A pair of Ohio’s top 8th grade teams found success at the first-year Midwest Circuit in Indianapolis this past weekend, and were both one of 3 undefeated teams (16 total) over the weekend.. Danny Young’s Ohio Basketball Club 2022 (OBC) and Ed Heban’s TNBA Ohio Shooting Stars both finished 4-0 in the opening weekend. OBC’s route to an undefeated weekend included wins over Columbus-based Nova Village (61-38), Michigan Mustangs (68-38), Manimal Elite (64-55) and Wisconsin United (62-51). The Shooting Stars took down Starz United (72-51), Wisconsin United (88-77), Wisconsin Rise (68-60) and Michigan Mustangs Allison (69-50). Raymar Pryor (6'1"/CG/2022/Canton) led the Shooting Stars in scoring, averaging 24 points per game and about 3 dunks per game.
It should be noted that both OBC and the TNBA Ohio Shooting Stars have upgraded their respective rosters for this season and should start right where they left off last year. OBC has added Gabriel Iruh, Willie Stewart, Tyler Ganley, Antwan Woolfolk and Kyle Tipinski (PA) and “…now have a strong 10 guys” and a “Total revamped squad,” said Coach Danny Young Sr. The Shooting Stars have added 6’2” Jalen Wenger, 6’3” Javar Simpson, 5’11” Joshua Jones and 6’0” Bryan Flannery. We can’t watch these 2 teams in a couple of weeks at the Buckeye Prep Invitational Tournament!
In the 7th grade division, both OBC and Ohio Champion Basketball finished 3-1. OBC finished with wins over the Great Lakes Warriorz (57-24), Queen City Prophets (49-47), Sky Digs Elite (63-54) and a loss to the Louisville Magic (42-60), while Champion Basketball defeated Sky Diggs Elite 2023 (68-52), Darius Miller Elite (75-57), Queen City Prophets (54-63) and a loss to Manimal Elite 63-67. For the record, Ohio’s Gurus of Go and Ohio Dose finished the weekend 1-3, while the Queen City Prophets and Darius Miller Elite both went 0-4. A summary of some of those games is below.
OBC (coached by Ted Wypasek) had a good two-point win over the Queen City Prophets 49-47. OBCs lone loss was to the nationally ranked powerhouse Louisville Magic team. Ohio Champion Basketball (coached by Gary Hardewig former coach of the Shining Stars) also won a close game against the Queen City Prophets 54-53. Their lone loss was to Manimal out of Illinois. They open up the next session April 7-8 in Toledo against DOSE, which should be a good game to watch.
The Gurus of Go and DOSE (Jason Dawson) both went 1-3. However, do not let the records fool you. If you see either one of these teams in a local tournament they should be favored to win unless there are more national level teams in the field. DOSE had a tough opening draw for the weekend loosing to Manimal, Louisville Magic, and a tough triple OT loss to the Gurus. Kevin Hamilton was limited by injury. Having him healthy makes DOSE very formidable.
The Gurus of Go are new to the big stage, but they are scrappy and getting better with every game they play. They also had a tough draw to open the Circuit. All three of their losses were to nationally ranked teams such as Indiana Elite, Team Uprising, Chicago Swish, and a two-point loss to Indiana Elite 2023. The lone win was over DOSE in triple OT. This team bears watching, as there are some players who will make names for themselves this year. Solomon Callaghan and Kellon Smith are two former MWA (Mo Williams Academy) players and have already established statewide reputations.
The Queen City Prophets had two tough losses, one game by one point and another game by two points. MWA Elite out of Michigan beat them and they had one forfeit. Although they went 0-4, they should not be taken for granted. They have the big man Griffey (FNU) who can play. In fact, he kept them in all the games they played.
The following are the overall record for the 4th-6th grade divisions: 6th grade division: Nova Village-Rice 4-0; Ohio Kings 3-1; Ohio Dose 2-2; OBC 2024; TAD 1-3; and R4L Pioneers 0-4. 5th grade division: Ohio Dose 3-1; Miller Factory 2025 2-2; Ohio Kings 2-2; R4L 2-2; and Nova Village and OBC 2025 0-4. 4th grade division: R4L 2-2; Ohio C2K Elite 1-3; Ohio Hoopsters 1-3; Ohio Juice 1-3; and the Ohio Kings 1-3.
From what we heard, the Midwest Circuit is very competitive. Ohio fans will get to see many of these teams in action at the Buckeye Prep Invitational in a few weeks!