|Emerson, Williams, McComb, Chicone & Hamrick|
The 19th Annual Buckeye Prep Invitational Tournament tipped off on Friday at Otterbein University in Columbus, Oh, and the 168-team event is already flexing its muscle. Although there were only a few games on opening night, we have already seen some very compelling match-ups and several individual standout performances. In the 8th grade division, we watched a very competitive game between Tony Dixon’s Dayton Wolves and Devon Howard’s All-Ohio Howard. In fact, the game went right down to the wire before the wolves eventually pulled out a 58-55 victory. Stars for the Wolves included the dynamic backcourt duo of Chance Amerson (6’0/PG/2021/Dayton) and Anthony McComb (6’0/PG/2021/Dayton), who led the Wolves in scoring with 19 and 17 points, respectively. For All-Ohio, Alex Williams (6’2/WF/2021/Dayton) carried the load, and as he does every time we seem him, Williams was seen powering his way to the cup with his linebacker built frame.
Although Murphy AC went down to Ohio Hoopster-Tillman 64-61, Luke Chicone (5’4/PG/2021/Menter) logged in a solid opening night. We’ve seen Chicone ball on several occasions in showcase situations, but his play on Friday confirmed he could excel in a team environment. He’s small, but he’s also tough has nails, can score, and is dynamic. Landon Tillman (5’0/PG/2021/Col) was the man for Ohio Hoopsters and led the team in scoring. All-Ohio White’s Jaylen Simmons (5’3/PG/2022/Columbus) demonstrated that he’s a 3-level scorer, dropping 10 points in a 46-34 loss to the Mid-Ohio Pumas. Giovanni Roberts (5’7/SG/2022/Columbus) was the star and leading scorer for the Pumas. From what we saw, Roberts can both shoot the rock from the perimeter and finish at the cup.
|Pearson, Simmons, Schroeder, Roberts & Tillman|
We also had a chance to check out some of the younger talent when All-Ohio Red and the Ohio Hoopsters 3rd grade matched up. All-Ohio jumped out to a big lead before Ohio Hoopsters came roaring back to win the game. We plan to keep an eye on Maurice Hamrick (PG/2027/Columbus), who is already super skilled, crafty and plays beyond his years. As a matter of fact, only and second grader, Hamrick is playing up in the 3rd grade division and is handling his business! We also liked Malici Pearson (PG/2026/Louisville, KY), who was a last minute pick up for the Hoopsters. He’s an Ohio guy who is currently living in Louisville, KY. Pearson arrived in Columbus with a solid reputation, and his play on Friday backed that up. We also saw some good things out of Treyton Schroeder (PG/2026/Lewis Center), who showed a solid skill set and can really score the rock at a high rate.
Some of the other standouts we saw on Friday included: Larry Stephens III (5’11/PG/202/Springfield), Jeffery Tolliver (5’9/SG/WF/20220/Springfield), Marquis Moore (6’2/CG/2020/Columbus), Shawn Thigpen (PF/2023/Dayton), and Braylon Mitchell (SG/2019/Columbus). If what we saw on Friday is any indication of things to come, we should expect a high level of competition and intriguing match-ups for the rest of the weekend! Please stay tuned to the Buckeye Prep Report as we continue our coverage of this prestigious event.