friday, December 12, 2014

Mid-Ohio Pumas Load up for 2015

Mid Ohio Pumas (not all players pictured)
When the Mid-Ohio Pumas take the court early next year they will do so with an upgraded roster.  Already one of the top 2020 teams in the country last season, the Columbus, Ohio based squad will be loaded with talent. Coach Dave Mirgon’s team is not flashy and may not scare anybody getting off the bus; however, his team is well coached, fundamentally sound, plays hard and is difficult to beat. “We play team basketball. We are balanced in scoring and work very hard to out execute our opponents,” Mirgon said. “We have several coaches sons who grew up in the gym and know how to play the game.  We have high IQ guys,” continued Mirgon.

Last season the Pumas accumulated an impressive 72-5 record. Those 5 losses came to elite teams like George Hill, We All Can Go (WACG) and Team Teague.  The Puma’s list of tournament championships is extensive, including the following titles Ohio AAU State Qualifier; Ft Wayne Tip Off Classic; Dayton Metro; Ft. Wayne MLK Classic; Midwest Classic; New Albany Classic; Hilliard Classic; OYB Championship; and Tri Village Classic.  In addition to their titles, the Pumas just missed on a couple of other tournaments, including runner-up finishes at the Bearcat Classic and  WACG tournament in Nashville and a 3rd place finish at the Buckeye Prep Invitational.

The Pumas return with a team that has played together for 5 years. Returning for the Pumas are: Jack Pugh (6’1/WF/Plain City); Matt Allocco (5’4/PG/Hilliard); Jack Santa Emma (5’4/PG/Plan City); Cameron McReary (5’11/WF/Bucyrus); Chris Mayfield (6’0/PF/Delaware); Noah Platfoot (5’6/SG/Hilliard); and AJ Mirgon (5’4/SG/Hilliard/2021). Although the Puma name brand may not be a household name, 3 players on the roster are already ranked nationally (Pugh, Allocco & Mott). Although not all are nationally recognized at this point, many are still ranked among the elite in Ohio (Ohio 2020 Rankings). For the 2015 season, the Pumas have added size to their frontcourt with the addition of Jason Morton (6’7/C/Cincinnati) and Chance Mott (6’4/PF/Mansfield).  Mott was a standout for the Mansfiels Cavs in the NYBL last year, while Morton ran with the George Hill Rising Stars.

Jack Pugh, Matt Allocco & Chance Mott
Along with adding one of the best floor generals in the country in Matt Allocco, the Pumas also add his father as to the bench.  This is relevant because Greg Allocco is a well respected high school coach in the area.  Also in the program is coach Tony Staib, the head coach at Gahanna Lincoln High School, another storied program. The fact that the Pumas enjoy high level coaching could make them a very tough out this coming season. In the NYBL, the Pumas will most resemble San Diego Select in terms of how they play and approach the game. In addition, Mirgon compares his team to one of top teams in the NBA. “We are the youth version of the Spurs,” offered Mirgon.

When the (NYBL) tips off in March, the Pumas will likely establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Migron is confident his team can compete against the nation’s best. “I know we can play with the best teams. Adding [Matt] Allocco and [Chance] Mott…I feel pretty good,” Mirgon said. “I expect the 7th grade team to be a top 5 team in the NYBL,” continued Mirgon. “We are never going to walk on the court with the top teams in the country and win the athlete match-up, but don’t get me wrong, we can get up and down the court and we have athletes, and we still pride ourselves on execution, Mirgon said.  Not only will the 2020 Pumas be battling against the best when the NYBL tips off early next season, but their 2021 team is also shaping up nicely and is ready to compete nationally.   Some of the standout on that team includes: Jack Sawyer; Casey George; AJ Mirgon; Kobe Buford; Garner Wallace; and Lorenzo Styles.  Look of the Mid Ohio puma organization to make some noise nationally in 2015!


  1. I sure hope this is a rumor and Chance shows he has character and shows his loyalty. The cavs has always been his team and he has already gained national buzz playing with the cavs what more can you ask for? That would be less impressive to join a team with the load carried by Jack. Chance is becoming a good player and is developing great leadership skills with the cavs. Chance has always been one of my favorites in the 2020 class , but will have to re evaluate him based on this character test. This is only Jr High and he has been developing well to this point come high school is when he should be more concerned with the platform right now continue to expand ur game and leadership qualities. All he needs to do is keep playing not chase programs or championships

  2. The Pumas lost twice to OBC Adidas Elite(Dayton Swish) coached by Sam Anderson, out of Dayton. The tournaments were Buckeye Prep and Gym Rats Nationals.

  3. I guess the Pumas are not going to go by the age base rule, since Jack is older.

  4. Gives him even more reason to stay with Mansfield cavs because the cavs beat obc Dayton swish last season cavs only lost to the national champ Oakland soldiers by 5 last yr in the nybl. Cavs were competitive and mainly because of Chance. Chance and the Mansfield cavs Jack and Ohio pumas. Pumas is Jacks team. As long as the Mansfield cavs continue to compete on a high level put the team on your back and continue to make a name for yourself with integrity

  5. Lol!! Mansfield Cavs develop players... laughable! Mans Cavs is all about the $$$. The Chance kid would be much better off with the Pumas. He would actually score more & learn some b-ball skills as his height will only take him so far going forward. Plus w/ this 6'7 kid he could play on the perimeter more & not have to be the main rebounder as they have the Pugh kid too. The Pumas are loaded.. the Allacco kid will be a great addition and they have 2 other players who are top 10 in Ohio as well the Mayfield kid (who can jump out the gym & is incredible quick w/ great hands) and the lanky red head kid McLeary (who is tough to defend at the #2 guard with his length) are both freak athletes and are two of the most currently under-rated kids in Ohio. So..... Chance would be much better off with the Pumas especially if you are talking future development. The Pumas are all about being a team vs a bunch of individuals coached by coaches are all bout the $$$$.

  6. The coach does a lot for the kids and Chance played with the cavs last season and has gained national attention without any involvement from the pumas. I'm just saying give the cavs some credit they were the only 2020 team from ohio in the nybl and only lost to the national champs by 5 so while you guys were back in Ohio the cavs coaches had them on the top platform competing at a high level.

  7. What a joke! Another dad tryin to make sure his son plays in HS. They do play good basketballs, but the last time I saw the Pumas play it was the younger team that caught my eye. Talk about intensity...those two coaches bring the heat. And the boys seem to respond well to them. Word is most of that team goes to the same school out in Pickerington. WOW!