Open Gym At Lima Senior

On Thursday after school, Lima Senior High School held an open gym with little more than a week left until official practice begins. The Spartans lost a ton of seniors from last year’s team, and a great deal of experience, but return plenty of talent. Here is who stood out:

2022 F Brent Moss – A previous unknown, Moss was the most impressive talent in the gym on this day. He has good size around 6’5″, with an even longer wingspan, and has a great deal of bounce in his step. Moss is pretty polished and skilled for his age and at his size as a legitimate college basketball prospect. Can handle the basketball and bring it up the floor, is a load in transition, and makes plays on both ends of the court. Has a good looking shot from the outside where he can knock down open looks with consistency. Can create space off the dribble, and score it in a plethora of ways inside-out. Alters shots on defense and really rebounds well with strength. Will really open some eyes this season in Northwest Ohio basketball circles and has a bright future ahead.

2022 SG Jareon Mayo – The surprise of the afternoon was Mayo, who although in a competitive open gym format, delivered a stellar showing on the court. Played with a great sense of confidence and competitiveness. Scored it routinely from all three levels, looking like a double-digit points per night option for the Spartans this season. Has good size for a guard, and uses it to create for himself and others. Brings good athleticism and awareness to the floor. Really excited to see what he does this season.

2022 PG Khalil Luster – Displayed the tough, scrappy, and explosive kind of game that you grow accustomed to seeing with him. Improving in his ability to knock down the outside shot with consistency. Can score it among the bigs in the paint, and find open teammates. Always keeps a live dribble and his head up allowing him to see the floor at a high level. Has a tight, compact handle where he can create off the dribble for others. Smart defender, uses his quickness to his advantage. Competes at a high level and hates to lose. One of the best point guards in Northwest Ohio in his class.

Open Gym At Lima Shawnee

It’s that time of year as open gyms across Northwest Ohio start to pickup as we get closer to the start of the season. Lima Shawnee had one of the best seasons in all of Ohio last year until it came to a sudden halt due to Covid-19. They return plenty of talent and look to make it two special seasons in a row. Here is who stood out at their recent open gym:

2021 G/F George Mangas – Ohio’s reigning Player of the Year in Division II looks more than ready to try his hand at the award for a second straight season. In a competitive and upbeat open gym environment, Mangas was special with nearly every catch of the basketball. Pouring in shots from all over the floor, he showed his ability to knock down the triple off the catch or off the dribble with a high degree of efficiency and difficulty. Was strong finishing in transition and around the rim. Came off screens hard, competed, and saw things one step ahead of everyone else on the floor. Has good size and can get it done on the defensive end of the floor. Very smart, doesn’t do a lot of talking, can flat out hoop. Currently holds an offer from Findlay, with interest from Toledo, Miami (OH), West Liberty, Fairmont State, and many others. Doesn’t get near the attention a talent of his caliber should.

2021 PF Tyson Elwer – Not the tallest at his position, but plays a tough brand of basketball. Leaves it all on the floor, plays hard, is physically strong, with good hands and feet. Operates well in the pick and roll, can pop and knock down outside shots with a good looking stroke. Bodies up defensively on the block, contests shots at the rim, and rebounds his area. Currently holds an offer from St. Francis (IN), along with strong interest from Ohio Northern.

2021 G Jarin Bertke – Can stretch the floor with his ability to shoot it from the outside. Has good size out on the wing standing around 6’3″. Runs the floor, and sees the floor well. Moves the basketball, and will be an asset defensively. Will be a key piece for them this season, receiving some DIII attention.

Toledo Elite Fall League Week 2

The second annual Toledo Elite Fall League is underway, this year taking place in the gymnasium at Trinity Lutheran. With the opening week in the books, on Sunday, Week 2 competition took place. Here is who stood out:

2022 G Jacob Meyer (Eastwood) – Perhaps nobody was as impressive, and as big of a surprise on Sunday as Meyer. He’s active on both ends of the floor, and always seems to find his way around the basketball. Displayed the ability to score the basketball at all three levels, and did so with great efficiency. Communicates, understands the game, and is a great teammate. Has good size and a nice skill set. Looking forward to following his development going forward.

2021 C Cli’Ron Hornbeak (Toledo St. Francis) – The big man continues to improve, as he looks more and more like someone who can make an impact at the D1 level. The Kent State commit is getting more comfortable scoring it over either shoulder on the block and with his back to the basket. Needs to continue to improve finishing around the rim, which should come in time. Defended the rim, blocking and altering multiple shot attempts. Was strong with the basketball, ran the floor, and rebounded his area.

2022 G Lamon Burton (Cardinal Stritch) – One of the better performances of the day belonged to Burton, who played his tail off, making plays, and making an impact all over the floor. A good athlete, with solid size and strength, Burton plays the game the right way. Found his spots within the flow of the game, isn’t afraid to work to get the basketball. An asset on defense, he competes, and plays with toughness. Should play a key role for a very talented Cardinal Stritch team this winter.

2023 C Derek Vorst (Rossford) – Has to be considered one of the best young post prospects in Northwest Ohio. Has a nice touch around the rim, and a number of post moves he can go to. Pulled down rebounds with strength and force. Did a really nice job on the defensive end of the floor, altering and blocking shots consistently. Tough, physical, and will continue to develop.

2021 G Justin Rellford (Sylvania Southview) – Brought some competitive fire and swagger to the floor on Sunday. Plays hard, not letting off the gas. Finds creative ways to score it. Gets teammates involved, is a natural leader, and isn’t afraid to be physical. Has a chance to have a special season in the NLL.

2025 G Jerry Easter II (N/A) – The young man flat out has a bright future ahead of him. Playing with guys years older, Easter has a smooth and mature game. Can score it in a multitude of ways, does so with good decision making and efficiency. Solid with the basketball, has a high understanding at such a young age. Has that ‘it’ factor. Rumored to be sitting out this Middle School season to focus on his year’s ahead. Has the potential to be a national recruit in the future.

2023 PG Christian Burton (Cardinal Stritch) – A young point guard with some flare and bounce to his game. Doesn’t have a ton of size at his position, but thrives in an up-tempo game, attacks opponents, and isn’t afraid of contact. Plays scrappy, and has smarts. Creates havoc defensively, and causes problems for the opposition. Was really fun to watch on Sunday.

2022 PG Caden Coy (Ottawa Hills) – The things he brings to the floor are often underappreciated, but Coy did a really nice job of handling the basketball, seeing the floor, and making good reads from his point guard position. Plays with pace, but under control. Really delivered some nice passes as he set up teammates. Can get down and defend the perimeter, and double-down in the post. Smart and steady point guard to keep an eye on.

Others who stood out: Stephen Coleman (Rogers), Elijah Walker (Emmanuel Christian), Nate Houston (Rogers), Jalen Smith (Lake), Ross Thompson (Cardinal Stritch), Kallen Brown (Ayersville), Jordan Kynard (Rogers).

*The evaluations and this article is based on the three games viewed on Sunday.

Recap of Hidden Gems Fall Showcase

Recap of Hidden Gems Fall Showcase

On Saturday afternoon at Tree of Life High School in Columbus, the annual Hidden Gems Fall Showcase took place. Once again there was plenty of talent in attendance as year after year we become accustomed to. While much of our focus was on the few Northwest Ohio guys on the floor, there were plenty of others that stood out:

2022 F Brock Makrancy (Findlay) – In multiple viewings of Makrancy throughout the day, it was evident why he is considered to be among the best in his class in Northwest Ohio. He’s very intelligent out on the floor, constantly moving without the basketball, cutting to the rim, and making himself open to teammates. Really stretches the floor from his position with his ability to make shots from all over. Finished around the rim, and fought for rebounds on both ends. Had a nice showing and was recognized for having one of the best performances on the day.

2021 G Kyle Swiergosz (Cardinal Stritch) – Should be a key piece this season for a very talented Cardinal Stritch team, and looked up to the challenge with his play on Saturday. Has a nice looking shot from the outside where he spaces the floor. Hustles and competes, makes winning plays. Should have a strong senior season ahead of him.

2022 PG Sean Jones (Gahanna Lincoln) – Having heard and seen a lot about Jones in the past few months, it was exciting to finally have a chance to see him, and he did nothing to disappoint. Jones is so shifty, explosive, and a constant threat with the ball in his hands. A tremendous athlete at his position, he uses it to make plays all over the floor. Shots the ball well from the outside. Sets up teammates, sees the floor, and attacks the rim with vengeance. Gets the job done on the defensive end and creates turnovers. Has multiple offers from many high-major programs, and certainly looked the part. Won’t be surprised to see him leading a Big Ten program someday.

2021 G/F Chance Groce (Linden-McKinley) – Was a surprise participant on Saturday, and delivered one of the best performances of the day. Has good length, bounce, and upside. Made things look easy throughout much of competition. Has a good stroke from the outside, can create for others, and can certainly play above and around the rim. Competed and was a joy to watch on Saturday. Definite scholarship worthy prospect.

2021 PG Andre Irvin Jr. (Olentangy Orange) – The saying has become a cliché in basketball circles, but Irvin is truly a heart over height point guard. Competed at a high level all day long, scrappy, and doesn’t back down. Really shot the ball well from deep, and displayed the ability to score it over bigs in the paint. A threat in transition, gets others involved, made good decisions with the basketball. Isn’t afraid to get after it on defense where he competes and takes his assignment personally. Going to make a small college basketball program happy in the future.

2022 G Sohn McGee (Westland) – Caught our attention at last year’s showcase and looks to have grown both physically and in his game since. A good athlete, got to the rim and is solid in the mid-range. Handles the ball well, has good size in the backcourt, and has a nice feel for the game. Doesn’t try to do too much. Quietly had a nice day on Saturday.

Others who stood out: Josiah Mobley (Reynoldsburg), Deondre Mitchell (Penn Hills, PA), Landon Tillman (Westerville Central), Eljae Deas (Gahanna Lincoln).