Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Puma Pair Lead Undefeated Squad

Matt Allocco & Chris Mayfield
Midway through the middle school basketball season, the 10-0 Hilliard Memorial Jaguars remain undefeated, and are well positioned to cruise to a perfect record by seasons end.  The success of the 8th grade Jaguars can be directly attributed to the outstanding play of Matt Allocco (5’9”/PG/2020) and Chris Mayfield (6’2/WF/2020), a pair of nationally ranked 8th graders.  Other than a close 23-24 win over a Jack Pugh-led Jonathon Alder team last week, the Jaguars have not been challenged to date, winning by 20, 30, and 40 point margins.  Allocco and Mayfield lead their team in scoring, with both averaging anywhere from 17-18 points per game.

Allocco is no stranger to success, as the scrappy and tenacious floor general has led his various travel teams to great success.  This past summer, Allocco and Mayfield were both standouts for the Mid-Ohio Pumas, one of the most successful teams in the country.  Allocco is most well-known for his elite skill set, basketball IQ and ability to lead any team he takes the helm for. In addition, Allocco is a bulldog and the consummate competitor, who often wills his team to victory.  Not only can Allocco create his own shot, he excels and distributing the rock and making his teammates better.

Mayfield has elite athleticism, so when combined with a solid skill set and a natural feel for the game; he’s a problem for your typical middle school player.  What’s most impressive about Mayfield’s game right now is his strength, physicality and his ability to play through contact. Mayfield may be able to score at will, but he is also an able and willing passer.  In fact, Mayfield is an all-around player who impacts the game on several levels.  With Mayfield’s current size, athleticism and developing skill set, he easily projects as a division I athlete going forward.
Jack Pugh
While we are talking about elite middle school players who dominate for both their middle school and travel teams, we would be remised if we did not mention Jack Pugh (6’2/W/PF/2020), one of the top 8th graders in the state and country.  Along with Allocco and Mayfield, Pugh is a consensus top 5 player in his class in Ohio. Around the cup, Pugh is virtually unguardable. Too crafty for most post players, and too strong for most wings; Pugh is a problem in the paint.  The best part of Pugh’s game right now is his ability to absorb contact and still finish at a high level.  With continued development with his perimeter skills, Pugh’s upside is good as well. 

Finally, it must me mentioned that the 2020 Pumas have another stud on that Jonathon Alder team in Jack Santa-Emma (5’6/PG/2020).  This season, Santa Emma is playing solid ball and is a key piece to a very talented Jonathon Alder team.  With a foundation of Allooco, Mayfield, Pugh and Santa-Emma, the Mid-Ohio Pumas should once again prove to be one of the top teams in the nation, with a legitimate chance of getting the nod as the #1 ranked 2020 team in the state when we release our Power Rankings if a few weeks.  In addition, each of the above players is an early favorite to make the Buckeye Prep All-State Team, as well as grab a coveted invitation to the prestigious Ohio North vs South All-Star Game later this year. We hope to catch up with the Jaguars during their run through their post season tournament at the end of the month.


  1. Extremely proud of these 4 young men! They definitely deserve the recognition they are receiving and played a great game against each other last week- one of the best middle school games this year. It has been a joy and honor to coach some of the most coachable kids around. Their leadership and respect for the game have made them not only great players, but great role models to our younger players. Coach Allocco has done a fantastic job with these boys!

    While I know Rob cant cover everyone, I think it should be pointed out that Cam McCreary, also a member of this team is leading an undefeated Colonel Crawford team with teammate Reis Walker who plays on our Puma Silver team. Both young men are outstanding young men. Cam has a skill set unlike many players his age, and is an impressive all around highlight reel type player.

    There are many more names from our Coach Tony Staib led Puma Silver Team(Nate Staib, Logan Justice, Paul Burris and Nate Griggs), Coach Pat Beard's Puma White(Dalton Mischal, Tre Beard, Jayvon Maughmer, Garrison Banks) and Puma Blue(Noah Platfoot, Jake Curl, and 6'6 Max Mollman) 8th Grade squads soon to make names for themselves and their teams this upcoming season and look forward to competing against the best in the area and midwest. Central Ohio is blessed to have great programs(Buckeye Prep, AOR, Hoopsters, Hidden Gems,etc) supporting youth basketball!

    Good luck to all!

    Coach Dave Mirgon