Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Rebels Capture King James Title

2020 Rebels-King James Champ
This past weekend, Coach Justin Ferguson’s #10 ranked Rebels Basketball squad ran the gauntlet at the King James Shooting Stars Classic and eventually captured the 8th grade Gold Division title.  Over the weekend, the Rebels finished a perfect 6-0, with wins over MVP Dynasty, WV Storm (68-64), Ohio Valley Hidden Gems, VCC Nova, E1T1, and Select (61-51).  It should be noted that E1T1 is the #1 ranked team in the state of Florida!  Standouts for the Rebels included: Devin Hightower, Nick Ferguson, Garvin Clarke, Tahj Staveskie and Akin Holloman.

Coach Sam Anderson’s #8 ranked Dayton Swish made a run to the semi-finals of the 8th grade Gold division of the Kings James tourney this past weekend before being upended by a team from Canada.  During the weekend, the Swish notched wins against Murphy AC (60-61), the Prospectors and teams from Indiana, New York and Toronto.  Standouts for the Swish included: Sammy Anderson and Keonte Hughley.

Coach Ryan Holiday’s #19 ranked SMAC Next Level team was the last team standing at the Midwest Classic in Cleveland.  In the 8th grade title game, SMAC took down SMAC Pettigrew 56-28. Caleb Payne led SMAC in scoring the entire weekend, averaging 15 points per game.

All-Ohio Red 2020-Champions
Marty Finta’s #3 ranked All-Ohio Red 2020 squad added another tournament championship to their resume this past weekend.  Playing with a short roster, All-Ohio ran through the field at an OYB tournament in Pickerington.  In the championship game, All-Ohio ran into a scrappy Buckeye Storm team out of Portsmouth, OH, but was able to hold on to collect the 13-point win and tournament title.  Standouts of All-Ohio included Alex Williams, who powered is way to an 18 point per game average, Idris Lawrence, Gabe Finta and Elijah English.  From what we understand, that Buckeye Storm team is very talented and worthy of a top 20 ranking.  Apparently they lost to the #11 ranked Cincinnati Royals by only 1 point and played All-Ohio very tough.

MVP Dynasty 2023 was rolling through the King Kames Shooting Stars Classic until they ran into Baltimore Thrill in the semi-finals and went down 42-37. Before their exit, the Dayton-based MVP notched wins against NEO Tru Game (51-34), Toledo Wildcats (47-20) and TNBA East (27-24).  The leading scorers for the Dynasty were Dre’sean Roberts, Tyron Barnes and Jamison Rivers.

We have to give a shout out to the 2026 Ohio Rebels for their runner-up finish at the King James Shooting Stars Classic over the weekend.  The Mansfield-based Rebels were knocked out of the tournament by the Maryland-based New World, one of the top 2nd grade teams in the country.  In addition, the Rebels won it all at the Nike Grassroots tournament a few weeks ago. We plan to keep an eye out for these young fellas over the next couple of years.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Pumas Regain #1 Spot With PA Win

Mid-Ohio Pumas Black-Pittsburg Jam Fest Champions
Greg Allocco’s 2020 Mid-Ohio Pumas Black squad debuted as our #1 team in our pre-season Power Rankings several weeks ago; however, a loss in the semi-finals of the Nike Grassroots Tournament knocked them out of the top spot.  Fast forward several weeks and the Pumas have now won 3 straight tournament championships, including the Buckeye Prep Invitational, Kentucky Jam Fest and the Pittsburg Jam Fest this past weekend. 

In Pittsburgh, with the return of the injured Jack Pugh, the Pumas ran their season record to 20-1, after wins over some impressive teams including a Zach Loveday-led West Virginia Wildcats (54-41), NJ Playas (56-33) and CIA Bounce in the championship (51-34).  It’s important to note that the Wildcats and the Playas are loaded with division I level talent.

Although Jack Pugh looked strong after his 4 month long layoff, the Puma’s success can best be attributed to the outstanding play of Matt Allocco and Cameron McCreary who both averaged 18 points per game over the course of the tournament. Also of note was the electric play of Chris Mayfield who excelled in transition and played above the rim the entire weekend. Defensively, Harley Day erased each opponent's big man from the scoring column and led the team in rebounding for the weekend.

With their 3rd championship title, not only do the Pumas return to the top spot in our Power Rankings, they may be the favorite to receive “Team of the Year” when we announce our post season awards in the end of the summer.  Next up for the Pumas will be the ultra competitive George Hill tournament in Indianapolis.  Congrats to the Pumas for their success in PA.

It’s important to note that the Puma’s Blue team, our former #1 team, finished 3-1 in Pittsburgh, which included a loss to the NJ Playas, a team the Pumas Black team defeated. Of note is the Puma’s win over Team Loaded, one of the best teams in the country last season.  As a program, the Mid-Ohio Pumas now occupy the top 2 spots in the 2020 Power Rankings!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Wildcats Win Michigan Tournament

Toledo Wildcats-Oakland Elite Invitational Champions
 Tony Kynard’s #2 ranked Toledo Wildcats captured another crown this past weekend at the Oakland Elite Invitational in Rochester, Michigan. During their 4-0 run over the weekend the Wildcats defeated MBA Fury (68-34), ASAP Blazers (94-19), Toledo Ice (78-19) and Oakland Elite (57-43).  Standout performers for the weekend included Dior Conners, Nate Houston III, Demarko Craig, Genisis Kemp and Emoni Bates who was selected as MVP of the tournament.  The Wildcats have notched several tournament championships this season and have a legitimate chance at be selected as “Team of the Year” when we hand out our post season awards later this year.  Congrats to Coach Kynard, his players and parents for a job well done.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Weekend Recap

All-Ohio Red-Tournament of Champions Champs
The #3 ranked 2020 Mid-Ohio Pumas Black squad notched another tournament victory this past weekend at the Kentucky Jam Fest in Louisville, KY.  In the championship game, the Pumas easily defeated The Ville 50-29.  It's important to note that The Ville is wildly regarded as one of Kentucky’s top 8th grade teams.  In that game, the Pumas’ Matt Allocco exploded for a game-high 27 points.  Over the course of the weekend Chris Mayfield averaged 21 points per game, while big Jason Morton dominated to the paint defensively.  It should be noted that the Pumas won the tournament without their stud Jack Pugh who is expect to return in time for the Pittsburgh Jam Fest, where they face a very competitive field.

Brian Farmer’s #11 ranked All-Ohio Red 2020 collected another championship on Sunday with a 5-0 run and a win at the Tournament of Champions in Cincinnati.  On Sunday, All-Ohio defeated the Knights in the semi-finals and the Kentucky Kings in the championship game.  Standouts included Jared McCorkle, Carter Gray and Luke Erwin.

Coach Justin Ferguson’s 2020 Rebels Basketball team made a nice run to the championship game of the Solon Cage Classic before going down to an unranked but well coached Murphy AC squad 65-63.  The Rebels’ path to the championship included wins over 4th Quarter Basketball (72-46), Hardwork Basketball Black (78-45), A-Game (65-49), Marshall Warriors (76-54), TNBA East (64-46) and Wooster Warriors (60-55). The standouts included John Hugley who had a monster game with 30 points against 4th Quarter Basketball, Tahj Stavesdkie, Nick Ferguson and Dakota Cochran.

Playing in an Ohio Youth Basketball (OYB) event in Marysville this past weekend, Marty Finta’s #3 ranked All-Ohio Red 2020 team ran through the field on their way to the 7th grade championship. The standouts for All-Ohio were Idris Lawrence, Gabe Finta, Alex Williams and Brent Walker. According to Coach Finta, Lawrence slashed his way to the cup the entire weekend, while Gabe Finta knocked down bombs from the perimeter.  Alex Williams enjoyed a balanced attack with both drives to the bucket and jump shots, and despite being doubled and tripled teamed in packed in 2-3 zone the entire weekend, Brent Walker was still able to contribute on the boards and defensively.  For the record, All-Ohio defeated Huntsman Select in the semis and Hidden Gems in the championship game by about 15 points.

All-Ohio Northeast-6th Grade Champs Solon Cage Classic
Danny Young’s #7 ranked All-Ohio Northeast squad claimed the 6th grade title at the Solon Cage Classic near Cleveland on Sunday.  In pool play, All-Ohio took down Hardwork Basketball White (69-19), Caveman (50-40) and Crossover (55-15).  On Sunday, Yong’s team defeated the #5 ranked Ohio Shooting Stars (33-29) in the quarter-finals, followed by Rise Elite (55-15) in the semis and Cavemen (63-42) in the championship game.  In the final game, All-Ohio was led in scoring by Trey Martin with 16 points followed by Danny Young Jr. with 11 points.  For the weekend, Deon Horn took home MVP honors, while Jordan Huff, Young and Martin all collected all-tournament team hardware.

Hardwork Basketball White’s grabbed the 7th grade championship at the Solon Cage Classic with a 49-34 win over the Ohio Hoopsters-Tillman in the championship game.  Standouts for Hardwork included Sonny Johnson Jr., Tyler Jackson, Makail Cottingham and Enavel Lighty, who averaged a double double on his way to receiving MVP honors.  Of note is the fact that a previously unranked Ohio Hoopsters-Tillman beat #5 ranked All-Ohio Northeast 46-44 in the semi-finals.

Hardwork Basketball-7th Grade Champs Solon Cage Classic
EBA Hoops (2022) finished 4-2 at the Solon Cage Classic with wins over TNBA South (62-12), Basketball Stars of America (52-9), Another Level (43-40) and Top Level All-Stars (44-36).  Their 2 losses were from Hardwork Basketball (38-36) and Caveman Evolution (53-41).  The big story is Jalen Wenger who put up big numbers all weekend, including 33 points against TNBA South, 25 points against Caveman Evolution and another 20 points versus Top Level All-Stars.  Chris Smith was the second leading scorer for EBA. The #13 ranked 2023 Ohio Hoopsters pulled a huge upset on Sunday with a 41-31 victory over the #4 ranked MWA Elite in the Solon Cage Classic.  Congrats to all of the players and coaches for a big weekend!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase Rankings Released

Kenny Coleman, Jeremy Baker, Seth Wilson, S.llers Littles & Michael. Greenlee
It’s taken us awhile, but we are finally prepared to release our spring showcase rankings.  In terms of the process, players were ranked based on how their showcase coaches ranked them during team play.  In general, players who received Top 5 honors were ranked in the top 5, while players ranked #1 on their teams made the top 10.  Players ranked 2nd on their team were probably ranked in the top 20 and so on and so forth.  This is certainly not a perfect way of ranking, but it seems more fair and practical based on the nature and structure of our event.  All-in-all, there was a lot of talent at this event, and with 280 players in the gym, to be listed among the top 30 is a heck of an accomplishment. Congratulations to the players who made our rankings, and a challenge to those who did not to keep working hard and your day will come.  See you in September!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Summer Showdown Tournament of Champions

For the first time ever, the Buckeye Prep Summer Showdown Tournament of Champions will bring together the top teams in Ohio (grades 3-8) under one roof at the same time for ultimate bragging rights.  Participation in this “invitation only” event is limited to teams ranked in our Power Rankings, nationally ranked teams and/or tournament champions.  This exclusive event will be held June 17th-19th at Otterbein University in Columbus and will represent one last opportunity for the state and region’s most elite teams to match-up with the best of the best!  Not only are the best teams coming, but also the top players will be in the gym.

The event will give us one last opportunity to evaluate players before we make selections for our post-season awards. As most of you know by now, Buckeye Prep will be selecting  “All-State Teams,” “Player and Coach of the Year,” an “All-Academic Team” “Team of the Year,” and making selections for the prestigious “Ohio North vs South All-Star Game.”  These awards are “resume builders” and will reward players, coaches and teams for sustained excellence over the course of the season. As you might suspect, the exposure generated by this event will be BIG!

We know a lot you have taken a great interest in our Power Rankings and have questioned why your team is not ranked or why certain teams are ranked above you.  Well, here’s your chance to settle it on the court with the other elite teams! It’s in June when there is very little else going on, and for those teams heading to nationals, what better way to get tuned up?  For those teams who are not planning to go to nationals, this is your “nationals!”  For 3rd and 4th grade teams, how you finish in this event will be reflected in our 2017 pre-season rankings. Come get the early jump on other teams!

No excuses, you know where the best teams will be playing, and there is no need to run out of state or 2 tournaments where you know you can win because all of the top teams are in Columbus.  If you’re eligible to participate and you don’t come, it’s pretty clear you’re not interested in playing the best teams in this state!  Can’t wait!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

More Movement in Power Rankings After Weekend Results

Mid-Pumas  Blue-Bearcat 2020 Gold Champions
The 2016 travel basketball season is only a few weeks old so it’s only natural that we continue to see movement in our Power Rankings.  The biggest news this weekend centers on the Mid-Ohio Pumas Blue’s, a virtual “B team” 57-42 upset of the former #1 ranked NEO Shooting Stars in the Boys Gold North Division at the Bearcat Classic in Cincinnati.  Some suggested that after their win at the Buckeye Prep Invitational last week that the Chris Mayfield-led Pumas Black team should regain their spot atop the 2020 power rankings, but with this weekend’s upset, that spot now goes to the Puma’s Blue team for the time being. Jack Sawyer and AJ Mirgon led the team with double digit scoring. Of note is the defensive effort by Jake Curl who was tasked with stopping Darion Henry, and Noah Platfoot who was almost unguardable the entire tourney. In Sunday bracket play, the Pumas beat All-Ohio Black 49-48 before upsetting NEO Shooting Stars.  The Pumas finished 5-0 on the weekend and still have only 1 loss on their record since the beginning of the season.

In the South Division of the same tournament, an unranked Ohio Ballstars knocked off some heavyweights in nationally ranked George Hill and #3 ranked SMAC Primetime.  Max Land and Blake Lloyd led the way for the Ballstars.  We’re very familiar with Land’s talent, as he played his way to the all-star game and then grabbed top 5 honors at the Buckeye Prep Elite Showcase in March.  Although they were not previously represented in our Power Rankings, I think we can find a spot for them.  In the same Silver Division of the same tournament, #8 ranked Dayton Swish defeated Honorable Mention MVP Dynasty 70-67.  In the semi-finals, Dayton Swish got by Mid-Ohio Pumas Silver (HM) 67-34.

Ohio Ballstars-Beacat Classic Champs (8th Grade)
Brian Farmer’s All-Ohio Red 2020 made a run to the semi-finals of the Nike Cup before being upended in the championship game by George Hill. Carter Gray, Luke Erwin and Jared McCorkle were all standouts.  For the record, there are 2 All-Red teams in the 8th class, but Farmer’s team has established themselves as the top team so far this season.

In the 7th grade Gold Division of the Bearcat Classic, Orlando Berry’s #1 ranked All-Ohio Purple downed SMAC Attack 63-40 in the championship game.  Purple’s trek to the title included wins over the #9 ranked Cincinnati Royals Blue (61-56) and the Mid-Ohio Pumas Black (68-47).  In the Silver Division, the Dayton Wolves (HM) lost to the George Hill All-Stars in the championship game.

All-Ohio Red 2021 notched another tournament championship at the All-Ohio Nike Cup this weekend, but it wasn’t easy.  Apparently, there is another elite 2021 team in northeast Ohio that has been flying under the radar.  All-Ohio Northeast has a roster that includes a couple of top 5 players in Noah Peoples and Jaden Hameed.  We’re still trying to contact the coaching staff to secure more details, but All-Ohio Northeast took All-Red right down to the wire before going down 55-50 on overtime.  Based on their semi-final run and a roster of studs, All-Ohio Northeast will break into out top 10 this week.  Brent Walker was selected as MVP while Isaiah May, Quincy Clarke and Wil Sizer all made the All-Tournament Team for Red.

The 6th grade division of the bearcat Classic saw SMAC Premier take down the Mid-Ohio Pumas 46-28 to capture the crown.  On Sunday, SMAC defeated #6 Future Warriors (53-34) and #4 All-Ohio Blue Prep (55-45).  In the Silver Division, OBC lost to Tri-State Assault Red 59-40.  In the semis, OBC defeated ProCamps 41-30.  MVP Dynasty beat the Cincinnati Royals Blue 52-47 before loosing to Tri-State Assault in the semi-finals.  The #2 ranked Cincinnati Royals took down the George Hill All-Stars 46-39 to claim the 5th grade championship.

Another competitive tournament this weekend included the All-Ohio Nike Cup here in Columbus.  In the 6th grade division, Danny Young’s #9 ranked All-Ohio Northeast squad took home the title. All-Ohio defeated Central Ohio COBA 53-59 in the championship game. Preston Taylor and Deon Horn paced the team with 15 and 10 points, respectively. In the semi-finals, All-Ohio Northeast got by All-Ohio Black 45-29. Danny Young Jr. led all scorers with 15 points, followed by Tre Martin with 9 points.

EBA Hoops-Ashland Tip Off Tourney Champs
The 2022 EBA Hoops brought home the gold at the Ashland Tip Off Tournament in Ashland, Oh over the weekend. Jalen Wenger continued to light up the scoreboard with a 37-point explosion in the championship game.  Chris Smith is the other stud on that team. In that same tournament, SMAC Next Level won the 8th grade division.  Brycen Holiday and Brennan Rains were catalysts in the win.

Bryon Ortrix’s Ginn Elite took home the 7th grade title at the Battle of the Boards tournament in Cleveland on Sunday. Ginn Elite had to get by Hardwork Basketball in the semi-finals (82-80). Bryon Ottix Jr. had a big weekend averaging 23 points per game including a high of 26 points.

There you have it. We do our best to follow our ranked teams so we can accurately update our rankings; however, we need help from coaches and parents to get us credible and timely information. A review of our up dated ranking will reflect that we are now ranking teams down to 17, having done away with Honorable Mentions.  As a reminder, we will be selecting players for the prestigious All-State Teams as well as selecting players to participate in the Ohio North vs South All-Stars games in September.  Player and team information helps us with the important decisions.