|Rittinger, Wilson, Braun, Braham, Smith, Walker, Williams, Schmidt & Johnson|
We spent some time at Jerry Watson’s Grassroots tourney on Saturday and had the opportunity to see a couple of real good 8th grade teams and a few very talented players. The best team we saw all day was Coach Danielle Love’s Tru Gam Squad. In fact, the game we watched was a blowout victory over the Motor City Bad Boys out of Michigan. Simply put, Tru Game was too big, too athletic and too aggressive for the over matched Bad Boys. After Tru Game slipped into their half court trap things started to get out of hand. Standouts for tru Game were Noah Rittinger (6’0/CG/2021/Red House, WV) who had the deep ball clicking to the tune of 18 points on 4 treys. Also playing well for Tru Game were Seth Wilson (6’1/CG/2021/Akron) and Malaki Branham (6’3/WF/2021/Columbus). From what we saw, Tru Game should get the #1 ranking when we release are Power Rankings.
We were also really impressed with Coach Dave Duco’s Cincinnati Royals Blue squad. They may not scare anybody getting off the bus, but they run great sets, execute at a high level, shoot it well, and they play great team defense. We saw them get by a loaded All-Ohio Red team who we thought had a chance at the #1 spot. At the end of the day, All-Ohio was unable to keep their big man in the game because the Royals were able to exploit mismatches. With AJ Braun’s (6’5/C/2021/Springboro) ability to handle the rock and to step outside and knock down the 3-ball, 6’10 Trey James’ length was neutralized. The Royals enjoyed scoring balance from 3 guys, Braun, Isaiah Walker (6’1/SG/2021/Cincinnati) and Matthew Smith (6’0/SG/2021/Cincinnati), all of whom finished in double digit scoring. All three players are super skilled and possess a high basketball IQ.
For All-Ohio, Alex Williams (6’2/WF/2021/Dayton) returned to the team for this season and his presence is already paying dividends. Williams is a well-built guard that uses his size and strength to power his way to the cup. He can also hit the 3-ball if left open. Brent Walker (6’6/C/2021/Huber Heights) did some nice things as well and led All-Ohio in scoring. All-Ohio has added several guards to the roster. There’s no shame in losing to the Royals as a lot of teams will suffer the same fate this season. It’s still very early in the season for All-Ohio and it’s going to take some time for the new pieces to gel and learn their new roles. I hope the parents and players are patient!
We got another look at Coach Greg Johnson’s Cincinnati Royals White team as the just squeaked by (47-45) a scrappy All-Ohio Phenom team. Skyler Schmidt (6’6/PF/2021/Goshan) and Greg Johnson (6’0/PG/2021/Cincinnati) led the Royals in scoring with 11 and 12 points, respectively. We also got a closer look at Kobe Johnson (6’1/PG/6’1/PG/Canton), who was the most productive player on a solid All-Ohio Phenom team. All in all, we saw some good basketball on Saturday.