Sunday, October 24, 2010

All-Ohio Nike City Series: Columbus


Columbus, OH- The 2010 All-Ohio Nike City Series kicked off this weekend in five different cities around the state.

This weekend’s action was a prelim to next Saturday and Sunday’s state-wide championships in Columbus. The 40 best kids from each site (Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, and Cleveland/Akron) will make their way to the state capital next weekend to see who reigns supreme.

Ohio High School Hoops spent Saturday and Sunday at Whitehall-Yearling High School checking out some of the best talent Central Ohio has to offer. The action got started Saturday evening with 108 kids ranging from 9th-12th grade competing in 24-minute games in hopes of landing a spot on the Columbus team for next weekend. We should note; there were some 8th graders in attendance.

The 9th/10th graders were split up on six different teams and they played a round-robin format. Following the five contests, 20 kids were selected from each grade to play in an All-Star contest. The 9th graders were split into two teams of 10 and likewise for the 10th.

The 11th/12th graders followed the same format.

The All-Star games were all one 12-minute half.

Now, Jerry Watson and his trusted staff must select 10 kids from each grade to represent Columbus in next weekend’s state-wide championships. Watson plans on finalizing his decision by Wednesday.

Here is Ohio High School Hoops “Top 10” for each class.

12th Grade:
Trey Burke (6’0)- Columbus Northland (Michigan)
Steve Bridgeman (6’5)- Bloom-Carroll (Ohio Dominican)
Nate Anderson (6’9)- Teays Valley (UNC-Wilmington)
Dwayne Bazemore (6’9)- Walnut Ridge
Stevie Taylor (5’9)- Gahanna Lincoln (Ohio University)
Clinton James (6’2)- Columbus DeSales
Brian Sullivan (6’0)- Upper Arlington (Miami OH)
Tyler Kelly (6’2)- Pickerington North
Rian Burrell (6’3)- Zanesville
Traevon Jackson (6’3)- Westerville South (Wisconsin)

MVP- It may get old to some seeing Trey Burke’s name listed as the top player at almost every event we cover, but when you earn it then the case is closed. Burke continues to deliver and proves to be not just the best guard in Central Ohio, but the best player. He impacts every game in a significant manner, but in most cases, he impacts every possession. Burke knocked down big shots, scored driving to the basket, and even rebounded the ball very well from his guard spot. It seems like every event or game we cover of Burke’s the Michigan commit knocks down a big shot. With his team trailing by three points to Wisconsin commit Traevon Jackson and his squad, Burke pulled up from nearly 30-feet and drained a jumper right over top of Jackson sending the game to overtime. Burke’s contingent went on to capture the victory. Chauncey Billups is known as “Mr. Big Shot” and Robert Horry was known as “Big Shot Bob,” so it’s only fitting we coin Burke as “Baby Big Shot.”

11th Grade:
Isaiah Rogers (5’8)- Westerville South
Nick Archer (6’7.5)- Olentangy Liberty
Elijah Macon (6’9)- Marion Franklin
Jalen Robinson (6’8)- Columbus Northland
Adam McCall Jr. (5’10)- Harvest Prep
Jordan Potts (5’11)- Columbus Northland
Matt Rhodes (6’5)- Westerville North
Devon Scott (6’8)- Columbus Northland
AJ Ireland (6’3)- Bloom-Carroll
Ke’Chaun Lewis (6’4)- Columbus Northland

MVP- AJ Ireland may not be the best prospect out of this group or have the most talent, but he performs, produces, and impacts every game. Ireland knocked down open shots, took the ball to the basket, and scored in transition. He can get buckets, but he really helps you with his attention to detail. Ireland is the kind of kid essential to every winning team.

10th Grade:
Aaron Jackson (6’4)- Gahanna Lincoln
KyJuan Skinner-Byrd (5’7)- Harvest Prep
Isaac McGlone (6’1)- Bloom-Carroll
Jaylen Benton (6’2)- Columbus Northland
Marquiez Lawrence (6’6)- Marion Franklin
Kenny Robinson (6’0)- Harvest Prep
Wendell Davis (6’5)- Reynoldsburg
Keon Johnson (5’7)- Mansfield Senior
Brandon Bapst (6’4)- Grove City
Jack Gibbs (5’10)- Westerville North

MVP- Wow, this group was talented. It just seemed like Jack Gibbs stood out a hair more. Perhaps, it’s his swag or the flare for the dramatic, but whatever the case this kid can play. He may not be the tallest or quickest, but he is a player which allows him to overcome any lack of physical ability. Gibbs is tough, heady, and knows how to play and win. He may not be this or he may not be that, but at the end of the day he has put 30-plus points on the opponent and wowed the onlookers seven or eight times. Gibbs has added a good bit of muscle to his body, which is allowing him to score at will on the interior. Keep an eye on Gibbs this winter.

9th Grade:
Chris Moxley (5’10)- Bishop Hartley
Alex Stewart (6’2.5)- Westerville North
Manny Powell (5’6)- Gahanna Lincoln
Dymiere Finch (6’1)- Walnut Ridge
Jae’Sean Tate (6’3)- Pickerington Central
Ronnie Williams (6’2)- Columbus Brookhaven
Ty Hairston (6’1)- Columbus Northland
Javon Bess (6’2)- Pickerington Central
Jon Elmore (6’2)- South Charleston (WV)
Reginald Thomas Jr. (5’11)- Gahanna Lincoln

MVP- Dymiere Finch has talent without question, but it’s apparent he wants to utilize his abilities. A lot of young kids with talent don’t always produce nor have an impact on the game, but Finch is the exception to this theory. According to most, he was the best middle school player in the city a year ago which wasn’t shocking to us after we witnessed the 6-foot-1 frosh go about his business. We want to refrain from saying to much about a kid this young, but if Finch stays on course, Walnut Ridge will be in good hands for years to come.

It was really hard to pick a Top 10 with some many terrific young players in attendance. This is all based off what we witnessed. Our Top 10 has no affiliation with who will actually represent Columbus next weekend.

The deepest grade was easily the 10th graders. It was extremely hard to narrow this list down to just 10. We could come up with a very good second group of 10 out of this bunch.

Here is a look at our just missed list.

12th Grade:
Zach Riddle (6’2)- Dublin Coffman
Kyle Schriml (6’3)- Canal Winchester
Michael Martin (6’4)- Dublin Jerome
Kam Harris (6’3)- Westerville Central
DeMarkeo Lyshe (5’11)- Westerville South
Chaquan Draughon (6’3)- Columbus East
Reco Spears (6’3)- Walnut Ridge
Jed Reid (6’4)- Walnut Ridge
Adam Hall (6’5)- Dublin Coffman
Wes Richter (6’5)- Upper Arlington
Kalomo Fiqueroa-Jackson (6’5)- Columbus Africentric

11th Grade:
Denzell Lipson (6’0)- Columbus East
Khalid King (6’1)- Columbus Brookhaven
Ott Elmore (6’3)- South Charleston (WV)
Eric Weisenbach (6’10)- Dublin Coffman
Grant Harris (6’1)- Harvest Prep
Roy Alexander (6’4)- Walnut Ridge
Nick Neale (6’4)- Dublin Jerome
R.J. Raglin (6’3)- Reynoldsburg
Doug Richey (6’1)- Columbus Eastmoor
Matt Kurelic (5’11)- Olentangy Orange
Carter Smith (5’10)- Upper Arlington

10th Grade:
KyJuan Grace (5’10)- Central Crossing
Kevin Marsh (6’4)- Dublin Coffman
Ronnie Stokes (5’9)- Gahanna Lincoln
Marvin Thomas (6’2)- Columbus East
Armani Townes (6’2)- Columbus Northland
Will Hill Jr. (5’8.5)- Thomas Worthington
John Drapper (5’10)- Columbus Eastmoor
Evan Van Orman (6’4)- Clear Fork
Jason Hall (6’3)- Dublin Coffman
Justus Ousley (6’6)- Wellston
Dominique Cartier (6’3)- Harvest Prep
Tyler Hale (5’10)- Grove City

9th Grade:
Jhustus Cornley (5’7)- Columbus Northland
Hassan Dawkins (5’10)- Harvest Prep
Devante Wilson (6’1)- Columbus Eastmoor
Mylan Smith (5’9)- Pickerington Central
Eric James (6’1)- Westerville Central
R.J. Mims (5’6)- Whitehall-Yearling
Mario Davison (5’10)- Mansfield Senior
DeAnthony Hosley (5’11)- Licking Heights
Shemar Waugh (5’8)- Canal Winchester
David Gbenro (6’1)- Dublin Coffman
Chris Byrd (6’0)- Columbus South
Aaron Mullins (5’9)- Columbus South
Octavius Luke (5’7)- Columbus Northland

**We will update you on the other sites as soon as we receive its information.