Tuesday, January 26, 2016

JBA Power League Loaded with Talent

On Saturday, we had an opportunity to take in the action at the JBA Power League in Detroit, MI, and as we expected, there were a number of quality teams and players.   Eighty teams are participating in the first year, 10-week league, which will culminate in playoffs and a championship the weekend of March 26th.  On the slate were several key match-ups featuring some of the top middle school travel teams in Michigan and Ohio.

One such match-up pitted possibly the top two 6th grade teams in Ohio, in All-Ohio Red versus the Toledo Wildcats. As you know, we’ve been following the Wildcats the last few weeks and were excited to finally see them in action.  Unfortunately, the Wildcats were without star player Emoni Bates, who was sidelined with a wrist injury.  Also, John Mobley’s All-Ohio Red squad was without the services of key players including Paul McMillian IV and Sean Jones (yes he is retuning to the team), arguably 2 of the top 3 players in Ohio. 

Even with the absence of a lot of star power, the game was still intriguing. The game was close well into the 1st half (18-18 with 1:58 left in the 1st half); however, the Wildcats would lead 25-19 by the half, then go on to extend the lead midway through the second period. Toledo would eventually get the 50-36 win.  Key to Toledo’s victory were the standout performance logged in by Nate Houston (5’9’/WF/2022/Toledo), Jordan Kynard (5’0”/SG/2022/Toledo) and Demarko Craig (5’9”/WF/2022/Toledo).  Also impressive was All-Ohio’s dynamic backcourt featuring Khalil Luster (4’5”/PG/2022/Lima) and Derrick James (4’8”/PG/2022/Columbus).  

On the day, the 6th grade Toledo Wildcats finished 2-0, with wins over the 7th grade Flint Comrades (37-24) and All-Ohio Red. With the win, when we release our preseason power rankings in a few weeks the Wildcats could get the nod as the #1 team in the state in the class of 2022.  For the record, the 5th grade Wildcats went 1-1, with their lone 31-23 victory over Them Boys and a loss to All-Ohio Red.

Rodgers, Houston, Menifield, Millender, Smith, Armstrong, Eaton,Luster & Kynard
Later in the day, Mobley’s All-Ohio team would hook up with a very talented Oakland Elite team. Initially, the game was nip and tuck, including multiple ties and lead changes.  However, by about the 9:20 mark, Oakland had carved out a 13-8 lead.  A few minutes later, Oakland had inflated the lead to 17-9, and by the break, the lead 15-26.  An All-Ohio run to start the second half trimmed the lead to only 4 points (27-31); however, Oakland responded with a mini run that ran their lead back to 10 points.  From there, Oakland simply out executed All-Ohio and went on to claim a 30-45 victory.  We were super impressed with the play of Ty Rodgers (5’11”/W/PF/2022/MI) who we featured on this website yesterday.  We also really liked Kylen Millender (5’3”/PG/2022/Detroit), Julian Scott (5’2”/SG/2022/Rochester) and Darious Richman (5’3”/SG/2022/MI).

All-Ohio’s 3rd game of the day was a good one, as they came face to face with The Family, one of Michigan’s most storied programs.  All-Ohio raced out to a 14-8 lead before The Family responded, cutting the lead to 11-15 at the 1:30 mark.  Early in the 2nd half All-Ohio was clinging to a 25-26 lead with 13:27 left in the game.  However, by the 4:44 mark, The Family had taken their first lead at 36-35.  Down the stretch, both teams took turns knocking down big shots. The outcome of the game would remain in doubt until the final seconds of the game.  In fact, down 41-40 with only 40 tics left on the clock, The Family would attempt to run some clock, forcing All-Ohio to foul.  After converting 2 free throws late, The Family would take a 41-44 lead with 3 seconds remaining.  An All-Ohio full-court heave missed the mark, giving The Family the early season win.  Standouts for The Family were Jamarion Wilson (4’11”/P/SG/2022/Pontiac) and Joshua Roper (4’6”/WF/2022/MI).

Frazier, Mobley, Tolbert, Bowens, Craig, Combs, Walker, Shields & Emercian
 Drew Lavender’s 2023 All-Ohio Red team had a big day on Saturday and headed back to Columbus with a 3-0 record with wins over the Toledo Wildcats (plus 13 points), The Family (30-34), and the FA Heat (40-23).  The win over the Wildcats will have implications to our preseason Power Rankings when we release them in a couple of weeks.

Finally, we have to give a shootout to Coach Jason and his 2025 FA Heat.  This very talented squad has several studs that are nationally ranked, and the team is playing up and getting wins over older teams.  All in all, it was a great day of competitive basketball.  Congratulations to Romulo Roldan and Eric Watson for putting on such a competitive and well-run event.  Finally, below is a complete list of the standout performers we saw on Saturday.

 Standout Performers:

Taevion Rushing (5’8”/SG/WF/2020/Flint)
Keyon Menifield (5’2”/PG/2021/Flint)
Trevor Smith (5’9”/PG/2021/Rochester)
Keyshawn Devlin (5’6”/SG/2021/Allen Park)
Ethan Emercian (5’5”/PG/2021/MI)
Terrian Armstrong (5’10”/PF/2021/Flint)
Brice Shields (PG/2021/Detroit)
Rylan Bowens (5’10”/C/2022/West Bloomfield)
Julian Scott (5’2”/SG/2022/Rochester)
Dariuos Richman (5’3”/SG/2022/MI)
Jordan Kynard (5’0”/SG/2022/Toledo)
Demarko Craig (5’9”/WF/2022/Toledo)
Dale Calloway (6’1”/C/2022/Flint)
Ty Rodgers (5’11”/W/PF/2022/Saginaw)
Kylen Millender (5’3”/PG/2022/Detroit)
Khalil Luster (5’3”/PG/2022/Lima)
Derrick James (5’3”/PG/2022/Columbus)
Nate Houston III (5’9”/PG/2022/Toledo)
Joshua Roper (4’6”/WF/2022/Centerline)
Jamarion Wilson (4’11”/P/SG/2022/Pontiac)
Marquez Frazier (4’4”/PG/2023/Toledo)
Brice Eaton (4’11”/PG/2023/Detroit)
Jordan Combs (5’2”/W/PF/2023/Toledo)
Tony Tolbert (4’8”/PG/2023/Detroit)
Case Walker (5’8”/C/2023/Columbus)
Ryan Nutter (5’1/WF/Dublin)
Bede Lorio (SG/2023/Caldwell)
John Mobley Jr. (4’9”/PG/2024/Columbus)
Daveon Hall (SG/WF/2025/Pontiac)
Joseph Boddie (PG/2024/Gahanna)
Corey Pittman Jr. (WF/2025/Pontiac)
Robert Smith (P/SG/2025/Detroit)
Warren Henson (PG/2024/Finton)
Jason Harris (2025)
John McKenny (2025)

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