By Kurt Stubbs – www.ohiohshoops.com
Day 3 of the Flyin’ to the Hoop:
11:30 a.m.- Lakota East, OH (9-0) vs. Lee (AL)
West Chester Lakota East will meet up with Lee of Alabama in Monday’s opening contest, which will be Lee’s second game inside Trent Arena in three days.
The Firebirds, who are currently ranked 10th by Ohio High School Hoops, continue to fly under the radar despite their quality wins and unbeaten record. Lakota East owns wins over Cincinnati Princeton and Huber Heights Wayne along with a rout of Middletown. Those three teams are a combine (20-6).
East is deep and everyone that steps on the floor can play so there is no need to hide anyone. It makes it very difficult for opponents because everyone is capable of being the go-to-guy. Ten kids are playing over eleven minutes and no one plays for more than twenty-four. Those 10 kids are averaging anywhere between 3.6 and 11.7 points per game.
The Firebirds are certainly benefitting from the return of senior point guard, Mike Boyd who missed almost all of last season with a torn ACL. Boyd leads the team in scoring at 11.7 points per game, assists at 3.3 hand outs a night, and steals with 2.1. The 5-foot-11 senior also chips in with 3.1 rebounds.
6-foot senior Jalen Goodwin follows with 8.7 markers and 6-foot-4 junior Allante Foster is getting 8.6 points and 4.3 boards. Foster is a transfer from Cincinnati Princeton.
6-foot-3 senior Cameron Lee adds 7.9 tallies and 5 caroms.
6-foot-3 sophomore Stedman Lowry has also been solid averaging 6.9 points an encounter in just 13 minutes of action. 6-foot-1 senior R.J. Leppert notches 6.1 points and 4.6 rebounds, while talented junior Mark Minch (6’4) is netting 5 points a contest in just 12 minutes of floor time.
Minch has been hampered by injury.
Senior Brian Evans (6’3) and Jeff Cargill (6’8) along with sophomore Robbie Harpring (6’1) combine for 12.5 points a game.
Lee is led by Illinois verbal, Devin Langsford (6’7/Sr.). Coach Greg Brown’s squad is (16-5) on the year and the defending Alabama 5A State Champions.
The Huntsville-based squad also gets solid production out of seniors Josh Perry (5’11), Dominic Bass (6’2), and Joshua Jackson (6’0) along with junior Bobby Strickland (5’11).
Also noteworthy is 6-foot-4 sophomore Buck Johnson, who is the son of Alphonso “Buck” Johnson Jr. The elder Johnson played in the NBA for the Houston Rockets and Washington Bullets scoring over 4,000 points.
1:15 p.m.- Cincinnati Roger Bacon, OH (7-3) vs. Bowling Green, OH (8-2)
Cincinnati Roger Bacon out of the Greater Catholic League will meet Bowling Green from the Northern Lakes League. This will be a rare regular season match up of Southwest versus Northwest Ohio.
BG has just two losses on the season and they came on back-to-back days when the Bobcats fell to unbeaten Toledo Whitmer by four points and then made a trip to Westerville where they lost to the Warhawks by four.
Bowling Green is led by 6-foot-4 senior Chauncey Orr, who is the son of Bowling Green University head coach, Louis Orr. Orr is having a monster year.
The Bobcats have also got quality play from seniors Xavier Brown (6’0) and Max Beattie (5’11).
Sophomore Vitto Brown (6’7) is a kid to keep an eye on as several D1 schools are showing interest in this kid.
Senior Alex Augsburger (6’8) and junior Tyler Dunn (5’10) are regulars in the Bobcat line up along with seniors Kurt Fairchild (6’0) and Bill Peet (6’4) and sophomores Nolan Dill (6’5) and Andrew Herringshaw.
Cincinnati Roger Bacon, who is ranked 13th in D2 by OHSH, has played a tough schedule to this point with its losses coming to D1 Cincinnati Winton Woods, once-beaten Cincinnati North College Hill, and Kentucky’s No. 1 team, Jeffersontown. Despite the loss to Jeffersontown, Bacon enjoyed a good week last week defeating Cincinnati Elder and St. Xavier.
Paul Byrd (6’2/Sr.) has led the way all year for the Spartans with 15.6 points, 5.5 boards, 2.4 assists, and 2 swipes a contest. Byrd, who may be one of the most underrated players in Ohio, leads the team in scoring, assists, and steals.
6-foot-6 senior Jabriel Coaston averages 11.9 points and a team-high 7.5 rebounds, while 6-foot-8 senior Jared Bryant gets 7.6 markers and 5.9 caroms along with a team-leading 1.3 swats.
6-foot-1 senior Gavin Schumann has also been good scoring 9.7 points a night and senior Rashad Peterkin (6’2) adds 5 tallies.
6-foot-1 senior Brady Garner and 6-foot-3 sophomore Jake Westerfeld have also been solid along with 6-foot senior Brian Bien and 6-foot-2 sophomore Erik Edwards.
3:00 p.m.- Wheeler (GA) vs. Clayton Northmont, OH (7-3)
Nationally-ranked Wheeler out of Georgia will meet Clayton Northmont in what could be a battle of David versus Goliath. The five-time Georgia state champions will bring a host of talent to Kettering to face a tough but undersized Northmont outfit.
Wheeler, who is currently (10-3) on the season, is led by seniors K.K. Simmons (6’3) and Nigel Snipes (6’5) along with junior Charles Mitchell (6’8).
Simmons, who is signed to play at UNC-Wilmington, averages 21.9 points per game.
Snipes, a Western Kentucky signee, is scoring 11.3 points and grabbing 5.9 boards. The 6-foot-5 senior transferred over from Paideia before the season started along with fellow classmate Kharon Butcher (6’2). Butcher leads the team in assists (3.0) and steals (2.4).
Mitchell averages 20.9 points and a team-high 11.6 caroms. The 6-foot-8 talent is being courted by the SEC, ACC, Big 10, and Atlantic 10. Mitchell has offers from Clemson, Georgia and Western Kentucky along with interest from Ohio State.
Chris Longoria (6’4/Sr.) has done a little bit of everything for the Wildcats since transferring over from McIntosh before the start of the campaign. Longoria is averaging 11.5 points, 5.5 boards, and 2.8 assists per night.
Junior Derrick Evans (5’8/Jr.) and senior Tevin Reeves (6’1) are getting 7.7 and 7.5 points respectively.
Wheeler’s three losses are to Dr. Phillips of Orlando, Florida and Rice out of New York by a combine two points along with a nine-point setback to Lexington Catholic (KY).
For Northmont, junior Jamal Trammell (6’3) leads the team in both scoring (11.8) and rebounding (10.4).
Junior guards Devon Carter (5’7) and Solomon King-White (5’8) have been solid. Carter averages 9.5 points and 4.6 assists, while King-White is notching 8.7 tallies, 3.8 boards, and 3.5 helpers.
Senior Cameron Taylor (6’0) is netting 9.2 points per game and fellow classmate Nick Tingle (6’4) is adding 7.5 points and 8.5 rebounds. Sophomore Troy Mangen (6’4) is chipping in with 5.4 markers.
Sophomore Keith Richardson (5’9), freshman Cameron Taylor (5’11), and seniors Jaron Isaac (6’1) and Josiah Riggins have provided depth for the Thunderbolts.
The Thunderbolts have just three setbacks on the year with two of them coming to unbeaten Moeller and once-beaten Wayne while the other coming to Sidney.
4:45 p.m.- Miller Grove (GA) vs. Dayton Thurgood Marshall, OH (7-2)
Nationally-ranked Miller Grove of Georgia will meet Dayton Thurgood Marshall who is ranked 2nd in Division 2 by OHSH in what should be an interesting contest.
Miller Grove is loaded with talent, size, and depth, while Thurgood Marshall is talented on an Ohio scale but it remains to be seen how they will stack up against one of the nation’s best.
Miller Grove, who has climbed as high as 3rd in the national polls, is (13-0) on the year and the two-time defending Class AAAA State Champions in Georgia. In addition, the Wolverines recently won the prestigious Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and hold a victory over one of the best teams in the country in Milton (GA).
Miller Grove is headlined by 6-foot-8 junior Tony Parker, who is ranked 15th in his class by ESPNU. Parker averages 18.9 points, 15 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks a game. Parker had a game of 27 rebounds in the Beach Ball Classic.
Parker has offers from Auburn, Clemson, Connecticut, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia among interest from several other high-major schools.
Junior Brandon Morris (6’5) is another kid high on the radar of several D1 schools. Morris, who is an incredible leaper and won the Beach Ball Classic slam-dunk contest, is averaging 10.1 points and 7.7 boards for the Wolverines.
Morris has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia State, Memphis, Nevada, North Carolina State, and Wichita State along with interest from many others.
6-foot-8 senior Henry Brooks has been solid as well averaging 12.8 markers and ripping down 5.5 boards. Brooks has offers from Georgetown, Harvard, Maryland, Northwestern, Oregon State, Rice, Virginia Commonwealth, Virginia Tech, and Xavier.
Senior point guard Thomas Marshall (5’11) is one of the most underrated players in Georgia according to some. Marshall is a stat-sheet-stuffer with 8.5 points, 7 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.8 steals a night.
6-foot-3 senior Devon Provost averages 8.9 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.2 steals for the Wolverines and junior Davante Provost is another option.
Juniors Justin Colvin (6’2), Christian Houston (5’11), and Tony Evan (6’5) provide depth for the talented Georgia-based school.
Jordan Watson (5’9/Sr.) leads Thurgood Marshall in scoring at 16.1 points per night.
6-foot-4 sophomore Mark Alstork follows at 12.7 points a game and juniors Joe Ballard (6’5) and Joe Thomasson (6’3) are getting 10.7 points and 10.4 counters respectively.
Watch out for the Joe Ballard and Brandon Morris match up. These two both have terrific leaping ability.
Sophomore Edmund Early (6’1) adds 9.3 points and senior Sam Sanders (5’8) nets 6 lightings. Sophomore Gary Green (6’4) is another viable option for the Cougars.
Thurgood’s two defeats are to No. 1 Dunbar by three points and Michigan’s Romulus by four.
6:30 p.m.- Hamilton Southeastern (IN) vs. Westerville South, OH (9-0)
Hamilton Southeastern, one of the top teams in Indiana, will meet OHSH’s Division 1 and 4th ranked Westerville South.
Westerville South has not played anyone near Southeastern’s caliber to date, but the Wildcats have played in and won two overtime contests so they are battle-tested. Furthermore, we would be hard-pressed to find a team that plays harder and with more effort than the undersized Wildcats.
South is led by senior Traevon Jackson and his 17.4 points and 4.6 dimes a game. Jackson, who has signed to play at Wisconsin, can do a little bit of everything and basically anything head coach Ed Calo needs him to do.
Jackson is flanked by junior point guard Isiah “Zeke” Rogers (5’8), sophomore Marcus Ball (6’2), and seniors Damarkeo Lyse (5’9) and Jaren Edwards (6’1). Rogers is a heady point guard that can make big shots while Edwards has been a pleasant surprise in the scoring department. Lyshe is a relentless defender that gets the majority of his points off turnover and transition and Ball has a knack for being in the right place at the right time.
Sharpshooter Ben Jones (5’11) comes off the bench and is capable of providing a spark with his deadly three-point shooting ability.
Also, keep an eye on junior Stephen O’Daniel (6’0), senior Donnie Fitzgerald (6’1), and freshman Darryl Long (6’3). O’Daniel is really starting to come in his own as a shooter for the Wildcats.
Hamilton Southeastern, who has tasted defeated just once and that was to unbeaten and nationally-ranked North Central (IN), brings in one of the top prospects in this year’s field. Gary Harris, a 6-foot-4 junior, is ranked No. 16 by ESPNU for the Class of 2012. Hamilton is averaging 20.5 points and 5.4 rebounds. He has offers from the Big 10, Big East, SEC, and Atlantic 10.
Sophomore Zak Irvin (6’5) is another player to watch for the Indiana-based school. Irvin, who is a Top 50 prospect by most, averages 10.7 points per contest. He currently holds offers from Baylor, Illinois, Indiana, Miami (FL), Purdue, and Xavier.
5-foot-9 junior point guard Jacoby Bledsoe has been solid all year. Bledsoe is averaging 8.7 points and 4.6 assists. The junior has offers from Colorado State, Dayton, Drake, Oregon State, Western Kentucky, and Western Michigan.
6-foot-6 senior Randy Gregory is good for 9.6 points and 7.9 rebounds, while 6-foot-4 senior Josh Dather is averaging 7.8 points.
8:15 p.m.- Whitney Young (IL) vs. Huber Heights Wayne, OH (7-1)
The Flyin’ to the Hoop finale will once again feature Huber Heights Wayne, but this time around they will meet arguably the most talented team at the event in Whitney Young out of Chicago, Illinois.
The Dolphins are (10-3) on the year with losses to Southeastern (IL), St. Patrick’s (NJ), and The Christ School (NC).
Whitney Young is led by 6-foot-7 senior Sam Thompson, who is signed to play at Ohio State. The bouncy Thompson averages 13.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 2.9 blocks an outing. Thompson is ranked 61st by ESPNU.
6-foot-7 senior Luke Hager is getting it done as well with 11.1 points and 3 assists. Hager is signed to play at UNC-Wilmington.
6-foot-10 sophomore Thomas Hamilton is drawing major interest and is ranked 8th in his class by ESPNU. Hamilton is scoring 10.1 points a game and snaring 6.6 boards. Hamilton has offers from Illinois and Michigan State with interest from a plethora of other schools.
A pair of ultra-talented freshmen will also be on display for Whitney Young in Jahlil Okafor (6’9) and Paul White (6’7). Okafor is ranked 7th by ESPNU and White 8th.
Okafor was offered by Depaul as an 8th grader and has offers from Illinois and Michigan State as well. White has an offer from Illinois along with heavy interest from almost all of the Big 10 schools and some from the Big East.
6-foot senior Kwai Pearson has also been very good for the Dolphins averaging 5.4 points and 3.1 dimes. 6-foot-8 junior Jermaine Morgan has been good for just over 4 points a contest and seven rebounds and 6-foot-1 junior Gabriel Snider is getting 5.4 tallies.
Juniors Jordan Smith (6’3) and Nate Brooks (6’6) provide depth for the Dolphins.
According to Prep Spotlight and ESPN’s John Stovall, almost the entire Whitney Young roster is receiving D1 interest whether it is low, mid, or high.
Wayne, which is a suburb of Dayton, is certainly not without talent, skill, and ability, but will definitely be an underdog in its backyard.
The Warriors, who are ranked in 11th in D1 by OHSH, are led by 6-foot-1 senior Travis Trice Jr. and his 24.3 points, 5.3 assists, and 4.4 swipes a game. Trice has signed to play at Michigan State.
Trice is aided by Providence verbal Markus Crider (6’6/Sr.). The ultra-talented Crider averages just over 13 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.7 steals, and 2.6 blocks an evening.
Freshman Juan Ford (6’0) follows at 8.5 points a game and senior Isiah Boddie (6’2) adds 7.3 lightings. Justen Hollins (6’3/Sr.) notches 7.1 points and 6.5 caroms.
Ford is one of the top freshman in Ohio.
Juniors Keith Clements (5’9) and Ryan Gabbard (6’4) have also been very productive. Clements is good for 6.4 points a game and Gabbard nets 5.9 lightings and 3.5 boards.
Junior Malcolm Pittman (6’5) and senior Jason Bitsko can also get the job done for the Warriors.
Wayne has just one loss on the year and that was to unbeaten Lakota East.